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Idiot Plot / Comic Books

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  • Supreme Power:
    • The J. Michael Straczynski reboot of Marvel's Squadron Supreme (a typically Marvel-dark riff on the characters of DC's Justice League of America), has large parts of its plot dependent on the chronic tendency (seen before in much of Straczynski's work) for virtually everyone in any kind of government-representative role to be malicious, incompetent, or both.
    • The most egregious example is in the story of Mark Milton, or "Hyperion," the Superman-analogue: when a superpowered child falls from the sky in a spaceship, he is taken within minutes by the government and put in the custody of two dedicated agents, who pretend to be married so they can raise him as an American citizen in an artificially created (and heavily-monitored) "perfect family environment". However, with all the effort put into creating this environment, it somehow fails to occur to anyone in the project that getting an actually-married couple to play the role of Mom and Pop would be far easier on the agents, far more psychologically healthy for the child, and far safer should he ever, oh, find out about any of this. And the most egregious part of the most egregious example? The monster who originates this heartless scheme is... um, Jimmy Carter? "He's history's greatest monster!"
  • In the Wonder Woman storyline Amazons Attack!:
    • The entire Amazon race (the only apparent exception being Wonder Woman herself) carries an Idiot Ball the size of the moon. On the advice of Circe, an evil goddess who has tried to exterminate the Amazons on multiple occasions, they decide to declare war on one of the most powerful nations in the world; one that is home to many of the strongest superheroes in the The DCU. The end result? The Amazon race is scattered across the world, the American public despises them, and the reputations of heroes associated with them (Wonder Woman, Wonder Girl, Supergirl to name a few) are left tarnished.
    • Even Wonder Woman wasn't safe from this: one of her powers is that her magic lasso can get rid of mind control. Her mother was clearly under some form of mind control... and yet at no point does she think to use her lasso.
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    • Oh, and the secret weapon they were going to use to bring the U.S. to its knees? Giant magical bees. While awesome, a bunch of giant bees doesn't exactly measure up to jet fighters, attack helicopters, cruise missiles, anti-aircraft guns, or nukes.
    • Quoth Batman: "Bees. My God." It's a perfect Face Palm statement that sums up the idiocy of this storyline.
    • The magical giant bee weapon being the height of Amazon technology is made even stupider by the incident that kicked off Amazons Attack! in the first place - i.e. an American General Ripper kidnapping Wonder Woman in the hopes of learning the secrets of the advanced Amazonian technology. While the Amazons had previously been depicted as having advanced technology (i.e. healing rays and death rays) Amazons Attack! had the Amazons using weapons and armor from Ancient Greece albeit from atop flying horses. It even becomes a plot-point later on in the story, when Green Arrow discovers a bomb — supposedly planted by Amazons — that we are told is far more advanced than anything Amazons would be capable of making.
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    • Oh, it gets dumber. At one point, Supergirl gets the brilliant idea to try and get the President and Hippolyta to sit down and negotiate. While it seems like a reasonable proposition on paper, she proceeds to do it in the absolute WORST way possible: she busts her way into Air Force One via her Flying Brick powers, damaging it enough to cause it to crash, and KIDNAPS THE PRESIDENT. Does that even require an explanation for how many levels of Epic Fail it contains?
  • Norman Osborn:
    • The Green Goblin is being hailed as a hero, and is now basically in charge of America's self defense. Just to be clear, Norman Osborn was outed months ago. He was convicted of mass murder. He strafed his own arraignment hearing with pumpkin bombs on live television. He is known to be dangerously bipolar, and that's when he's on his medication. He's the single most infamous example in Marvel of why superheroes need secret identities, given that he's the first MU villain to murder a hero's supporting cast *coughGwenStacycough* . This. Man. Was. Given. Every. Registered. Superhero. On. File. And. Under. His. Authority. Legally. This. Is. Madness.
    • In addition, they also disbanded SHIELD and gave Norman Osborn full authority to create and run its replacement, HAMMER. So not only have they given him his own private army and intelligence agency, they're not even maintaining the minimal control that having him direct personnel already chosen and loyalty-screened would give them. Instead, Osborn gets to recruit all his own people. Appointing Charles Manson the Director of Homeland Security would make more sense than this!
    • New Avengers #50:
      • It ended with Ronin (Clint Barton) actually going on TV and (with understandable shock) rehashing out all the above issues and just how mind meltingly stupid the people are for accepting a known psychopath as their new leader. Of course, this being the Marvel Universe, it didn't work.
      • Later, Norman Osborn (in Dark Avengers) mentions this, points out the above was a criminal who helped the USSR steal Stark Tech, and gives a heartfelt speech about how he used to be all that, leaving the reader feeling that... the entire Marvel Universe is full of morons.
      • Lampshaded in an issue of Spider-Man, when in the narration, he lists his reasons for why anyone would elect Norman Osborn to any public office and he states that number three on his list is that everyone in New York must be on stupid pills!!
  • Thor: Vikings by Garth Ennis assumes that whatever heroes are available can easily get their asses kicked, but it's okay since Doctor Strange is there, but his plan relies on finding a couple people to fight an invincible opponent and his army face to face, instead of using his own powers to temporarily subdue, banish or restrain them, protect the city with some kind of force field, evacuate people, or find a more clever solution than watching and complaining about how invincible the opponent is.
  • The entire plot of Superior Spider-Man hinges upon nobody, absolutely nobody (not MJ, not Jameson, not The Avengers, not even Aunt May) realizing that Peter has been Killed And Replaced by Doc Ock, who is currently running around in his body. Though a few characters like Black Widow and Luke Cage do notice that "Peter's" behavior is becoming increasingly violent and erratic, nobody ever thinks hard enough to actually dig any further.
  • Any plot that involves Thor or anyone else trusting Loki becomes one of these after, oh, his tenth betrayal (so, since the mid-1960s). The mega-arc by J. Michael Straczynski was a good example. It is even pointed out, in-universe, that they don't really trust Loki. He's just that good. He manages to get a good way into a plot to destroy Asgard largely by hanging around and making insinuations and perfectly true statements.
    • To some extent, this is just a case of the writers being true to the source material. It's not just the Marvel version of Thor that could save himself a lot of trouble and embarrassment by determining ahead of time that his default reaction to anything should be "Go beat the crap out of Loki."
    • The Asgardians finally figure this out by the time he's reincarnated as Kid Loki. Unfortunately, this version, while still a sly manipulator, genuinely loves his brother and wants to help. It takes a long while for Kid Loki to start earning some trust, and then an echo of the original Loki comes back, kills him, and steals his identity.
    • The All-Mother in Loki: Agent of Asgard seem to be avoiding this, as making Loki their agent is their way of keeping them on a leash. Then it turns out that while they're still not the real old-Loki, merely a teenaged copy who does want to make amends, the All-Mother won't truly allow that because they do have the real old-Loki, who claims they're really from the future and as long as they let the current Loki turn evil again everything will turn out all right since it will go back to the way it was before Thor destroyed the destiny of the gods. The All-Mother act like they're merely willing to let Loki fall to achieve a better (and far more certain) future, but at no point have they thought about it and said "wait... this is the EVIL Loki we're trusting on this...". Even Odin pointed it out to them how stupid this idea was. And when Loki successfully pulled a Screw Destiny Odin also pretty much gloated about how he betted on the right Loki and how badly Freyja misjudged the situation.
  • The entirety of the Marvel Civil War storyline. Superheroes and the government lose their minds and start up a pointless brawl over laws that had no authority at the time because one superVILLAIN blew up a school. Writers had a tough time justifying the editorially-mandated behavior of some of the characters. Reed Richards, who'd previously opposed near-identical laws targeting mutants, was infamously given three separate reasons for joining the pro-registration side.
  • Marvel's Avengers vs. X-Men is another huge offender, as the plot required both teams, including their normally smart, honorable, levelheaded leaders (Captain America and Cyclops respectively), to act like a bunch of idiots as the Phoenix Force approaches Earth. And once the Phoenix Force arrives things just get worse and worse. To sum up the idiocy as it occurs:
    • The Phoenix Force is on its way to Earth. Captain America and Cyclops both approach the problem in a horrible manner. Captain America, not knowing a thing about it, asks Wolverine for advice. Wolverine tells Cap that it will wipe out everyone on Earth due to his experience with Jean Grey... except Rachel Summers used the Phoenix for years with no problem, as did Jean for a long time. So Wolverine is giving intel... that would made sense about 30 years ago(and even then, he turned out to be right about Hope not being able to control the Phoenix, since she almost goes full Phoenix at the end). This leads to Cap seeing the Phoenix Force this way, which leads to the next idiot point. Cyclops, on the other hand, suddenly decides to trust the Phoenix force for no reason(despite all the horrible crap it put both him and his fellow X-men through, including his(at the time) dead ex-wife Jean. Sure, Rachel proved that with time and traning, the Phoenix’s power could be controlled, but Cyclops assumes that Hope would be able to do the same despite not having any of Rachel’s experience or training with the Phoenix. Hell, this point gets proven when Hope gets possessed by the Phoenix at the end of the event. When the cosmic entity possessed her, Hope nearly loses control and is only stopped from going full phoenix by the Scarlet Witch talking her out of it. Basically, Cyclops was right about the Phoenix being able to prevent mutantkind’s extinction(which it did, but at a heavy price that could’ve been avoided), but Wolverine was right about Hope being unable to control it.
    • The mutants think Hope Summers will use it to repopulate the mutant race, the Avengers think it will destroy everything. Simple solution - have Hope meet it in space. Unless the conditions are that she has to meet it on Earth for some reason, which doesn't seem to be the case at all. However, Cap decides to march his Avengers out there (diplomacy!) and demand Cyclops give up his granddaughter. He doesn't, what a shock, so they both send in all their forces, shit hits the fan, and Hope runs away.
    • Cyclops, Namor, Emma Frost, Magik and Colossus are empowered by the Phoenix Force and proceed to... try to fix the world's problems by feeding the hungry and stopping wars. They completely forget about the whole "repopulate the mutant race" thing.
    • The Avengers repeatedly antagonize the Phoenix Five, who, while a little out of control, are being relatively held together by Cyclops. Finally, the Avengers piss them off too much, and Namor decides to flood Wakanda, which brings about a Cycle of Revenge between him and Black Panther that continues to this day.
    • The X-Men and Avengers unite to take down Cyclops, who now has the full powers of the Phoenix Force. They also bring in Charles Xavier, who has a history of mind raping people, particularly Cyclops. He proceeds to stand right in front of Cyke, tell him how much he sucks and exactly what he is going to do. Scott kills him in self-defense. Simple solution - have Xavier do his Mind Rape from far away and not provoke Scott or give details of the plan. Nothing says he has to be two feet from Cyke to do this.
    • The AvX: VS series of backup stories devolve into the two sides, that is, the mutant characters and the primarily non-mutant characters, fighting because they're both obligated to fight during this event, though some express regret at the pointlessness of fighting, while having to fight. Why do they have to fight? Because they have to fight.
    • Another act of stupidity: they could have easily gotten Rachel Summers to mentor Hope; given her solid track record with the Phoenix Force, she has valuable insights.
      • Ironically, the only characters in the entire event that actually manage to come out looking good are the Avengers Academy and mutant kids during the Academy tie-in. Right from the start, X-23 calls Wolverine out on his BS, and later convinces the Academy that imprisoning the X-kids — most of whom haven't done anything — is just plain wrong. This leads to an amusing fake battle between the Academy students and their staff vs. the X-kids led by Sebastian Shaw (of all people) for show in order to allow the X-kids to escape without arousing suspicion. When a bunch of teenagers and a sociopath like Shaw are the collective Only Sane Man of an event, you know it's an Idiot Plot of epic proportions.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
    • The Endgame arc. In the final part, Dulcy explains that dragons are able to sense truth, something treated as common enough knowledge that Geoffrey St. John, Knuckles, and Espio believe that Sonic's been framed for killing Sally (Espio himself saying that "a dragon's spoken word is fact"). No one questioned why she wasn't called in before, especially since this story was about the third time Sonic's been framed for treason. It was revealed earlier in Sally's mini-series, that Geoffrey was in, that Robotnik could make robots that flawlessly imitate real people, so there was no real reason for everyone to take "Sonic's" crimes at face value. There's also the problems with the way Sonic was framed: Drago Wolf tricked Hershey Cat into wearing a Sonic costume with rigged eyepieces so that anyone she looked at looked like Snively, Robotnik's henchman. Why trick someone when Robotnik has the specialized robots? Did Hershey never look into a mirror, or at anyone else, to make sure the costume fit? Why did Hershey never question the need to imitate Sonic or why Snively would be hanging from a rope in the first place?
      • Hershey's problems could be solved by the fact that Drago was abusive towards her and he most likely forced her into all of it. Dulcy's doesn't even make sense - in part 2, she's seen boo-hooing at everything, declaring that she couldn't believe Sally was dead, yet she willingly shows up in part 3, automatically declaring Sonic innocent. Why wasn't she around earlier?
    • In issue #108, Eggman, using a machine and the residual effects of Chaos Knuckles' reality-warping powers, finds a way to reconstitute the scattered atoms of his predecessor, the original Dr. Robotnik. What do these two geniuses do with this startling turn of events? Have Robotnik form an alliance with the Freedom Fighters on the premise that he escaped Eggman's control, and lure them back to the machine so the two doctors can use the process that revived him to annihilate their hated enemies once and for all. Of course! What else could they do in that situation? It's not like they couldn't have combined their respective 300 IQ to come up with another Ultimate Annihilator, or used the alliance ploy to relearn the location of Knothole and/or learn about and/or sabotage their defenses or something diabolically useful like that, right? Fortunately, the Freedom Fighters get wise to this plot from the get-go, and only play along so they can destroy the machine so Eggman can't use it again (having learned that Robotnik's revival was only temporary)... but even they don't seem to realize how much of a freaking security leak having Robotnik in Knothole was.
    • And then there's the utterly idiotic "Iron Dominion" saga. Virtually no one gets out of the debacle with their wits intact, and the only way any of the events could've happened is if everyone was written to be so brick-stupid, they could be used as paperweights. The only way to describe this saga using only a list of tropes is a long, torturous series of Forgot I Could Fly, Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!, Love Makes You Stupid, Red Herring Twist, Chronic Backstabbing Disorder, and Villain Ball/Conflict Ball. Sally at least has the decency to Lampshade she should have avoided most of the events occurring throughout, but she was hardly the only one.
    • Possibly the biggest case is how the book established that Tails and Knuckles had extraordinarily powerful relatives. Merlin Prower, Tails' uncle, is one of the book's most powerful wizards. The Brotherhood of Guardians, Knuckles' dad and various grandfathers, had potent magic of their own along with the most advanced science on the planet. None of them have killed Robotnik, even though they would be protecting their homes and families in doing so. Their inaction led to them being wiped off from the comics.
    • WAAAAAAAAAAAAY back in the original mini-series, Sonic catches Sally leaving in a huff, with the princess rudely refusing to tell Sonic what's up. Sonic finds out from Antoine that she's going to see Dr. Robotnik. The two and Tails attempt to confront Sally before she's taken away. The trio race into Robotropolis and save Sally before she's roboticized and when they get back to Knothole, they find out that Rotor had installed devices on her boots to analyze and reverse the process, and their intervention botched the plan. Which, of course, would have been avoided if Sally had stopped for five seconds and mentioned what she was going to do. To make things worse, Sonic, Antoine and Tails were depicted as being the ones at fault.
    • In another issue from around the same time, Sally wants to go for a walk outside of their refuge in Knothole. Sonic points out that it's dangerous to just walk around outside and offers to accompany her as a bodyguard in case Robotnik's bots are in the area and see her, a proposition that Sally rudely rejects. Then, just as Sonic had predicted, Robotnik discovers her and has his robots capture and bring her to Robotropolis. Fortunately, Sonic had been following her in secret and rescues her. Of course, that wouldn't have been necessary if Sally had just listened. Anyway, he apologizes for disobeying her, despite the fact that he was totally right and she would have been roboticized if he hadn't. Her response? Apologizing for being rude to him and admitting that he was right? Thanking him for the rescue? Nope, she breaks a club on his head for ignoring her orders.
  • Batman: No Man's Land:
    • While many of the stories contained are actually pretty good, this requires a number of astoundingly moronic things to occur to set up its scenario. After an earthquake and ebola outbreak, the United States government decides Gotham is no longer part of the U.S. because it would be too pricey to fix, blows up all the bridges leading to it, and bans people from going in or leaving from it. Leaving aside the immense political improbability of this, it apparently keeps out most superheroes, who don't even try to help. This includes those who have no reason at all to respect this order, such as Green Lanterns. Superman shows up, but somehow decides he's no use there. Even though the perennial excuse for why Superman couldn't help with such a problem is that he's dealing with an earthquake or a flood or something in a Third World country, so it's pretty well established that he knows what to do in these situations - certainly better than Batman, who's never demonstrated having any experience with large-scale disasters. But no, no one helps. The entire world just writes off a major city as too much trouble.
    • In the short story where Superman shows up and somehow decides he's no use, he effortlessly defeats Mister Freeze and repairs an entire power plant with his powers and the guidance of the chief engineer. Although this restores power, the lawless citizens immediately form a new violent gang under the chief engineer's banner and flood him and Supes with more responsibility than they know what to do with. Superman takes off after Batman gives him a stern talking-to. Now why Supes doesn't just fix say, the entire city instead...
    • Of course, a lot of No Man's Land's plot hinges on the fact that 1) this was practically a Lex Luthor plot in the end and 2) Batman invokes the Superman Stays Out of Gotham trope on the rest of the DC Universe.
  • Nintendo Comics System. In "The Buddy System", Lemmy and Bowser use bombs to flood an underwater passageway. Lemmy has effectively wasted many bombs by blowing up the wrong pipes but to top it off, he uses four on the last one which gets Bowser and Mario caught by several Mousers. They are shackled together hostages and led to the water main underground. The Mousers demonstrate what Bowser should have done by lighting bombs right in front of it!!
  • One More Day.
    • The sheer number of idiotic things that happen in it is phenomenal, and the amount of dumb that goes into both Spider-Man's decision to make a deal with Mephisto and Mephisto's decision to make a deal with Spider-Man could fill up a page (it filled several minutes of review time when Linkara explained it); but where does the special credit go to? The ENTIRE MARVEL SUPERHERO COMMUNITY. Peter Parker's Aunt May gets shot by an assassin and is dying. Apparently the doctors can't save her. So Spider-Man runs all over the world, seeking out his dozens and dozens of superhero friends who have fantastic powers, abilities, and technologies that can save her... except they don't. Every single superhero throws up their hands and basically says that while they are capable of fighting Galactus, bullet wounds are too much for them to handle, including Doctor Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme; Elixir, an X-Men member whose entire mutant power is healing wounds (he has total control over the biochemistry of anyone he touches, meaning that there's literally no wound he can't heal); and every single one of the Marvel universe's impressive cadre of supergeniuses. In the words of one scans_daily member, the entire process went something like:
      Peter Parker: My Aunt May's dying from a bullet wound, but that must be a piece of cake for you to cure right?
      Reed Richards: No, no, I'm sorry... this is an impossible task that is far beyond the reach of even my genius.
      Peter: Wha? But... didn't you, like, build a portal to heaven, bang on the pearly gates, and yell at Jack Kirby to give Ben back that one time?
      Reed: Uh... Look at the pretty bunny! Look at the pretty bunny!
    • Even if none of the heroes could have helped, Doctor Doom has been shown to have the mystical and technological means to do so and ought to have been willing just because it would have A) led to a prominent hero owing him a favor and more importantly, B) it would have given him yet another opportunity to rub his superiority in Reed Richards' face.
  • Linkara may have made Chuck Austen's run on Uncanny X-Men infamous thanks to "Holy War", but a few issues later, the revelation of who Nightcrawler's father is turns the entire thing into a farce. He's the son of a teleporting demon named Azazel (a name later co-opted into a much more interesting character in X-Men: First Class). His plan was to create enough teleporting children to get him out of the dimension he's stuck in. The dimension which he had to get out of to conceive all of these children IN THE FIRST PLACE!
  • Avengers Arena. All of it. For a lot of reasons. Most of this comes from the plot driven nature of the story, which forces the characters to act certain ways to further its own ends. Past friendships and histories are glossed over or completely ignored, and people do stupid things not for any logical reason, but because the plot requires it.
    • Arcade's game structure fits the bill first and foremost. His game is so poorly designed it requires three direct interventions to get one victim to play along. How is this poor research? In citing (indirectly) Hunger Games and Battle Royale, he has outlines of games that were specifically structured to avoid inaction. One possible reason would be the third source of his in-universe influences, and only piece directly cited: Lord of the Flies. However, that too makes the interventions signs of Critical Research Failure. Each intervention undermines the core points of Lord of the Flies: Teenage Wasteland, Kids Are Cruel, etc. In a sense, Arcade lost from the very beginning. Several times over.
    • Arcade's overall goal for this series (to gain respect from his peers) hit this trope in two ways: 1) He aims low by targeting children and teenagers rather than experienced heroes; 2) By targeting children, he is more likely to anger his peers than gain their adoration - those who harm children are generally not well treated in prisons. Otto Octavius demonstrated his disgust with villains who harmed children in the same basic time frame.
      • Just to add to the nonsense, this is actually lampshaded in the very next series Dennis Hopeless wrote; Arcade comments on how ever since the events in Murderworld, half of the supervillain community and pretty much all superheroes now want Arcade's head on a pike and he ends up dying at Hazmat's hands after a half-assed second attempt.
      • To add to that, many of Marvel's villains have a "don't hurt children" policy, and those who don't (Red Skull, Annihilus, Sabretooth, Bullseye, Norman Osborn etc.) are so far above Arcade's league that hurting the children wouldn't even put him on their radar to begin with!
    • Little is done on screen to justify stupid behaviors needed to further the plot on screen. Some of them have to be filled in through expository dialogue and others are revealed in supplementary material. That's not a good place to put motivations. Ever.
    • Special mention goes to issue #10. The sheer amount of stupidity needed to get the character where the plot needs them to be is awe-inspiring.
      • The fact that if this arc was written with any level of intelligence then you'd have the whole superhero community joining forces to save the kids and stop Arcade.
  • Convergence: Superboy #1 & #2 work on this principle. Superboy is set against the Kingdom Come Superman, Flash and Red Robin. The latter three attack Superboy without saying a word edgewise and then suddenly say they come in peace. Naturally, Superboy doesn't buy it. The book then goes into detail about how Superboy is in the wrong because he refuses to give up or surrender to the KC heroes. Except... he has a point. All Superboy knows is that whoever took their cities hostage has stated that anyone who loses their fight will see their city destroyed, so he's fighting just as much from anger as fear. He also has no reason to believe anything Superman tells him, because for all he knows, this is an evil counterpart or something. When Superboy flat out states all of this, the characters still treat his misgivings as selfish and wrong because the three older KC heroes supposedly have a better chance at saving everyone. But, yet again, he has no reason to trust them.
  • Runaways has fallen prey to this a few times, particularly in the 2017 series:
    • In the "Homeschooling" arc, an accident leads to Old Lace dying and Klara developing a bad case of Scarlet Witch Syndrome and using her powers to trap the rest of the team inside their house. Since Klara's powers are connected to her emotional state, the sensible course of action would be to make every effort to make her feel safe. Instead, Nico allows Chase to taunt Klara and tell her how much he hates her for surviving where Old Lace died, getting her so worked up that Nico decides that she has to resort to Mind Rape to force Klara and Chase to calm down. Consequently, Chase is so disgusted by Nico that he opts to ditch the team, and by the end, it's hinted that he's not the only one who's losing faith in Nico's leadership.
    • In "Best Friends Forever", the entire plot hinges on Molly being stupid enough to leave an enchanted cupcake lying around among a bunch of other, non-enchanted cupcakes, without bothering to warn anybody. Compounding this is the team's decision to ditch Julie Power at the Hostel with no supervision, leading to her eating the enchanted cupcake. And finally, rather than sending Molly on her own to ask the person who gave her the cupcake for the antidote, the team rolls out in force, threatens to murder civilians, and picks a fight with a 13-year-old girl.
    • In "That Was Yesterday", the team finds out that their parents' contract with the Gibborim is still active, and thus they have one week to prepare for the end of the world. Rather than alerting actual superheroes of the problem in the hopes of getting help, the team instead elects to have Gert, Victor, and Alex look for a loophole while everyone else waits around... which falls apart, because Alex naturally spends all his time looking for a way to screw his former friends over and save his own ass.
  • Crimson gets hit pretty hard with this trope towards the end, when the Big Bad's plan is only advanced by the heroes acting like idiots: the mentor Ekimus is instructed to search the Underworld for an imprisoned Eldritch Abomination that will tell him how to destroy Lisseth. The problem is that he is told by Lisseth's accomplice Victor Van Fleet and an enemy to Ekimus as well. Then said Eldritch Abomination is unwittingly released by Ekimus when it tells him to read an incantation that will destroy Lisseth, but it turns it out frees it from his prison. Its revealed the monster was also in league with Lisseth all along and proceeds to unleash countless horrors upon the world, all because of Ekimus' fault.
  • The basis of Flashpoint depends on the fact that Barry Allen went back in time to stop Professor Zoom from murdering his mother. Despite the fact that he's had experience in knowing that changing the past has never yielded positive results for speedsters, and Zoom boasted that thanks to his Negative Speed Force he could change things without repercussions. Add that Barry didn't really stop to think about what he was going to do and didn't even stop to talk and discuss it with anyone, not Wally, Jay, Max, or even Bart, who was born in the 31st Century, or Superman, who has the most time travel experience out of the entire Justice League. Then there's the fact that Barry never stopped to think that he could've possibly murdered untold billions just by saving his mother. Granted, though, the reason behind this decision makes him a Well-Intentioned Extremist.
  • Long story short - your average Crisis Crossover will almost definitely feature some degree of this, since both DC and Marvel make heavy use of Shared Universes with dozens of superheroes, most of whom have experience and with everything from Time Travel to Evil Twins and half of whom probably boast at least one Story-Breaker Power (the go-to example probably being Wonder Woman's Lasso of Truth, which should by all accounts make any long-term deception from the villains impossible). Without Conflict and Idiot Balls being passed out like candy, any threat from any villain short of an Eldritch Abomination like Galactus would probably be resolved by Page Three.
  • A very common Spider-Man plot will go like this: Spider-Man is impersonated by a villain who proceeds to commit a crime. Someone, particularly J. Jonah Jameson will inform the public of this. Spider-Man has to spend the whole storyline dodging cops and their bullets, sometimes even other superheroes while trying to clear his name. Peter does, and everything goes back to normal until the next time it happens. You'd think the people of New York City would catch on after the 50th time it's happened. You'd also think that they'd realize that the Daily Bugle is full of it at least regarding Spider-Man after the 5,000th time Jameson lied about him, but neither ever happens.
  • In the infamous Avengers #200, Carol Danvers has a mysterious pregnancy with the child being born and aging into adulthood in a matter of days. "Marcus" eventually reveals himself to be the son of the Avengers' enemy Immortus, who impregnated Carol with himself while she was under mind control so he could escape from Limbo. After having spent the whole issue freaking out about the pregnancy and insisting that "that thing" isn't her child, Carol suddenly decides that she's in love with Marcus and leaves Earth with him, supposedly forever, and the Avengers treat it like she's found her Happily Ever After. To reiterate: the man admits that he used mind control to rape Danvers, then she declares that she loves him...and nobody considers the possibility that he's using mind control on her again. Notably, Carol's creator Chris Claremont was so incensed by this story that he later wrote Avengers Annual #10, where she returns to Earth and gives the Avengers holy hell, saying that they betrayed her trust by treating the whole affair like a joke and never once questioning anything that happened.
  • While any story from Lucky Luke that centers on the Daltons is naturally one big idiot plot, the "Daltons Redeem themselves" merits a special mention. As the title states the Daltons have a chance to get a full amnesty for their countless crimes (which would probably need many pages on their own) if they prove themselves capable of integrating into society by honest work. Even if one ignores the Senator's foolishness for passing such a decree, one can't ignore the Daltons own lack of logic. Since they plan on going back to their criminal lifestyle immediately after getting the pardon, they still intend to fill their records with as many crimes as before therefore rendering the pardon useless. But it would make sense that they wouldn't care if they did Lucky Luke in first, which then leads to the second part of their unbelievable stupidity. After finding out that Averell mixed the dates and they went criminal one day before their time was up they decide to hide it by keeping Luke and the Senator imprisoned to execute later. But... if they already broke the rules and rely on no-one finding out, why not kill them since they revealed themselves to them and they are witnesses of their losing their chance? It's not like it will change anything if nobody knows and if they kill them after getting the pardon, they still commit their first crimes as free citizens. So yeah...
  • Everything in Extraordinary X-Men, All-New X-Men (2016), Uncanny X-Men (2016), Death of X and Inhumans vs. X-Men based around the terrigen mists. The mists are what allow Inhumans to awaken their powers, and Inhuman culture usually deems that, as a coming of age ritual, some Inhumans are exposed to the mists in a small chamber in a controlled environment. That changed because Black Bolt blew up his home city, and the mists ran through the world as two thick clouds. It's later revealed that terrigen is poisonous to mutants. The Inhumans claim that the cloud is part of their culture — which is patently untrue, but regardless, both races seem to have forgotten that they each have a prominent leader adept at manipulating wind. Storm on her own could probably contain the cloud, never mind if she had the help of Crystal! But no, the clouds keep passing through major cities and disrupting peoples' way of life and killing mutants. Eventually, the two sides go to war over the clouds when it's revealed that the cloud is polluting the Earth's atmosphere and are essentially going to disperse. The Inhumans decide to destroy the cloud in the end, and then are forced to go into space looking for more terrigen. Again, all of this could have been avoided if both sides just looked to their prominent figureheads with wind powers and told them to blow the mists into an airtight chamber.
  • Identity Crisis has a lot of this going on. While the flaws in Jean Loring's serial killer attempts can be justified by her lack of experience and loss of sanity, the League's rank incompetence in carrying out an investigation, including completely missing the signs of stroke in the body and the flamethrower fuel that should have instantly discounted their Red Herring of a prime suspect, and bungling a fight with Deathstroke that should have ended in five seconds, is much less justifiable.
  • The Illuminati: Iron Man convenes a meeting with a few of his superhero buddies to say that The Kree/Skrull War would have been less of a mess if Earth's heroes had done a better job of sharing information. Fair enough. So the solution they all come up with is... to agree to do exactly the opposite and not to share useful information with anyone except each other. Because... reasons. This bit of inexplicable and pointless illogic eventually ends up destroying almost all of reality. Nice job, guys.
  • Somehow, in the entire run of Marvel's The Transformers, the mass of humanity never figures out that half the giant robots running around are clearly trying to stop the other giant robots from stepping on them. Not that the Autobots ever make any real, sensible effort to clarify it to them, of course.


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