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Didn't Think This Through

Go To exactly is Mario gonna get out now with that Goomba in the way?

Sonic: I was just trying to protect you!
Tails: How? By putting me in more danger?
Sonic: The plan had holes!
Sonic Boom, "The Sidekick"

A situational trope. One character will develop a plan designed to solve a certain problem they're encountering. However, due to their failure to plan ahead, there is a massive gaping flaw in their plan that they—and perhaps the audience—missed. As a result, they are now in a situation where, rather than winning, they are stuck with either a stalemate or an outright loss. Sometimes this may occur because the character never thought that their plan would actually progress as far as it did in the first place.

A more comedic, simple version of Didn't See That Coming. See also And Then What?, when the flaw is not knowing what to do if the plan succeeds. (Also an issue for Who Will Bell the Cat?.) If the person pointing this out is sufficiently annoyed, this can lead to What Were You Thinking?. May also lead to a This Is Gonna Suck or an Oh, Crap! for the schemer when he realizes how screwed he really is. Compare Should Have Thought of That Before X, It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time and Missing Steps Plan.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Delicious in Dungeon, Team Touden decide to use Senshi's adamant cooking pot as a shield against the Red Dragon's fire...forgetting the main reason Senshi converted his ancestral shield into said pot is because one of its properties is spreading heat fast and evenly. Cue Laios dropping the pot in pain after the first blast of fire burns his hands.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Vegeta during the Saiyan battle after Gohan turned into a Oozaru. Escaping being crushed multiple times, he did seem proud of himself for a moment after cutting off the boy's tail, thus shrinking him to normal size. Given that, while Vegeta has taken a considerable beating fighting the various heroes, Gohan was the last one strong enough to present any kind of threat to him, it seems that he's won. Then comes the brief realization that Gohan is still semi-gigantic, not maintaining his place in the air and now falling towards him while semi-gigantic. Since he wasted the last of his remaining power in the blast he used to cut Gohan's tail, he's unable to dodge. Not long after a crushed Vegeta is sitting in a crater, struggling to crawl to his ship.
    • Vegeta gets another moment after he forces Dende to heal him to give him a power boost to fight Frieza. Not once did he put into account that Dende would refuse to help him since Vegeta slaughtered an entire village's worth of innocent Namekians earlier in a search for the Dragon Balls, and leave him to die. Piccolo talks him into doing so, only because they NEED Vegeta to even stand a sliver of a chance against Frieza.
    • Vegeta tends to be a victim of it more than anyone thanks to underestimating the power of his opponents. After Dende heals him, he starts fighting Frieza himself, only to severely underestimate Frieza's power in his final form. He thinks training in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber boosts his power enough to defeat Cell only to allow the villain to transform into Perfect Cell, with help from Vegeta, and beat the crap out of Vegeta. He also plans to take advantage of Babidi's brainwashing to increase his power to fight Goku only for the energy released to repower Majin Buu. Even his attempt to sacrifice himself to destroy Buu fails because he severely underestimates the creature's regenerative abilities.
    • Goku himself falls into this during his plan to pit Gohan against Perfect Cell; while Gohan is the strongest of them all, Goku failed to consider that Gohan is half-human, doesn't have the same love of fighting as his father, and above all else, is Just a Kid. It's only when Piccolo points this out to him that Goku realizes how badly he may have screwed up.
    • Cell himself is subject to this in his eponymous saga; his goal is ultimately to force Gohan to awaken his hidden powers by forcing him to watch as his friends get beaten up and a pacifist android is killed right in front of his eyes. Cell eventually gets exactly what he wanted all along, but he never stopped to consider the possibility that he might actually lose.
    • This is a key reason why Gohan's warning to Cell about his hidden power backfired; Gohan failed to consider that Cell, being a big-time Blood Knight, is the kind of person who wants him at full power for the sake of a good and challenging fight.
    • Babidi has this happen three times. First, he tries to keep Piccolo from killing him by pointing out without someone to seal Majin Buu away, he'll destroy the world. Piccolo points out that's what Babidi intends to do anyway, so the end result would be no different and bisects him. Babidi gets Buu to heal him, and threatens him into compliance after, with the threat of sealing him away. When Goku challenges them, he tries to repeat the threat only for Buu to point out that if he does, Goku would kill Babidi easily. Luckily for him, Buu is willing to fight Goku anyway. The last time proves fatal, as trying to control Majin Buu through the fear of a spell falls apart when Buu simply crushes his windpipe, rendering him unable to speak, and kills him.
    • During the Tournament of Power, Belmod has Jiren go after Goku with the explicit intention of showing off his immense power and scare everyone into submission, as Jiren would often do against his villain to force them to choose between surrender and annihilation. Jiren does his thing, shows off his immense power and that he's the mightiest warrior of all... Except the penalty of a team losing in the Tournament of Power is annihilation, for them, their whole universe, and their very souls, so while Belmod and his Kaioshin counterpart bluster about Jiren's strength, they're quite surprised when the aces of the remaining universes start assembling to just gang up on him.
  • InuYasha: The ogre witch Urasue steals Kikyo's remains and brings her Back from the Dead in a clay body, planning to use the resurrected Kikyo as a slave to gather the Shikon Jewel shards. Instead, the very first thing Kikyo does upon revival is use her spiritual powers to blow Urasue up; Urasue obviously never considered the possibility that the resurrected Kikyo would turn on her, let alone immediately after her resurrection.
  • Almost happens in Mahou Sensei Negima!. The cast are discussing ways to retrieve Asuna and the Great Grandmaster Key from the Big Bads and get the idea to use Natsumi's artifact (which makes the enemy completely unable to sense your presence) to get close for an ambush. Unfortunately, the Anti-Magic field coming from Asuna would make that plan useless. They almost go with the plan until Ako realizes the flaw. Cue Yue coming up with a workable solution and a Moment of Awesome for everyone involved.
  • Naruto
    • Sakura's attempt to kill Sasuke after getting through her teammates blocking her fails so epically because, near the end after she fails, Kakashi reminds her that Sasuke's absorption of Orochimaru basically made him immune to poison, much to her big dismay.
    • The entire plan Madara Uchiha crowded of this. He never thought about the fact that Obito had virtually no motivation for resurrecting him and intended to hijack the Moon's Eye Plan for himself. The seal he placed on Obito's heart prevented him from becoming the Ten Tails' jinchuuriki, but (as happened during Obito's fight against Kakashi) could be removed. He also never considered the possibility of Nagato dying before being able to use to resurrect him with the Samsara of Heavenly Life Technique.
  • One Piece:
    • As Jinbe says during the Impel Down Arc, the World Government's decision to execute Ace and have their Navy go to war with Whitebeard was extremely thoughtless. Not only would the Navy be Awakening the Sleeping Giant, but even if they did succeed in killing both Whitebeard and Ace, the immediate Evil Power Vacuum would turn the seas into a bloodbath, as islands under Whitebeard's protection would become open targets for hungry pirates. Sure enough, when the Navy wins the Paramount War, that's exactly what happens. And to make things worse, the war cut the Navy's forces down by more than half. Combined with Whitebeard's Dying Moment of Awesome when he declared that "One Piece is real," and an entirely new age of piracy began, effectively making the Navy's victory devastating to their own cause.
    • The "Fake Straw Hat Pirates" based in Sabaody Archipelago after the Time Skip. Since Monkey D. Luffy has attained more infamy than ever before due to his part in the Paramount War, one guy going by the name "Three Tongued" Demalo Black got the bright idea of posing as Luffy and setting up a crew to pose as the Straw Hat Pirates. Black usually got his way by relying on Luffy's fame to threaten people and recruit fearsome pirates into his crew. Unfortunately, around the time they were recruiting, the real Straw Hats came back, and it got steadily worse when they try to recruit a pair of Ax-Crazy pirate captains who intend to kill the Straw Hats for more fame, and then Marines show up with Pacifistas, with a Marine Captain personally knocking out Demalo Black with his ax for trying to talk smack to him while pretending to be Luffy. Because he forgot that when you're one of the most infamous pirates on the planet, lots of actual strong people want to kill you.
    • The key factor in Doflamingo's strategy to conquer and then hold onto Dressrosa was also the biggest flaw - Sugar. Her incredibly dangerous Devil Fruit Power could turn anyone she touched into a toy-like automaton, stripping away their memories and free will, also making it near-impossible to fight her or even get close to her. This made it easy enough to conquer Dressrosa and keep any would-be dissenters in line, especially with a guy like Trebol as her bodyguard. One problem: if she ever was killed or even knocked out, the No Ontological Inertia trait common to all Devil Fruits would mean all the toys would go back to normal. When this finally happened, every single victim over ten years was cured, simultaneously restoring all the lost memories associated with them. This resulted in a mass panic throughout Dressrosa, as families reunited, pirates looted, and wild beasts ran amuck, causing Doflamingo's hold on the kingdom to crumble almost overnight.
    • During the Paramount War, the heroes expend an extraordinary amount of effort to get Luffy to Ace's execution platform. Only after he gets there does he—and everyone else—remember that Sengoku is standing right next to their goal.
    • Hody Jones assumed that once he became king of Fishman Island, he'd be able to go to the Reverie and slaughter all the members of the world summit. That's only if the World Government had accepted his rule — they could just as well send some agent of theirs to utterly destroy Hody and his army and install a local government sympathetic to their causes instead. And even if the World Government had accepted Hody's rule, a high-class event such as the Reverie would surely have top-notch security to prevent any potential global incidents. This is of course, ignoring the fact that Hody was about to send 100,000 pill-popping underlings against both the New World and the World Government, when they stood no chance against a single pirate crew.
    • Vinsmoke Judge, the leader of the Germa 66, wishes to reclaim the honor of his kingdom which has been reduced to a nomadic fleet of ships only really staffed by his clones army. However, he is a firm believer of Might Makes Right, and following this doctrine had pretty much lead to his kingdom's ruin. Throughout the Whole Cake Island arc, it's shown he does not have the best grasp on making decisions. To wit:
      • He makes a deal with Big Mom to have Sanji, his youngest son, marry into her family so as to bolster his forces and thinks once Sanji does, they can just simply hold his chosen bride, Pudding, as a hostage. Judge doesn't take into account that Big Mom could possibly backstab him. And sure enough, the arrangement turned out to be a trap where they had planned to kill the entire Germa 66 on the wedding day and steal their clone technology.
      • In the past, he had forced a procedure on his wife to wipe the emotions from her then-unborn sons, feeling that them not having emotions would make for more effective fighters. When the Big Mom Pirates spring their trap and are set to kill them, Judge is begging for his life while his sons show him no sympathy, telling him to suck it up.
      • Lastly, by allying with a big named pirate, he didn't take into account that one of her guests named Big News Morgans being the leader of the source of news in the One Piece world could possibly report of his alliance. After the Straw Hats escape from Big Mom's territory, Morgans reports of what went on at the wedding, including said alliance. The result: The World Government disowning the Germa 66 from their ranks.
  • At points in both the first and second seasons of Strike Witches, Minna pulls a gun on Mio in order to try to stop her from getting herself killed in battle. Mio is quite aware of the flaw in this bluff, and it doesn't work either time.
  • Harumi Kiyama in A Certain Scientific Railgun plays this both ways. On the one hand, she's the only villain who realizes the damage her plot is causing, and actually creates a way to reverse the effects harmlessly once she's finished. On the other hand, she failed to account for what would happen if people randomly fall into a coma—such as if they're driving a car.
  • In Girls und Panzer, the Oarai student council revives its Tankery program in order to compete in a national tournament which is a lie to cover up the fact that the school will be shut down, but they have made a deal to prevent that if they win. Unfortunately, the student council overestimated how many tanks they had left over, i.e., the ones they weren't able to sell, assuming that the school would have many in reserve from its past participation in tankery. Student Council President Anzu admits that her assumptions were faulty, but she couldn't think of any other way to keep the school open, and at least wanted them to have hope.
  • Is the Order a Rabbit?:
    • In episode 3, with it raining harder and harder, Rize says she'll call for a cab to take Sharo home. Chiya, remembering Sharo exclaiming she didn't want Rize to know where she lives, instead volunteers to take her. However, she attempts to carry her home, and collapses a short distance from the Rabbit House.
    • In episode 7, the girls work on a large jigsaw puzzle. As they get closer to finishing it, Chiya asks where they're going to place it. The girls are then stumped because they didn't consider what to do with it when they were done. In the end they have Chino's father put it up in the coffee shop to replace another picture of a rabbit.
  • Pokémon: For his eighth Indigo League badge, Ash finds himself facing off against Team Rocket, since the real gym leader (Team Rocket boss Giovanni) was away on "business", and assigned the trio as his substitutes. Ash fights Jessie on a platform that's rigged to electrocute him whenever his Pokémon take damage during the battle. Of course, when Ash pulls off his Heroic Second Wind, it turns out James also rigged Jessie's own platform to electrocute her whenever her Pokémon take damage; when Jessie demands to know why he did so, James admits he didn't think it would matter either way because it never occurred to him that Ash would actually turn the tables on them this time. Also counts as a moment of Genre Blindness and general stupidity, because Ash beats them all the freakin' time.
    • In the special short Gotta Dance!, Meowth invented the Pokébaton, a device that would force any Pokémon listening to its music to dance. Unfortunately, he and his comrade Pokémon are just as susceptible to its powers as any other Pokémon.
  • In Gourmet Girl Graffiti, Akira, Ryou's aunt, attempts to surprise her in episode 12 by grabbing her arm as she opens the door to her apartment. However, Ryou is understandably shocked and scared, so her first instinct is to slam the door in the face of the person grabbing her arm. Akira apologizes and sports a bandage on her face in the next scene.
  • Rose of Versailles has pretty much every single important character doing this:
    • The most egregious example is the pissing match between Marie Antoinette, at the time merely the dauphine (wife of the heir to the throne), and the Countess du Barry, former prostitute who married into nobility and had become the mistress of king Louis XV. Marie Antoinette, coming from the sober Austrian court, refused to acknowledge a former prostitute's right to be at Versailles and snubbed her for almost two years, not realizing it could be constructed as an offence to the king himself and cause a war between France and Austria (when this was pointed out to her she was properly horrified and finally talked to her in public). Du Barry didn't realize she had engaged a pissing match with the future queen of France while her own power derived from being the lover on an old man who could die soon (and in fact died less than two years after Marie Antoinette had to recognize her presence at Versailles) and started to fear for her own life when this was pointed out to her, making her try (and fail) to improve their relationship (in the end the only reason Marie Antoinette didn't do anything to her was that the King's confessor managed to get the countess exiled first, with the new queen merely confirming the exile). And the king's daughters, who hated du Barry, physically dragged away Marie Antoinette when she first tried to talk to the countess, not caring at all of the possible consequences (luckily, Marie Antoinette was able to get another chance).
    • The lone exception is Oscar, with her actions during the above conflict showing it the best: at first she just wanted to enjoy the show from a safe distance (it was well before she became friend with Marie Antoinette), when forced to take a side she choose Marie Antoinette because, as much du Barry could be powerful, any victory of an old king's mistress against the future queen was bound to be reversed the moment the king died (we're even shown her thinking about that before taking her decision), and when du Barry, unable to be satisfied by her victory over the dauphine, tried to frame Oscar's mother for murder she went and delivered a scathing speech in which she pointed out the idiocy of challenging the future queen of France when du Barry's power came from her influence over an old man, getting away with holding the king's mistress at swordpoint in her own apartments. Oscar even sees the French Revolution coming, but, sadly, she's completely unable to prevent it.
  • In a dubbed episode of Digimon Adventure 02 ("Cody Takes a Stand"), the trope is humorously activated when Cody attempts to stop BlackWarGreymon (one of the season's strongest villains) from destroying a Destiny Stone.
    Cody: Don't take another step or else!
    Blackwargreymon: Or else what?
    Cody: Um...I haven't figured that part out yet.
  • Kill la Kill: Satsuki's main reason for destroying Nudist Beach's home base was to remove stragglers from her upcoming assault on Ragyo, stating that any group which cannot defeat her Life Fiber-enhanced army would be useless against Ragyo and COVERS. Not only does her rebellion fail in epic proportions, but she later discovers that Nudist Beach had a secondary base on standby, and it plays a major role in Ragyo's downfall.
  • After Kimihito in Daily Life with Monster Girl is hospitalized Lala visits alone to avoid everyone trying to fit into his hospital room, or causing a scene. Good thinking, too bad she didn't realize her detachable head, and boasts about being the grim reaper might cause a panic.
  • In No Game No Life, the king of Elkia holds a gambling tournament to determine his successor, since the world is one in which everything is decided by playing games. Unfortunately, Imanity cannot use or perceive magic (the reason why they're by far the weakest race and smallest nation), so anyone with an accomplice from another race could cheat their way to victory in the tournament and become a Puppet King for the other nation, like Kurami had planned on doing. Upon thinking about this, Sora, the protagonist and an outsider, realizes that it's one more reason why the king deserves his reputation as an incompetent fool. Subverted later on, when Sora, learning that the king bet land that was worthless to the Imanity against the Warbeasts so he could gather information on their game and pass it on to his successor after his death, surmises that the previous king must have foreseen this, and did it so that someone who could overcome a magically-assisted opponent would succeed him.
  • The Remnants of Sephiroth in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children are looking for Jenova. After attacking Edge city, fighting Cloud, his friends, Rufus Shinra and the Turks, Kadaj finally gets her head... and has no idea what to do. Cloud lampshades it stating that as a fragment of Sephiroth he's acting on instinct rather than thought.
  • My Monster Secret: In chapter 184, Youko decides to confront Principal Shirayuki over her treatment of the student body, and of Asahi in particular. Youko being Youko, it isn't until after she's angrily stomped into the office that she realizes she has no idea what she should actually say. Fortunately for her, it turns out to be a case of You Were Trying Too Hard, and she manages to skate through the confrontation on pure dumb luck.
  • In Attack on Titan, the country of Marley were the cause of many of their own problems.
    • They sent Titans to harass the Eldians behind the Wall for years, only to later realize they are in now of need of the natural resources that are located on the island, hence their need for the Coordinate.
    • Their attempts to gain the Coordinate unwittingly provide the Eldians on the island a means to fend them off and for them to gain the Attack Titan and the Colossal Titan.
    • They've been colonizing most of the world through the use of Titans, but unfortunately for them, news that they failed to gain the Coordinate and the loss of some of the Titan Shifters has been spreading and other nations are now openly fighting back.
  • Happens rather often in Ranma ½:
    • The backstory of the Japanese Nannichuan: in the land of Musashi a pack of foxes was causing misery to the people, so a monk from China helped the people to get rid of them by creating a spring that turned them into men when they bathed into it. The story ends by pointing out it made things worse, as now the foxes were men and their hearts had not changed one bit.
    • Happosai has forgotten his invincible technique Happodaikarin, and, hoping to use it against him, Genma, Soun and Ranma go to recover the scroll that describes it. Hilarity Ensues:
      • They find there's now an outdoor female hot spring around the place the scroll was buried, and to get rid of the girls they quickly decide to paint Genma's panda form to make him look like a bear and scare everyone. Genma painted himself white, as white bears are the biggest and scariest of all bears... Much to Ranma and Soun's bemusement, as there's no white bear in the wilderness in Japan. The girls chase them off immediately.
      • After much shenanigans they recover the scroll, only to see it's written in a cipher they don't know how to read. Their solution? Capture Happosai and have him read it to them. Akane points out how incredibly stupid they've been just in time for Happosai to realize he has forgotten that cypher.
    • During the Ultimate Weakness Moxibustion Arc, Cologne teaches Ranma the Hiryu Shotenha to defeat Happosai, knowing that, even if it requires the opponent to unleash their fighting spirit and follow the user in a spiral path to be used, it's incredibly powerful. Thing is, about a century before she had used it on Happosai in a fit of anger, and Happosai isn't stupid enough to fall for it again.
    • When the Tendo engagement is switched to Nabiki, the greedy girl decides to deal with the other fiancees by starting a bidding war to keep them busy and possibly make some money. Problem is, one of the fiancees is Shampoo. Nabiki can barely ensnare Ukyo and Kodachi in the bidding war that Shampoo arrives and announces her presence by trying to kill her before convincing the others to help her by simply stating "If Nabiki dead, then Ranma is for free!". Nabiki very nearly died that day.
  • In Bokurano, Junji "Katari" Karita decides to pretend to be a Zearth pilot in order to delay or prevent his parents' divorce. In order to "prove" this, he plans on doing a victory dance at the end of the next battle, even though he can't control the robot. Ushiro and Machi lampshade this, noting that he must have assumed the actual pilots would have played along.
  • In Gundam Build Divers episode 19, Rose of team Hyakki falls into this trope repeatedly. At the first checkpoint of the Nadeshiko-athlon, when asked to build a Gunpla to complete the checkpoint, she chooses a Master Grade Sazabi Ver. Ka., noted for its complexity, because it's one of her favorites and always wanted one. Emilia of team Avalon nearly falls for it as well with choosing the Master Grade G-Armor, but opts for the much faster Haropla build, which all the other racers choose. At the third checkpoint, Rose chooses a Neue Ziel to go up against Emilia's AGE-1 Titus. However, her match is a Puppet Sumo fight and because her Gunpla has no legs, large shoulders and a massive binder tail, her Gunpla falls over, allowing everyone to beat her. The final choice has her deciding that the wrecked vehicles meant that everyone should use their Gunpla to win the race, which ends up nearly disqualifying everyone.
  • Kaguya-sama: Love Is War: Ishigami joined the cheer team to improve his demeanor, on the grounds that people on the cheer team always seem happy. It was only after he showed up at the first meeting that he realized the flaw in his logic, the only people who join the cheer team are those that are already too happy with their lives. Subverted in that it does give him a more positive outlook, just not in the way he envisioned.
  • In Goddess Creation System Xiaxi assumed she'd be whisked out of the feudal Chinese world she found herself in as soon as Mingluan fell for her, so she poisons herself and makes it look like Mingyi first blackmailed her and then did the poisoning to earn back his trust after he catches her faking concern for him. It works, but then the mission continues and she's still poisoned.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ, Judau needs help so Iino decides to join him in the Zeta Gundam. However, the Zeta lost its head during the fight with the Hamma-Hamma, so Iino attaches a Zaku II head onto the Zeta and launches in the "Zeta-Zaku". To Iino's horror, he realizes that the Zaku II's head, being nearly 10 years out of date, has poor visibility due to it being built long before the advent of the 360 degree Panoramic Cockpit.

    Asian Animation 
  • The Lamput episode "Houdini" has the docs coming up with plans to catch Lamput that all fall flat. First, they trap him in a cage, but Lamput is small enough to pass through the gaps in the cage. Then, they lock him in a chest, only for Lamput to morph into a key to free himself. After that they stuff him into a big sack, but Lamput shapeshifts into a pair of scissors and cuts through the sack. It's only when they trap Lamput in a big jar that the docs finally have him... but even then Lamput seemingly dies of suffocation due to the jar lacking air holes, only for him to turn out fine once he's out of the jar.

  • 1973's The Watergate Comedy Hour starts with President Nixon doing a press conference à la The Tonight Show. When a reporter gets too close for comfort asking about the Watergate break-in, Nixon confers with his second banana, "Doc" Kissinger:
    Nixon: looks like I'm up against it. What do we do?
    Doc: Well, Mein Herr, it looks like we need a fall guy.
    Nixon: But I've used up so many already.
    Doc: We need someone in the public interest. Someone close to you, yet someone they would never suspect.
    Nixon: Yes, but who?
    Doc: Your wife Pat.
    Nixon: My wife Pat?! You can't be serious. You don't think for a moment that I would ever entertain the thought of sacrificing someone near and dear to me for the sake of political expediency. No, no. There must be someone else.
    Doc: Only you.
    Nixon: [after a beat] Uh, it can now be revealed that my wife Pat conceived and led the Watergate affair. I am truly shocked and saddened. Of course, I had no prior knowledge of this illegal act—for you see, Pat and I have never spoken.
  • Two drunks are fishing when one drags up a Genie in a Bottle, who is ready to grant him one wish. He wishes for the ocean to turn into beer, which is granted. As he looks ecstatically at his companion, he gets slapped upside the head and is told: "You idiot, now we have to piss in the boat!"

    Comic Books 
  • In the climax of Northwest Passage, Montglave reveals critical information to Simon in the hopes of permanently turning him against his father, Charles Lord. The information is that Simon's parentage is a Luke, I Might Be Your Father situation since Montglave raped Simon's mother at the time of conception. Unsurprisingly, Simon takes a rather dim view of this knowledge and promptly blows Montglave's brains out.
  • During James Robinson's Fantastic Four run, the Quiet Man kicks off a massive plot to turn the public on the FF, aided by the Psycho Man. The Quiet Man plans to open portals to other worlds to flood Earth with demons and alternate heroes and then be seen as the big hero himself by shutting the portals down. Reed tells him to go right ahead and do it...and he can't. As the Quiet Man stands stunned, Reed points out that it may not have been the best idea to hand ultimate power over two worlds to THE PSYCHO MAN.
  • Batman villain Warren "Great White Shark" White successfully pleaded insanity to escape embezzlement charges. He was sent to Arkham and wound up at the mercy of Gotham's worst psychopaths. Oops.
    • During the famous "A Death in the Family" storyline from 1988, the Jason Todd Robin is betrayed to the Joker by his own mother, who is caught up in one of the Joker's criminal schemes. The Joker proceeds to beat Robin nearly to death with a crowbar, only to have Todd's mother ask "What is Batman going to do when he discovers what you've done to his little friend?" Joker's reply is a sullen and subdued "Haven't thought of that....".
  • Doctor Octopus's plan in the Spider-Man storyline Ends of the Earth. With the evil doc dying, Doc Ock plans to flash-fry the Earth, leaving approximately .08 percent of humanity to live on and remember him as the greatest monster that ever lived. However, Spidey points out a glaring flaw in this plan: they'll live. Brain dead, their brains flash-fried, too. Doc Ock flips.
  • Supergirl: Some of her adventures provide good examples:
    • In Red Daughter of Krypton, Supergirl used her heat vision on a blood maelstrom conjured by Atrocitus, and accidentally burned half city down instead of destroying the maelstrom.
    • In Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade, villain Belinda Zee uses her "Superior Vision" on Streaky (Supergirl's pet cat), and accidentally turns him into a sabertooth tiger.
      Superior Girl: That was not my best plan.
    • In Supergirl Volume 5 #3 Supergirl decides to fight Lex Luthor alone. Quickly she realizes her plan is not a brilliant one.
      Supergirl: Two seconds and I know. I'm in way over my head.
    • In Supergirl #20 — a tie-in to the reviled Amazons Attack storyline — she and Wonder Girl hijack Air Force One because they think they could end the war by making the President sit down in the same room with the Amazon Queen. When things went south very, very quickly she realized that it was a big mistake.
    • In Supergirl Annual #2, Brainiac 5 was analyzing how a mystical statue reacted to different kinds of energy, and he accidentally turned it into a kind of super-bomb. He admitted that it was not a very good plan.
      Brainiac 5: It’s a ten-thousand-year-old Brocian hunting statue! Rumored by natives to have "magical" properties when struck by lightning, so I was analyzing its reception to other kinds of energy!
      Supergirl: Okay! So what did you hit it with?
      Brainiac-5: Uh, I opened the timestream and bombarded it with chronon energy.
      Supergirl: WHAT?
      Brainiac-5: Obviously that wasn't the best of my ideas!
      Supergirl: So what's it doing now?
      Brainiac-5: Based on my readings, I'm pretty sure I just created a magical time bomb. And if my calculations are correct, we've got less than four seconds to live.
  • Superman:
    • Krypton No More, super-villain Protector wants to defeat Superman... so he bursts into the Fortress of Solitude and attacks both Superman and Supergirl. He gets his butt royally kicked and has to run away at the first opportunity.
    • In War World:
      • Alien overlord Mongul blackmails Superman into retrieving a special key. Superman intended to play along, retrieve the Key and then try to thwart Mongul. Unfortunately, Superman had no plan ready to handle him.
      • When Supergirl and Superman face up to the super-weapon Warworld, Superman decides to play decoy to test Warworld's missiles' power. Right before being hit by one of them, Superman realizes that massive thing can kill him.
  • In one issue of the Batman: The Brave and the Bold comic, Nightwing leads the Robins from other points in time (Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown, Damian Wayne and Carrie Kelly) to one of Ra's al Ghul's bases in order to use a Lazarus Pit to save Batman's life. When they encounter the League of Assassins, Damian leaps out, demanding that they stand down as is his birthright as an al Ghul. The assassins look at each other, then charge at the Robins. Damian then remembers that he's not born yet.
  • In an episode of Bruchbach Serenade, Rick has just finished his summer job at city hall. In order to maximize his earnings, he had made the mayor give a speech that made fun of the audience and incorporated Nazi phrases, so he could sell the audience rotten tomatoes. Now the people in charge refuse to give Rick a certificate for the job.
  • Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog: At the end of the Mega Man crossover, Eggman is so outraged that Sonic has ruined his plans for the Super Genesis Wave that he deliberately interferes with Sonic's Reset Button attempt, declaring that he would rather let reality be destroyed than let Sonic restore it to the way it was. Not only does his interference directly result in a Cosmic Retcon, but the residual energy left behind by the Super Genesis Wave ends up ripping the planet Mobius apart and awakening Dark Gaia, leading into a Sonic Unleashed adaptation. With all of this, Eggman admits that his actions were "a bit hasty."
  • In Runaways, during their first battle against Excelsior, Chase Stein decides to create a distraction by attacking with the Leapfrog's lasers...which quickly drains the Leapfrog's batteries, forcing the Runaways to flee with their highly distinctive vehicle fully exposed (because without battery power, they can't activate the vehicle's stealth mode) making it easy for Excelsior to track them down. Later in the same arc, Chase makes a similar mistake by ripping out one of the lasers to use it against a villain. Since the laser is no longer hooked up a power source...
  • During the Civil War arc, Jennifer Walters was outed as She-Hulk (again) by a New Warriors hate site. On the way into her office through an angry mob to help some former New Warriors keep their identities hidden from the public, one of the mob recognized her, grabbing her by the arm and ripping her shirt, proudly exclaiming "I've got She-Hulk!" Jen shifted and hoisted the guy up by his lapels.
    She-Hulk: Alright, you've got She-Hulk! Now what?!
    Angry Citizen: I...uh...guess I didn't think this through...
  • Magica DeSpell in at least two Don Rosa stories, involving her plan to steal Scrooge's #1 Dime, which (as the first money earned by the world's richest man [or duck, whichever]) is the final ingredient in a Midas Touch amulet.
    • In "Of Ducks, Dimes and Destinies", Magica travels back to the day Scrooge earned his #1 Dime because she thinks it'll be easier to steal it back then. She gets the dime before Scrooge does- before realizing that, now that she stole it, it is no longer the first money earned by the world's richest man.
    • In "A Little Something Special", Magica teams up with the Beagle Boys and Flintheart Glomgold because she sees no overlap in their goals: she wants Scrooge's #1 Dime; the Beagle Boys want the rest of his money; and Flintheart Glomgold just wants to drive Scrooge into poverty and steal his title as the world's richest duck. As Scrooge later points out, his first dime will be of no use for Magica once he's broke, since he will no longer be the world's richest man.
      • Subverted in the DuckTales (1987) episode "Duck to the Future" where Magica sends Scrooge 40 years into the future. She seizes his number one dime and his entire fortune.
  • At the end of the first arc of the Powerpuff Girls comic by IDW Publishing, Mojo Jojo plans to hide in a space pod for several months until he's ready to return to Townsville. He then realizes that he forgot to install a bathroom, which leads to him actually saying that he didn't think this through.
  • Ghost Rider villain Blackout is a half-demon murderer who, in addition to his Casting a Shadow powers, had metal fangs implanted in his jaws to cultivate a vampiric look. In an early encounter with the Ghost Rider, he tried to bite him. Ghost Rider is a flaming skeleton, and the attempt ended with Blackout getting his face badly burnt.
  • Subverted in Paperinik New Adventures with the Evronian's master plan to defeat Xadhoom and turn her into a eternal power source for their empire, as they would have to keep her trapped long enough for the Entropiothron to work and Xadhoom is a Physical Goddess who wants them all dead... Except they know she's a mutated Xerbian who hates them for destroying her homeworld and they're using all the survivors as hostages to force her to comply. Then Double Subverted when the Evronian Emperor realizes they've grossly underestimated the fact Xadhoom is the greatest genius of an entire world of scientists with extreme control on her power means she has the mental strength, self-control and willpower to resist the Entropiothron's attempts at making her explode, and then again when the Xerbian hostages, including the finest minds of a planet of scientists who had years to study how to reverse the effects of Coolflamization (an emotion-draining process that turns the victim into a mindless slave), do just that on every single Coolflame on Evron's Planet Spaceship, the end result being that there's now nothing to keep Xadhoom compliant. That was the last day of the Evronian Empire.
  • Superman villain Doomsday was created through this - his creator, the scientist Bertron, sought to make the Ultimate Life Form and spent three decades constantly murdering a baby and having it cloned over and over again. He honestly had no idea what to do when he actually survived to reach that level. Or the fact that its deaths were genetically imprinted into him and he sought revenge.
  • The undoing of many Diabolik one-shot villains, as their plans tend to have a flaw that Diabolik or Ginko can exploit. Case in point, the copycat who recycled Diabolik's plans and had them executed by lesser thieves: while he had planned for Diabolik to track him down planning to kill him he completely forgot about his accomplice and lover Eva Kant (who, while he was gloating he was about to get rid of Diabolik and take his place, had snuck behind him with some poisoned needles), or that Diabolik rarely reuses old plans because next time Ginko will be ready (he had got away so far because the targets weren't worth of Diabolik, but after establishing the existence of the copycat Ginko was preparing for him).
  • In the Siege miniseries of Secret Wars (2015), Lady Kate Bishop from the 1600s deliberately gets arrested so she can be sent to the wall and join the Watch for adventures. She later gets hit by a magically-induced epiphany, realising that she's a girl with pointy sticks and she's facing terrible armies that scare God-Emperor Doom himself. And said armies are coming for her through a now disappeared wall...
  • In Suicide Squad, former NSC agent Tolliver and corrupt Senator Cray try to get Amanda Waller to get Cray re-elected or they'll expose the Squad to the public. After killing Tolliver, Rick Flagg confronts Cray at gunpoint and illustrates how stupid it is to blackmail a team made up of super-villains.
    Flagg: When you set out to blackmail the Squad, Senator, didn't you realize you were trying to coerce thugs and killers? Ruthless people. Didn't it ever occur to you that the easiest way of dealing with you was to kill you?
  • In The Mighty Thor storyline The Ballad of Beta Ray Bill, Mjolnir's worthiness enchantment ended up becoming this - for the longest time, Mjolnir had the worthiness enchantment attached as a way to temper and humble Thor as punishment for his arrogant actions. Never once had Odin the Allfather ever consider that there would be someone else just as worthy, as the alien Beta Ray Bill would soon prove to be when he randomly hit the carrying stick that disguised the hammer against the wall in frustration and transformed into Thor. When Odin brings Bill to Asgard, he's shocked by what he sees.
  • Johan And Pewitt had this happen in the backstory of "The War Of the Seven Fountains". They stumble across an old, abandoned castle in the middle of a wasteland, and that night are met by the ghost of its former king, who explains that the reason the kingdom disintegrated was because of his idiotic use of a wish he had been granted by a local witch as a reward for his wise rule. Unfortunately, while a great ruler in most cases, the king had a love for wine, and the wish happened to be granted during a period where the wine harvest had gone wrong, and there was none to be had for miles. In a spur of the moment, the king wished that the areas seven water springs would produce wine instead of water. You can probably guess why this was a bad idea. When he tried to force the witch to reverse the magic, she instead cursed the springs to dry up completely, leading to the kingdom falling apart and its inhabitants leaving. The king remained behind and died soon after, but was Barred from the Afterlife by his ancestors, and wouldn't be allowed to rest until the springs flow again, which Johan and Pewitt decide to help with (with a surprise assistance from The Smurfs).
    • Fixing the springs turns out to be this as well, as distant relations to the king show up and start fighting over the once again fertile land, the "War" mentioned in the title.
  • Scooby-Doo! Team-Up: Multi-Man can destroy himself to return even more powerful and uses it to threaten the heroes. Shaggy brings up the possibility that such power might wear off and he dies for real and Multi-Man admits he never thought about that.
  • Doomsday Clock hangs the world's biggest lampshade over Watchmen's ending as Lex Luthor is approached by Ozymandias for help in hunting down Dr. Manhattan. As he does, Luthor recounts Ozymandias' plan for world peace which involved creating an "alien" and causing it to destroy New York in a psychic backlash, forcing world peace, then points out that he never stopped to think of what would happen if they found out the truth, telling him "If you're the smartest person in your world, I'd hate to meet the dumbest."
  • One Marvel Adventures series had Iron Man sneaking into Dr. Doom's castle to rescue hostages. He utilized a stealth suit which rendered him invisible, but in order to maintain this, Tony could not include offensive capabilities in the design. Late in the book, Doom reveals that he knew Tony was there from the moment he snuck in and pointed out the sheer stupidity of using an invisibility suit to try to sneak into the base belonging to the arch-enemy of the Invisible Woman (which naturally, have measures to detect this exact thing).
  • In the Italian comic book Lilith, the Roman emperor Commodus tells the time-travelling protagonist that the only reason he trusts his chamberlain Eclectus, his personal trainer Narcissus and his concubine Marcia is that, being freedpeople invise to the Senate, they depend on him for everything. When Lilith's interference makes their plot to assassinate Commodus fail, he's not just angry for their betrayal but, as he says in his angry speech to Marcia, their utter stupidity. Especially Marcia's, as she was Christian and, to please her, Commodus had adopted a policy favorable to them (and indeed, the narrative at the end of that issue specifies that Commodus started a terrifying persecution of the Christians after her execution).
  • Ultimate Marvel: It has its own page
  • The Superman Adventures: In one of the one-page stories featured in Issue #41, Mxyzptlk tries to get around the saying his name backwards issue by pulling Superman into his dimension instead of going into Superman's. Superman simply says "Namrepus" twice and goes back home. Mxy's girlfriend even comments that he's "really got to start thinking these plans out better".

    Comic Strips 
  • Dilbert:
    • This strip has someone order Dogbert to bribe an Elbonian leader and also get rid of any evidence directing the crime to their company. Dogbert replies that it can only be possible by bribing and killing the Elbonian leader at the same time. And do the CEO first...
    • In this one, the CEO announces Employee Fitness Month and says whoever loses the most weight will get a week's paid vacation. He likely shouldn't have given them a three-week warning before the first weigh-in...
  • Calvin and Hobbes: Calvin is quite prone to this. Of course, he is six years old.
    • In one comic, Calvin creates "the world's biggest snowball" and comments that he can't wait to throw it at somebody (Susie)...until Hobbes asks him how he's going to pick it up.
    • In one arc, Calvin's attempt to lock his babysitter out of the house succeeds. However, he doesn't take into account what would happen when his parents get back home or how much trouble he would get in.
    • In one comic, Calvin ties a water balloon to a string that's tied to a tree branch, so that if the water balloon misses, it'll hit the target as it swings back. It misses Susie, but as it swings back, she simply catches the balloon, takes it off the string, and throws it at Calvin.
    • One arc has Calvin time-travel two hours into the future to pick up a homework assignment when it was done. When he gets there, he finds out that his future self didn't have the story, since he went to the future instead of writing it. Both Calvins then decide to go strong-arm the Calvin from 1 hour into the future (from Past!Calvin's perspective) into writing the story but are thwarted when he points out that since they're the same person, whatever they do to him, they're also going to do to themselves.
    • In another arc, Calvin decides that he refuses to inherit Earth (as it's too polluted) and he's leaving. Hobbes then asks him where he planned to go.
      Calvin: You know, sometimes you're a real load to have around.
    • In one strip, Calvin's mom gives him the all-too-common parental threat that making faces too often would cause his face to freeze that way. She should have known better than to try that with Calvin. It actually encouraged him to do it more.
  • Garfield:
    • Garfield once caught a bird and attempted to throw it up in the air and catch it in his mouth, completely forgetting that birds can fly.
    • When one of Garfield's shows is interrupted for breaking news, he calls a television station to give them a piece of his mind. The plan goes sour when he forgets that all he can say is "Meow".
    • In a similar strip, Garfield hears about a radio station contest offering a new house for the first caller to answer a question. When he discovers that "Meow" is the answer, he gets through and wins the prize. Garfield is thrilled...until he finds that he has to give his name and address over the phone as well.
      Announcer: Uh, and how do you spell your name, Mr. AAARRRGGHH?
    • Two alien snowmen invade Earth and melt before finishing their threat to "puny Earthling" Garfield.
      Garfield: Who schedules your invasions?
      Alien: Oh, shut up.
  • In the Zits comic seen here, Jeremy's parents buy a "teen tracker" app, forgetting, apparently, that they don't know jack about how to use them, and have to ask Jeremy to activate it.
  • Bucky in Get Fuzzy has an obsession with eating chickens and monkeys, and an arrogance to match. Multiple story arcs have Rob get sick of Bucky's arrogance and set up "meetings" with said animals. The results predictably end badly for Bucky, who had no idea what to do once faced with - what he later claimed wasn't even a real chicken.

    Fan Works 
  • Dragon Ball Abridged:
    • Gohan suddenly realized mid sentence that his decision to challenge Recoome to a fight after Recoome had already wiped the floor with Vegeta, a much more powerful fighter, was a bad idea.
      Gohan: I'm not going to back down. I might be younger than you, smaller than you, weaker than you, and much less experienced, but I learned more about peach farming than yo—I think this was a horrible decision.
      Recoome: Recoome agrees.
    • In Dead Zone Abridged, Garlic Jr's plan was to have his minions kill Kami to avenge his father... then use the Dragon Balls to become immortal.note  After Kami points this out, Garlic is honestly surprised and is glad his minions are "so incompetent".
    • Later on, after becoming immortal, he tries to kill everyone by summoning a portal to the Dead Zone...i.e. probably the only method that could also defeat an immortal like him. When the plot is revealed to be a movie pitched by Krillin, the latter admits he had "written [himself] into a corner with the whole immortality thing".
    • Piccolo dives in front of a blast to save Gohan only to realize too late he had plenty of time to simply push him aside and they'd both survive.
  • Early in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, Mokuba laments his poor foresight upon realizing that using a Bedsheet Ladder generally only works if the sheet is long enough to reach the ground floor. Fortunately for him, he's a cartoon.
  • Invoked Trope in Death Note: The Abridged Series (kpts4tv):
    Light: Wow, a book that drives people crazy when they touch it! [touches the notebook] Death Note? What. is this like an advanced calculus notebook or something? I'm so gonna walk around and touch everyone with this and drive 'em...oh, right. I didn't think this one through.
  • This trope, along with a heap of Insane Troll Logic, is the reason for Akihiko Kayaba's actions in Sword Art Online Abridgedhaving learned that there was a bug that would accidentally kill players when they died, Kayaba panicked as he was afraid this would affect the game's Metacritic score. In his sleep-deprived state, he decided his power trip was the best solution until he could fix it. When Asuna and Kirito call him out on it, he admits being sleep-deprived doesn't do wonders for your mental state.
  • Lampshaded in this Occupy Richie Rich post, where Richie demonstrates a button-activated safe-opening system—and the button is not protected at all.
    "Richie m’boy I don’t think you thought this through very well"
  • In The Reluctant Father Universe, this is one of Xion's character flaws. In the first story, she considers shaking a Pepsi bottle until the lid pops off through carbonation. Ignoring that fact that that's not quite how carbonation works, she doesn't seem to realize how much of a mess this would result in.
  • In A New World, A New Way, this is Arceus' main character flaw.
  • All You Need Is Love: L's plan to expose Light as Kira hinges on Light trying to kill him—but Light doesn't need to kill L. All he has to do is kill Watari and L's system collapses.
  • Voldemort Goes Back To School: In a state of panic, Voldemort creates massive wards on an abandoned classroom door that only Dumbledore or Grindelwald could hope to break in the hopes of avoiding further interactions with Harry and Draco. He realizes the gaping flaw in his plan when he begins to worry that McGonagall might get around his wards if she were to transfigure the door into something else—and, as it is, Harry circumvents the door and all of his carefully-laid warding altogether by dropping in through the window on his broomstick. And because he's so heavily warded the door, he's essentially locked himself in.
  • One of the antagonists of The Nuptialverse story Families is an Immortality Seeker who riled up a huge anti-Princess group and took Twilight Sparkle and Rainbow Dash, among others, hostage in order to force Princess Celestia to divulge the secret of her and Luna's immortality. Celestia's response is to laugh in his face and point out all the holes in his plans, such as having no way to avoid royal retribution after everything was done, almost certainly not having Power Limiters strong enough to hold Twilight, and (accurately) stating Rainbow is useless as a hostage because she would never want Celestia to risk all of Equestria for her sake alone.
  • First Try Series has Sasuke realizes this during his confrontation with Itachi during the Search for Tsunade arc. Namely, Sasuke notes that Itachi used to be in ANBU before becoming a criminal on the run and he's been a Genin for little over six months. Right before he gets hit with a Tsukuyomi he says the trope name verbatim.
  • Neji in The Darkest Light realizes this after he tries to have Hinata "manhandled" by hiring Naruto/Naruichi to give her a message. Not only does Naruichi have an acceptable explanation for what Hiashi walks in on, he also has the receipt saying he was hired by Neji.
  • In Of White Trees And Blue Roses, Rhaegar's abduction of Lyanna blew up spectacularly. Also, the Knight of the Laughing Tree participating in the Tourney of Harrenhal.
  • Oops has this happen for Harry's accidentally-made Horcrux. It gets Harry to brew and drink a luck potion of the "May you live in interesting times" variety by making him think it was a good luck potion. After Harry calls the Horcrux out on not only how messed up his luck usually is but that he's already in Britain during World War II, the Horcrux admits that it didn't think things through—but, in its defense, Harry rarely does either and it is a portion of Harry's soul.
  • Webwork: The Yokai races all fled to the dimension known as the Emptiness in order to escape humanity's growing dominance of Japan. However, the Emptiness was lacking in food, and all the Youkai were too chaotic to coexist without humanity as a common enemy, so they all ended up turning on and feeding off of each other.
    • Jade, now a Jorogumo, puts on a human glamour in order to sneak around San Francisco and recruit minions. However, not only is she out of practice only using two legs, but she chooses to only wear a Badass Longcoat...and nothing else. Her stumbling around half-naked leads to her being repeatedly mistaken for a hooker who's either high or drunk, much to her annoyance.
  • Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness:
    • Early on in Act III, Rason acquires a Holy Lock from Heaven and uses it to seal Tsukune's ghoul form away; however, it doesn't occur to him that the Holy Lock was never explicitly made with the intent to seal away a ghoul, let alone one that was infused with massive amounts of energy from Kokoa's overcharge, until after it's revealed that the chain is cracking under the strain of Tsukune's full power.
    • In Act III, Gin runs to Dark and convinces him to hide him after stealing Apoch's underwear, apparently forgetting that Dark is a well-known Wife-Basher Basher. As soon as Dark finds out, however, he throws him to Apoch and Astreal.
    • In Act III chapter 16, after the group is stated to be heroes who fought off Fairy Tale, Kokoa and Felucia proceed to brag to the other students that they'll protect the school, whipping the crowd into a big frenzy:
    Kokoa: I didn't think they'd go this crazy.
    Kurumu: More like "didn't think!"
    • In Act III, it's revealed that Kiria planned to harness Tsukune's ghoul as part of his Evil Plan. At the very end of the fic, Tsukune deliberately takes off the Holy Lock and unleashes the ghoul, which promptly pounces on Kiria and tears him into Ludicrous Gibs with his bare hands; obviously, Kiria never once considered the possibility that the ghoul would do just that.
    • Throughout Act IV, Tsukune and co. expect Hokuto to pull off a full-scale attack on Yokai Academy to capture Moka, as per what happened in an Alternate Timeline. However, they fail to consider the fact that Luna and Falla, two Time Masters, were not present in said Alternate Timeline, and are completely unprepared when Hokuto, who did take Luna and Falla's presence into account, goes with a Divide and Conquer tactic instead by holding Tsukune's family hostage.
    • In Act VI chapter 22, to deal the finishing blow to a monster Ceal had grounded, Fang Fang summons a phoenix, forgetting that he's doing so in the middle of his own backyard, the Phoenix is powerful enough to incinerate his entire compound, and there are several people right in the middle of its blast radius. When Ceal points this out, Fang Fang's only response is a sheepish "Oh, right."
    • In Act VI chapter 51, Falla uses her time powers to cheat at Hex's game, forgetting that Hex is a Reality Warper and thus would easily be able to tell. Hex even mockingly asks her if she actually thought he'd fall for it.
  • In Big Human on Campus, very few people have the ability to form a plan beyond 'Find target. Beat target up. ???. Goals achieved.'. And the one plan that could actually be considered a plan in the first place, Oyakata and Ruby's Garigari and Hanabake army, has this in two ways:
    • First, the Hanabake and Garigari plants they use as soldiers are terrible for the environment- they're invasive species and the Hanabake explicitly need immense amounts of nutrients drawn from the soil. For people whose stated intent is to get revenge on humans for despoiling the environment and turning Witch's Knoll into a garbage dump, they're doing a very good job of despoiling Witch's Knoll to the point where it could probably only be used for a garbage dump anyways themselves.
    • As pointed out by the Shadow Cat and later Tsukune, their plan relies on all their targets being civilians unable to defend themselves against Hanabake, and the Japanese Military (along with the rest of the world) just leaving an entire city to die to what's essentially a magical terrorist attack without attempting to stop it or taking revenge on the perpetrators.
  • In the Neon Genesis Evangelion Gag Dub Evangelion: ReDeath, Kaji is trying to get to the bottom of what Gendo is up to. It's something to do with the Prince song "1999" being played after the year 1999 to attain ultimate cosmic pimp power, but Kaji needs to know more, so...
    Kaji: I found the original CD of Prince's Greatest Hits, so I gave Gendo the disc he needed so I could discover the truth behind his plans.
    Misato: But you gave him the disc!
    Kaji: Yeah, it was the only way I could get close enough to the truth!
    Misato: But you gave him the disc.
    Kaji: Aw, crap!
    [cue Third Impact and Ritsuko in her underwear]
  • The Nighthawk Chronicles: Raven finally works up the courage to tell admitted demon-hunter Xander that she's half-demon, hoping their friendship will keep him from killing her on principle. Xander reminds her that they're all cartoon characters where he's from—he already knew she was Trigon's daughter.
  • In the The Legend of Zelda fic Blood and Spirit, after Zelda calls her out on making Link hide his corruption by Majora from her, especially since said corruption nearly caused him to kill Zelda, Terminus admits that it didn't occur to her at the time that Majora would try to have Zelda killed.
  • Origin Story: After watching Alex Harris toss around The Avengers like they were dolls, several SHIELD agents try to dogpile her. It doesn't work out for them at all.
  • The Demesne Of The Reluctant Twilight Sparkle: Twilight has to get a lot of gold from the Ponyville train depot to her new royal bank across town, preferably in secret to avoid looters, and doing it by cartload takes uncomfortably long. Her solution? Telekinetically use the gold bars to construct extra tracks to the bank and levitate the train along them, picking them back up as they go. Sensible enough except that it goes through the middle of town, so secrecy is right out.
  • In Sekirei? Is that some new species of little sister?, a random Muggle kicks the back of Naruto's seat and tells him and Xanna to shut up. Even if the two weren't gods, both are over six and a half feet tall, have claws and fangs, and Naruto's built like a damn bear. Said muggle realizes his mistake the moment they stand up and tower over him.
  • In The Fifth Act Cloud tends to make hasty decisions without any good plans. He shows up on the Wutai Front but didn't bother to check if Sephiroth was even there, he tries to bribe terrorists but without an advocate he goes nowhere, he joins Shinra but has no plan to get at Hojo, etc etc.
    • Yuffie, who randomly wanders into dangerous situations and continuously insults and steals the materia of powerful Shinra SOLIDERS. It's a good thing everyone is so indulgent with her due to her youth.
  • In The Promise Hinata tries to break up Naruto and Hanabi by introducing legislation that requires Naruto have children by multiple women (so his descendants can defeat Kaguya if she ever returns) in order for him to become Hokage. She believes that either they'll agree, causing Hanabi to resent Naruto and break up with him or they won't agree, causing Naruto to resent Hanabi for destroying his dream and they'll break up. She never once considers that Hanabi would be willing to share or that Naruto would love Hanabi enough to happily give up his dream for her, as evidenced by her shock when Naruto tells her to "go to Hell".
  • Konohamaru learns the flaw in his plan to defeat his grandfather and become Hokage in A Drop of Poison when Naruto asks him what's to stop someone else from defeating him and becoming Hokage immediately afterwards?
  • Andrew realizes he forgot a few steps in his plan to expose Xander as Ranma Saotome in Halloween and a Half by dousing him with cold water after a very angry (and very female) Xander demands to know what the hell he's doing.
  • When Saito suggests someone might be using "sleep potions" to continue poisoning Tabitha's mother in Soldier of Zero, one of the servants angrily declares that she taste tests everything sent to her first and takes a swig of said potion. She has just enough time to state she probably didn't think that through before she passes out.
  • In Hero System when Xander, Willow, and Jesse hop into the Harry Potter universe, Willow chooses a higher difficulty to earn them more points and so she can play as Tonks while still being in the same year as Xander and Jesse. Unfortunately, Jesse is playing Harry Potter and the higher difficulty made his life even worse than canon, to her immense regret.
  • In The Infinite Loops Twilight Sparkle invokes this when she's as an alien on earth in an X-Com Loop and wants to disarm the public with adorableness. "So in the words of friendly aliens from your fictional works live long and..." looks at her raised hoof, "Huh? Didn't think this one through."
  • In Guardian, teenage Lulu manages to distract a fiend from Yuna by chunking her moogle doll at its head... whereupon it turns its attention to her. Thankfully, Kimahri shows up a couple of panels later.
  • A recurring theme in For Love Of Magic is Harry Potter taking some action and realizing later he didn't think things through enough. Runes that age him faster also kick-start his libido, causing him to fantasize about his foster mother, and never stop aging him which leaves him looking roughly seventeen when he's thirteen. A rune designed to hide his mind in darkness from legilmency leaves him open to being corrupted by said darkness after he murders Peter Pettigrew. The latter is particularly dangerous as it nearly turns Harry into a dementor.
    • A narrowly averted example comes when Harry decides to crowdsource an arithmancy problem by posting it online as a mathematics problem. While he does get a solution, someone also warns him that the muggle government is aware of magic and they keep their eye out for such things, which can land him in very hot water.
  • Lampshaded in A Teacher's Glory when Orochimaru wonders after the fact why exactly he ordered a team of Sound genin to kill Sasuke. Even if they succeed, they might damage Sasuke's eyes.
  • Two examples in Mortal Kombat Vs Marvel Universe in regards to The Exiled Kombatants:
  • In with the Old, Out with the New has Kano rape Cassie after she wins a fight for her freedom. Unfortunately for him, Sonya goes apeshit on him in their final battle.
  • The Macross Delta fanfic How Roid's Plan Could Have Backfired Horribly is a series of one-shots that this actually happened in canon by having one of the many holes in Roid's plan backfire, starting with Windermere's triumphal broadcast of Heinz's coronation and their claim to be the heirs of Protoculture be intercepted by someone who should never hear such a claim: a Zentraedi Main Fleet, whose commander remembers the time the Zentraedi were the Protoculture's Slave Mooks, and reacted by Orbital Bombardment with tens of thousands of heavy beam converging cannons, plus billions of smaller but still extremely powerful guns, until the planet Windermere shattered. Per Word of God, the only time the backfire wasn't caused by this trope is the one of chapter 6, as he could have had no idea that the Protodeviln felt in debt with the NUNS and would come to the rescue when their enemy started messing with the Fold
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic one-shot How to Kidnap a Princess, Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie want to show Twilight just how lax her castle's security is by kidnapping her. Apparently it never crossed their minds that despite their good intentions, kidnapping a Princess is considered high treason and that both Princess Celestia and Princess Luna would elect to hunt them down personally with a full regiment of the Royal Guard in tow.
  • The Vain Rose's Garden:
    • Urd puts on a strip show for some of Keiichi's friends but keeps her crotch covered with a pasty that she used some stuff she found to keep on. She later learns she used super glue.
    • In a later chapter, a demon tries to cause a scandal by sending Tyr pictures of his wife Ansuz kissing another man. Not only was Tyr fully aware of it (the two have an open relationship), but he and Ansuz sit down and discuss their recent relationship problems.
    • During a game of strip volleyball, Ansuz takes off her top at one point. When the crowd falls silent, she asks what the problem is and one of the spectators is foolish enough to declare it's not very exciting since she's nowhere near as busty as the other players. She throws the volleyball into his groin as payback.
  • Dead or Alive 4: The Devil Factor: Helena's endgame after taking down the corrupt members of DOATEC is to step down as President and then have her half-sister Kokoro inherit the company, believing such a sweet and all-loving girl will be able to make the company honest again. When Dante learns about this, he is annoyed and points out the flaws in this plan. As a sheltered and naive teenage girl, Kokoro has no business training or experience, and likely wouldn't be interested in running a company anyway.
  • In Enter the Dragon, after Harry Potter becomes a dragon and starts living in a cave near the Forbidden Forest at Hogwarts, the nearby centaur tribe offer one of their maidens as a sacrifice to appease the Great Wyrm. Months later, said centaur maiden's father Bane hears his daughter is alive and that the Great Wyrm can change into a small human child. When he sees his daughter being ridden "like a common mule" by a human child, he angrily attacks and is promptly reminded that said child is really a dragon.
  • When Harry confronts Dumbledore in What Was Your Plan? over him being a Manipulative Bastard who's controlled every aspect of Harry's life in order to eventually kill him, Dumbledore calmly takes apart his claim. Such a plan is needlessly convoluted compared to simply killing Harry from the start, and if needs to die at a specific point in time, then clearly someone who's managed to manipulate so much of Harry's life would have contingencies in place in case Harry ever found out. In other words, either Harry's wrong and looks rather foolish or he's right and there's nothing he can do about it. Harry was right.
  • Urd attacking Ranma Saotome for being rude in Hell Is a Martial Artist is shown to be a colossal mistake on her part. Not only is attacking a mortal (with deadly force no less) for any reason but self-defense a very serious crime in Heaven, but interfering with a mortal for reasons other than wish granting means said mortal is now fair game for both sides. And unfortunately for Urd, Hild is rather interested in the young martial artist.
  • In Robb Returns, Illyrio Mopatis realizes too late that giving Viserys a false dragon egg may not have been the best idea.
  • In Child of the Storm, this is a running problem with Harry, especially since it's usually combined with a habit of not informing people about what he's up to. His strategy for the first book, and the first part of the sequel, is to charge into trouble to help whoever needs helping, then Indy Ploy his way out. His raw power, knack for the Indy Ploy and increasingly, Xanatos Speed Chess, as well as a number of significantly powerful allies, usually get him out of trouble. Then, during the Forever Red arc, it backfires spectacularly, leading to a brutal Trauma Conga Line. Afterwards, while he's still prone to charging in, thanks to being Taught by Experience and Bucky's patient mentoring, he'll stop for long enough to get relevant information, equipment, back-up, and a half-decent plan.
  • In This Bites!, a dramatic example occurs when Cross finds a way to potentially save Merry by having her eat a Devil Fruit. Namely, he has no idea how to let her eat it. Fortunately, a solution is presented.
  • As she finally figures out how to switch places with objects in Dodging Prison and Stealing Witches, Ginny unthinkingly casts the spell only to realize a moment too late she's about to switch places with an egg on a shelf in a muggle store.
    • Dumbledore planting a book on dark magic as part of his attempt to frame Harry for murder fails because the defense notes the publication number states it was printed less than three weeks before Harry allegedly wandlessly cast a spell in the book. According to an expert, learning to cast a spell wandlessly in six weeks is an impressive time, with ten weeks being average; it's outright impossible to manage in the time between when the book was printed and when Harry allegedly cast the spell.
  • Palpatine, in an attempt to learn more of Ranma's secrets in A Horse for the Force subtly convinces some of Padme's handmaidens to watch Ranma spar with Obi-wan and Kit Fisto and record it. Unfortunately, he didn't consider that healthy young women like them would be more interested in filming the sweaty muscular men's physiques than recording the actual spar.
  • Played for Laughs in A Different Path when Tier Harribel releases her resurrection so she can properly kiss Ichigo. Unfortunately for both of them, she forgets they're in an underground cave and her release summons a massive wave of water.
    • Earlier Ichigo tried to kiss Tier but forgot about her mask and promptly cut his lip on its teeth.
  • In Common Sense, Seymour is smart enough to figure out that Jessie challenging Ash and co. to a battle was just a diversion and sneaks ahead to save the Moon Stone alone. Unfortunately, he wasn't smart enough to realize that he didn't have a plan to get it back without the help of a Trainer and ends up getting tied up.
  • Played for Drama in Dragon Knight when Xander is promised that once he brings peace to the land, he'll be returned home to Sunnydale. Xander always assumed he'd have to visit the dragon who brought him there to return but instead he's instantly transported back when his quest is complete, leaving behind his wife and son.
    • A Played for Laughs example occurs later when Buffy takes Alexander's wife Audrey aside to explain tampons to her, claiming that there's "things about this time and place he can't explain to her". Alexander irritably remarks that he's a married man with a son, not some blushing teenager too embarrassed to discuss periods; he knows how his wife handles them in the past and how they're handled in the future.
    • Audrey of all people is the one to explain to Willow why her surprise birthday party plan for Buffy was a horrible idea. While barely knowing Buffy personally, Audrey knows she's a warrior like her own husband (Ale)Xander, and notes that leading him to a darkened room and having a bunch of people jump out and yell after warning him of a demon attack would end in the surpriser's very quick demise.
  • Played for Laughs and Played for Drama in Bad Idea depending on the chapter. The story focuses on deconstructing Fandom-Specific Plot that pop up in the Young Justice fandom.
  • Sylvanas Windrunner possesses a comatose noblewoman in Lady and King to infiltrate Stormwind and learn their military secrets. During an attempted assassination against her, a young adventurer takes a blow meant for Sylvanas but is fatally poisoned. Just before he loses consciousness to the seemingly incurable poison, Sylvanas reveals her true identity. When an offhand comment by her causes the lad to be sent to the druids and cured, she realizes how badly she's jeopardized her mission; fortunately, the extensive damage cost the adventurer the last several weeks of his memory.
    • Another noblewoman reveals at a state dinner that the woman Sylvanas is possessing is actually half-elf in an attempt to sway King Wrynn away from her. Sylvanas calmly points out that not only would he obviously already know from his own spies, but that Varian considers a Blood Elf to be one of his best friends, so the noblewoman revealing such only implies she's trying to paint the king as both ignorant and bigoted.
  • Bruce Wayne's plan to introduce himself to Barry Allen doesn't go well in Total Stranger in the Dark when Barry responds to the stranger who's broken into his home by calling the cops then using his Super Speed to knock Bruce out and tie him out.
  • This is practically Bookworm's trademark in A Better Class of Criminal. The more he uses magic, the more unstable he becomes. But he keeps solving all his problems with magic, and using magic to solve the problems created that way.
  • Some dissidents in How To Train Your Overlord decide to kidnap and "disappear" Hiccup then turn his Battle Harem into sex slaves. Unfortunately for them, they stuff him in a sack and drag him along the ground in the soft mud after several days of rain. As a result, there's a clear trench leading right to them that said Battle Harem follows.
  • Bring Me To Life: In chapter 12, when confronted by Cage and his vampire pack, Dawn claims to be Buffy herself, hoping that Buffy's reputation as the Slayer will be enough to scare them off. While many members of Cage's pack are understandably freaked out, Cage himself decides to try and kill "Buffy" for the Villain Cred, something Dawn failed to consider would happen.
  • In Xendra, Willow works out that the Watcher's Council is under a magical contract and loudly announces said fact to members of the Council, breaking the contract. Afterwards, she admits to knowing that magical contracts have penalty clauses, but never once considers what they might be. If not for Willow being considered a third party, those clauses would have wiped out all descendants of the Watcher's Council who initially agreed to the contract over a thousand years prior which, as Quentin Travers furiously explains, would have resulted in the deaths of roughly half of Europe and North America along with wiping out the Slayer line permanently.
    • Willow's biggest problem can be summed up as being "too clever" as she comes up with an idea and immediately implements it without considering it or telling anyone first, such as replacing several items on a magical ebay with items that explode upon opening. While the items she replaces are only useful in seriously dark magic, Giles and Xander point out that the ones ordering them could very well have innocent victims/sacrifices nearby when they open the containers. That Willow frequently resorts to magic right away also causes problems, such as cratering Xander's yard when Buffy's magic hammer took offense to her trying to lift it with magic.
    • Buffy continuously forgets that her magic troll hammer is only light for her and weighs several hundred pounds for anyone/anything else (Xander's van can barely haul it). She does several thousand dollars worth of damage to Xander's deck when she places her hammer on his picnic table, causing said hammer to smash the table and the deck underneath.
  • RainbowDoubleDash's Lunaverse: The events of "Helping... Hands?" starts because Trixie decides to test an unknown spell from a culture she doesn't understand, using a type of magic she's never used before on a friend of hers a few hours before said friend has an important concert. Naturally, it all goes wrong, and the friend's girlfriend calls Trixie on it.
  • Fate/Harem Antics:
    • Because Irisviel wants Shirou to give her lots of grandkids, she messes with the Holy Grail War system from beyond the grave so that every Servant and Master (besides Shirou) is female so that they will all eventually join Shirou's harem. One of them is Hassan of Serenity, who is so poisonous that she kills her original summoner Zouken when he tries to slap her and then gets Ayako to be her new Master. Just as she is congratulating herself on her plan to get rid of Zouken and get Ayako involved, Kiritsugu points out that if Serenity is that poisonous, then Shirou would get killed if he tried to sleep with her. Irisviel quickly rectifies this by getting Caren to summon Shielder, who can make herself and her allies immune to poison. This then causes another problem because she had to mess with the summon limits to allow Shielder to be summoned and forgot to set them back. Ruler gets summoned because of the rule violation and people hear about the extra summon and decide to try their own summons. Irisviel has to frantically make sure all the new Servants and Masters are female.
    • Kiritsugu did not tell Shirou that he had a sister named Illya because he did not want to burden Shirou with more Survivor's Guilt (Kiritsugu had been separated from Illya and decided to raise Shirou). When they later meet, Illya gets homicidally angry that her brother did not know she existed and attacks. Kiritsugu admits he dropped the ball on that one.
  • A DIC-less SI:
    • Nabiki Tendo tries to take a magical empathy granting ring from Kasumi, all while claiming she's just trying to protect her family, while the latter is wearing said ring. Kasumi lampshades that she can tell that Nabiki doesn't believe a word of what she's saying and just wants the ring.
    • Earlier Ami mentioned that John had something of Haruka's from Crystal Tokyo in his apartment. In the middle of Makoto advising scouting out the situation so they know what's going on, Rei calls Haruka about it and (accidentally) advises/causes the older woman to break into his apartment and steal the magical artifact: his toaster. Makoto immediately lampshades that Rei just caused things to escalate into a major disaster.
  • In the Worm fanfic Trump Card, the Empire Eighty-Eight kidnap Taylor Hebert to use as bait for the new cape Hax, who's given them some trouble. To ensure that Hax doesn't simply teleport away with their hostage, they surround her with their capes. What they don't know is that Taylor not only is Hax, but her power is to copy the powers of nearby capes ...
  • In Ranma: Happenstance Gone Right, Genma, in the attempt of getting him to apologize to Akane and come back to the dojo, strips Ranma of his status as heir of the Saotome School of Anything Goes and gives it to Ryoga, expecting Ranma to challenge Ryoga for the status at Genma's conditions, lose due Ryoga being trained specifically to defeat Ranma, and be forced to "show the proper respect to his master". It backfires royally due him not considering a number of things:
    • One of the reasons Genma went for his plan was that Ranma had grown rather close to Ukyo and Shampoo-enough he actually talked Shampoo's grandmother before issuing his challenge. She quickly figured that Genma would train Ryoga to take advantage of Ranma's fighting style and trained him to completely screw them over it, and had the challenge includ the condition that if he won he would have the right to challenge his father for his spot in the school.
    • Anticipating that Ranma may win anyway, Genma had brought a cat just in case, and when Ranma gained the upper hand he threw it at him. By the match's rules that meant Ryoga was automatically defeated-and then the situation with the cat was neglected long enough it triggered the Neko Ken, and Ranma mauled both Genma and Ryoga.
    • Right after Ranma left, Happosai shows up and has everyone tell him what happened. A good laughter later, Happosai reminds everyone that Ranma is his heir, so even if Ryoga had won Ranma would have not owed any respect to Genma. He then bans Genma from taking advantage of Ranma's fear of cats in their challenge to punish him for his stupidity.
  • Nick Fury in A Child Avenged wanted to get Harry Potter to join the Avengers Initiative. When Harry refused, Fury decided to kidnap his foster son in an attempt to get Harry to come to them long enough to convince him to join. Instead Harry goes full Papa Wolf and warns Fury that if he does that again, Harry will make him watch as he kills every agent in SHIELD.
  • The Raven's Plan opens with the last survivors of Westeros making a desperate Last Stand against the Night King's forces, to buy time for Bran and Melisandre to enact a ritual to send all their minds back in time in order to try and avert the events that led to the wars which weakened Westeros just before the Second Long Night began. This ritual requires blood sacrifices, which are provided by Sansa, Tyrion and Daenerys, and works just fine. However, no one, not even the nigh-omniscient Bran, thought to take into account the 3000 men who'd be fighting and dying to make that stand in the same area; their spilled blood supercharges the ritual, causing a lot more people to remember than had been intended, throwing the plan Off the Rails.
  • In the The Rising of the Shield Hero/Saint Seiya crossover The Hero Melromarc Needs and Deserves, king Aultclay and Myne try their canon plan to disgrace the Shield Hero in spite of Deathmask having already spent his first day in Melromarc single-handedly wiping out four bandit gangs. Deathmask quickly twists the situation to his advantage, and the only thing keeping him from shaming Aultclay into effectively handing him control of the kingdom is that, upon realizing they were accusing him to having raped Myne, he feels so insulted he forgets in anger and leaves after beating the crap out of her.
    • Goes even worse in the series of omake showing how it would have gone with the other Gold Saints-and with Shaka they mistake him for a woman and accuse him of trying to sell Myne as a sex slave out of envy at her beauty. The accuse loses any credibility when Shaka simply drops his pants-before teleporting Malty to some hell and turning Aultclay in a vegetable.
  • Arjuna Belaji in Harry Potter and the Lack of Lamb Sauce tries to cheat during the MagicChef competition by switching hers and Millicent's meat pies because cooking beef goes against her religion and she figured that since it wouldn't benefit either, it wouldn't count as cheating. The judges calmly explain that she could have either explained beforehand and asked for a different ingredient, or made something else and explained why afterwards. Regardless of her intentions, she's disqualified from the competition for cheating.
  • During his spar with Jaune in The ProfessionArc, Ren tries to wear the more heavily armored huntsman out using hit and run tactics. As he's informed after the spar, armor might be heavy but it's weight is distributed across your entire body, so it doesn't hinder that much. Furthermore, Ren was the one running around the whole spar, so even without carrying as much weight, he still ran out of stamina faster.
  • The League of Shadows in Legal Crimes try to kidnap the Self-Insert character because he knows the formula Flash used to gain Super Speed. After being detained, the SI points out that they've glued him to his cement floor and brought neither heavy machinery nor solvent so he won't be going anywhere for a while and they made a very loud break-in so the heroes who were monitoring him already know they're there.
  • The Legend of Zelda fic And So We Fight has Zelda acknowledging the fact that disguising herself as Sheik to throw her enemies off wasn't the brightest decision ever since it only caused her own forces to get demoralized from her absence.
    Zelda: I wanted so desperately to reveal myself at the battle in the Valley of the Seers, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it.
    Impa: Why?
    Zelda: I do not know. I thought that my disappearance would lead Cia to believe that I was dead, and with me dead she would become overconfident, and thus prone to mistakes? I do not know, it was a terrible plan!
  • The Child of Azkaban (LonelyHarvest): Trying to justify his decision to deny Sirius a trial, Crouch tries to use the latter's behavior when he and his wife last visited Crouch Junior but, before he says whatever was wrong with Sirius' behavior, he's reminded that he couldn't have seen anything without seeing there was a toddler with Sirius in Azkaban and thus he's basically "confessing" to have known about Harry's predicament for the last eight years and done nothing about that.
  • Ranma points out to Homura in Anything Goes Game Changer that his decision to work at a host club to find his Ashikabi is more flawed than he realized. While it does allow him to meet a fair number of women, after some time it'd be mostly repeat customers. Furthermore, there are many women who don't go to such clubs for either moral or financial reasons.
  • Natasha Romanov in The War is Far From Over Now never considered what would happen if she dumped all of SHIELD's files online. While HYDRA had infiltrated a great deal of the organization, there were still hundreds of loyal workers who had no idea and were burned as a result. In the end, most of them refuse to rejoin SHIELD and instead stay with Stark Industries after Tony Stark gave them jobs and new identities while saving as many agents as he could. When Natasha recognizes one of Tony Stark's employees as Agent 33, she tries to confront the woman about what she's doing, only to be informed that Agent 33 was tortured to death by HYDRA and her name is Kara Palamas. Kara then gives Natasha a Slasher Smile and informs her she needs to think beyond the end of the mission.
  • The Viking AU Tribute has Tim Drake dressing as a girl and offering himself to the raiders about to assault his impoverished homeland, reasoning that a highborn daughter is enough of a tribute to content them. The barbarian leader is so pleased by the "lady" he decides to marry "her" to his second son. Cue Tim freaking out because there's a couple of things the groom is bound to notice on the wedding night... Fortunately, the bridegroom is actually his long-missing childhood friend and crush, rescued and adopted by the tribe.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Iron Giant: Mansley, singlemindedly obsessed with destroying the Giant, personally orders the Nautilus to launch a nuke at the Giant after his lies are exposed, failing to realize at that moment that the missile was locked on to the Giant's current location as the Giant is standing right in the middle of Rockwell—about 5 feet away from Mansley. Thus, the nuke will vaporize not only the Giant, but also the entire town, including Mansley himself. Fortunately, the Giant intercepts the nuke itself and saves the town, at the cost of his life. It turns out he's still alive and reassembling himself in Iceland.
  • The Incredibles: Syndrome's Evil Plan involved the Omnidroid, a robot programmed to adapt to techniques used to defeat it in order to beat opponents. The plan was that he would order the Omnidroid to attack a city, and then defeat it in order to set himself up as a superhero. He fought the robot using a remote control. Unfortunately for him, the Omnidroid, following its programming, realized that the remote was a threat and immediately acted to remove it. Without the remote, Syndrome went down pretty fast, leaving the real heroes to stop the Omnidroid.
  • In Aladdin:
    • Jafar is defeated when Aladdin tricks him into wishing to become an all-powerful genie. Jafar either forgot or was not aware that genies in this setting are bound to a magic lamp and obliged to grant wishes by nature.
    Genie: It's all part and parcel of the whole "genie" gig. PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWER!...itty-bitty living space.
    • Aladdin too. He gets the genie to turn him into a prince and win the heart of Princess Jasmine. He didn't think about the fact that with Jasmine came the throne of Agrabah. The look on his face says it all.
  • In Beauty and the Beast, when Gaston gets a mob of villagers to take Belle's father Maurice to a lunatic asylum for saying Belle was being held in a castle by a Beast, Belle uses the Magic Mirror to prove the Beast exists...which then makes Gaston rile up the villagers to kill him.
  • Gill's plan to escape to the sea in Finding Nemo succeeds past the audience's expectations. Too bad he didn't account for the fact that they'd all be stuck in plastic bags when they got there.
    Bloat: Now what?
  • A Strange Minds Think Alike-style gag in Meet the Robinsons often said to Bowler Hat Guy. When a CEO, a frog, and a Tyrannosaurus Rex think your evil plans need work, you aren't doing that well.
    "It's just, I have this big head and little arms. I'm just not sure how well this plan was thought through!"
  • The last line on Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, spoken by the Mayor, who is adrift at sea after eating the food boat he was escaping in.
    • Also, Flint's invention of Spray-On Shoes. It seems like a great solution to the epidemic of untied shoes until he's asked how he'd be able to take them off.
  • Recess: School's Out: Why did Prickly call Dr. Benedict insane? Maybe because creating another ice age to end summer vacation forever would bring forth The End of the World as We Know It?
    • Or because of the fact that nobody told him about snow days, which would probably become the new summer vacation anyway.
    • Or that summer itself isn't the primary cause of summer vacation, at best those vacation days would be rearranged, not removed. In fact, TJ outright says this to him as "You might get rid of summer, but you'll never get rid of summer vacation", but by that point, Benedict had gone so far without realizing the pointlessness that he just went ahead anyway.
  • Kung Fu Panda 2: Po's plan to rescue the Furious Five where he admits he hadn't thought what he would do when he got close enough to do that. Mainly due to the fact he didn't expect to make it this far.
  • In Ratatouille, this is the cause of the Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure between Rémy and Linguini in both sides. Linguini kicks Rémy out of the restaurant so he can focus on pleasing Ego, only to find out the next day that he is being bombarded by special orders for unique dishes that only Rémy knows how to make. Rémy, meanwhile, is upset that Linguini won't reveal him to the public, ignoring how the entire kitchen and the health inspector would react to this.
  • Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas: After braving many dangers, Sinbad and Marina finally make it to Tartarus and come face to face with Eris, the goddess of discord. The faces they make really show that they didn't have any plan whatsoever past that point.
  • Quest for Camelot: After finally obtaining Excalibur, Ruber fuses it with his arm to make sure nobody would take it from him—despite knowing that Excalibur is a sword that, once stuck into a certain stone, cannot be removed from it by anyone other than the rightful King.
  • In Shark Tale, Oscar takes credit for killing shark, thus reaping much fame. It doesn't occur to him until much later that the other sharks might take offense to this showboater bragging about how he killed one of their own.
    Angie: YOU LIED! EVERYBODY THINKS YOU "SLAYED THE SHARK"! How could you lie to me, Oscar?! ME?!
    Oscar: Ang, please! Don't take it personal! C'mon, I lied to everybody! Alright, look, I'm sorry. I totally betrayed you. But listen—I just got one little problem I gotta take care of.
    Angie: Oh, really? And what's that?
    Oscar: SHARKS! Are COMING! To GET ME!
    Angie: And they should! I mean, really. What'd you expect? You just take credit for killing a shark, and then everything be fine and dandy for the rest of your life?
    Oscar: Uh...yeah.
  • In Toy Story, Woody lights the rocket strapped to Buzz as a last resort to get back to Andy and this realization hits him seconds before it goes off.
    Woody: Wait a minute, I just lit a rocket. Rockets EXPLODE!
  • Shrek 2 Harold's promise to the Fairy Godmother that his daughter would marry her son so he could become king. However, when they are brought together, he sees that Fiona is genuinely in love with Shrek and that nothing is going to change her mind. He even laughs at how absurd it is to think you can force someone to fall in love.
  • Storks: Junior says it word for word after he stuffs the baby machine full of letters, thus creating millions of babies.
  • Teen Titans Go! To the Movies: When Jade Wilson says that, unless Robin has an arch-enemy, she won't make a movie of him even if he's the last superhero on Earth. He decides to tamper with the origins of Superman, Aquaman, Batman and Wonder Woman with help from the other Titans. They don't realize it's a bad idea until they see a reality with villains going around without anyone to stop them.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Monty Python and the Holy Grail, when King Arthur's knights attempt to copy the Trojan Horse ploy with a giant wooden rabbit, Bedevere (who came up with the plan) doesn't remember to mention that they're supposed to get inside the rabbit until after it's been taken into the castle. Of course, given the French knights' predilection for catapulting every animal they can find, actually getting into the rabbit might have been even worse.
  • Lampshaded in ¡Three Amigos!. Dusty Bottoms has found Carmen in her place of imprisonment:
    Dusty: We have a plan.
    Carmen: What is it?
    Dusty: First, we break into El Guapo's fortress.
    Carmen: And that you've done. Now what?
    Dusty: Well, we really didn't expect the first part of the plan to work, so we have no further plan. Sometimes you can overplan these things.
  • Implied in Spider-Man 3. Eddie faked a photo about Spider-Man robbing the bank to get the photographer staff job at the Daily Bugle, and didn't seemingly plan for what would happen if the truth came out that the picture is a fake. When Eddie begs Peter not to tell anyone what he did since he will lose everything and no paper will ever hire him again, Peter smugly tells him that he should have considered this beforehand.
    • Another hole in Eddie’s plan: the photo he faked originally belonged to Peter, the only other person in town who photographs Spider-Man. It apparently didn’t occur to Eddie that he’d recognize his own work.
  • In Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Roger pulls a pretty boneheaded move when he tries to "convince" Eddie to protect him from Judge Doom's weasels: he uses a pair of handcuffs he finds in Eddie's closet to cuff them together. Eddie calls him an idiot, telling him, "I don't have any keys to these cuffs!" — and when the weasels do show up (about five minutes early), actually keeping them from finding Roger requires some very fast thinking on Eddie's part. To summarize, when the weasels force their way in, Eddie pretends to be washing his laundry in the sink while holding Roger underwater as one of them interrogates him and the others search the place; however, because he has to let Roger breathe a couple of times, he has to wait for the leader to be distracted each time, coming within a hair's breadth of being discovered.
    • The whole reason the weasels show up early is that beforehand, Roger went around town asking where Eddie's office is, resulting in one of those places, or all of them reporting Roger heading to Eddie's office.
  • Hermione says this very thing to Harry in the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban movie when she saves their past selves from the werewolf... by luring it over to their current selves.
  • The Dark Knight: When a Wayne Enterprises employee tries to blackmail Lucius Fox with Batman's identity, Fox replies, "Let me get this straight. You think that your client, one of the wealthiest, most powerful men on the planet, is secretly a vigilante who spends his nights beating criminals to a pulp with his bare hands. And your plan is to blackmail this person?...Good luck." The employee immediately backs down.
  • In Batman & Robin:
    • After Robin and Poison Ivy share a kiss and Ivy reveals her true colors to Robin, expecting him to die, Robin reveals that he was wearing rubber lips and is therefore immune to her deadly kiss. However, he does this by taking off the lips while laying right next to Ivy, there faces still only inches apart, instead of leaving them on and tackling her when she doesn't expect it. He leaves himself wide open and is shoved away by Ivy and almost drowns.
    • Poison Ivy doesn't do much better for her part. After realizing Robin has tricked her she stares in shock for a moment and angrily shoves Robin off her throne and into the lily pond to have her vines drown him. She does this instead of simply grabbing Robin and forcing a second kiss on him that would have guaranteed his death. Instead, she leaves him to drown and taunts him as if she's breaking up with him over a bad kiss. Robin ends up surviving and now knows what Freeze is planning thanks to Ivy.
  • In It's a Boy Girl Thing, Woody (in Nell's body) decides to get her a reputation for being easy. So he decides to have her sleep with this really sleazy guy. Just before the deed is to be done, Woody realizes that he is going to be the one to experience the drunken sex with a guy. Also counts as an Oh, Crap! moment.
  • Hilariously subverted in Mystery Science Theater 3000 The Movie with Crow's plan to tunnel out of the Satellite while it's in orbit. As it turns out, Crow did think it through, but as he puts it: "I calculated the odds of this succeeding against the odds I was doing something incredibly stupid and... I went ahead anyway."
    Crow: Oh, wow, this is confusing! Hey, Mike! Can you hand me my calculations? [paper flies into his mouth] Thank you! Oh, well, look at that: "Breach hull, all die!" Even had it underlined!
  • In The Rundown, the sidekick's "Thunder and Lightning" attack never works. He becomes dumbfounded when it does work and needs a moment to think up the next stage of the attack.
  • The Avengers. Tony Stark slaps around a gigantic killer flying alien turtle thing by detonating a bunch of small missiles in its face, getting it to attack HIM instead of the bystanders: "Okay, we've got its attention. What the hell was step two?"
  • In Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl Elizabeth stabs her host/captor captain Barbossa with a knife. He survives by virtue of being a Ghost Pirate, but in the heat of the moment it slipped her mind that even if she'd succeeded she would've still been on a ship full of vicious pirates whose captain she'd just killed, in the middle of the raging sea. Lampshaded by Barbossa:
    "I'm curious. After killin' me, what was it you were plannin' on doin' next?"
  • At the climax of Ghost Rider, Blackheart absorbs the souls of the damned of San Venganza, which makes him incredibly powerful and incredibly susceptible to the Ghost Rider's Penance Stare (which he had shrugged off in their previous encounter).
  • Star Wars
    • Zigzagged with Luke and Han going to rescue Leia from the Death Star detention center. On one hand, their "plan" was rather ill-conceived (going into a place they knew nothing about, not planning a way to get out, cutting off their escape route, and setting off an alarm, escaping only because Vader wanted to let them go and follow them). However, on the other hand, they didn't exactly have time to think of anything better. One could consider Vader's gambit as this, since it doesn't take into account how dangerous it is to let the heroes escape with the Death Star's blueprints, but Star Wars villains tend to suffer from terminal overconfidence and never seem to cotton on to their exploitable weaknesses anyway. Of course it nearly worked since Leia, having worked out the ship was being tracked... proceeded to head directly to the Rebel base anyway.
    • Luke blasts a door's control-panel to seal out his and Leia's pursuers, only to realize that the force-field bridge across a chasm on the other side can't be extended without those controls.
  • Dave:
    • When the President has a massive stroke, Chief of Staff Bob Alexander refuses to give up his own position and thus gets Dave to impersonate the President full time. Bob naturally thinks he can easily manipulate Dave. However, he quickly realizes it's not so easy to publically contradict the man everyone else accepts as the leader of the free world.
    • When Bob finally has enough, he tries to fire Dave. He's utterly confused when Dave says "fine"... then horrified as Dave dryly asks which one of them will tell the media how an impostor has been posing as the President of the United States. Too late, Bob realizes there's no way he can expose the truth without going to jail for a very long time.
  • Dog Day Afternoon practically runs on this. It was supposed to be just a quick bank robbery. But Sonny—the so-called mastermind—never thought to double-check the information about the cash shipments. The vault's supply has already left for the day, and there's almost nothing left. Sonny attempts to black out the security cameras (he was too short to really reach them) only after the robbers had been inside, unmasked, and glove-less for nearly five minutes. Then he tries to cover his paper trail by lighting the traveler's check register on fire...which causes enough smoke to alert people outside that something strange is going on. He didn't think far enough ahead to consider hostages, getting a full layout of the building, the possibility of one of his cohorts backing out of the plan a few minutes in, or that his remaining partner was too psychologically unstable to handle the ensuing standoff with the authorities. He even tells people his real name, his background as a bank teller, and his service in Vietnam, thus making it very easy for the authorities to figure him out. These problems are just the start of Sonny's horrendously-botched heist and his desperate attempts to get everyone out of it alive.
  • In X-Men: First Class, Sebastian honestly believes that he can convince Erik to join him, despite having murdered his mother to activate Erik's powers and knowing that he has spent his entire life hunting him down. Magneto even says as much:
    Magneto: I'd like you to know that I agree with every word you said. We are the future. But unfortunately, you killed my mother.
  • Godzilla (2014):
    • Some soldiers open fire on Godzilla in Honolulu. They quickly realize the pointlessness and give a face that says this trope.
    • The female cocoon is taken to a nuclear deposit. Serizawa realizes that was a mistake when checking the data for the male's communication.
    • The military underestimates the speed of the male and it makes it to the nuke well before it goes off. The nuke is taken to the middle of the city and a plan has to be hatched to get it out.
  • Interstellar has NASA choose astronauts for the long-term Lazarus missions that have no strong relationships with people on earth, so they aren't leaving anyone behind when they leave and potentially never come back. This results in one such astronaut, Doctor Mann, being willing to endanger the mission, and by extension all of humanity, because he has no one he values over his own survival.
  • Little Giants: Danny actually thought he could keep Spike and his Dad from finding out he's not the "Coach O'Shea" they're looking for.
  • Carried over from the Grimm version of the story, in Into the Woods, Cinderella's stepmother mutilates her daughter's feet to fit the golden slipper. Really? You think your daughter's future husband—or anyone else, for that matter—won't notice at some point, or care? Worse, she repeats the process with the second daughter after the first one is caught.
  • Subverted in Goldfinger 007 thinks that Goldfinger hasn't thought his plan through, and points out to him that even if he used his nerve gas on the whole population of Fort Knox, he'd never have enough time to transport the gold from the vaults before military reinforcements came. What he doesn't know is, as Goldfinger explains to him, stealing it isn't part of the plan; his true goal involves detonating a bomb to render the gold in Fort Knox radioactive and unusable, thereby making the value of his personal foreign holdings in gold skyrocket. (In short, Goldfinger's scheme was intended to be an insider trading scam, taken Up to Eleven.)
  • In Cinderella (2015), when the Fairy Godmother decides to transform a pumpkin into a carriage, Cinderella has about enough time to point out they are inside a shed before the expanding pumpkin pins them against the wall. They manage to escape just as the completed carriage destroys the shed. Ditto for turning a goose into a coachman for said carriage; as the goose quickly points out, he has no experience when it comes to driving.
  • The HangoverIII has Chow parachuting out of the hotel in order to escape the Wolf Pack. He says this trope by name when he lands on Phil's limo.
    • Alan secretly let Chow of the trunk in order to save him from Marshall, but he didn't think about taking his gun away. He had to pull a Go Through Me to stop him from shooting Phil.
  • Jurassic Park; Grant grabs a road flare to distract the T. rex that is attacking the kids' car. The T. rex roars at Grant in response, which causes him to falter slightly. He recovers quickly when he realizes that the T. rex is seeing the flare and throws it off and watches as she follows the thrown flare.
    • Which was his plan, knowing the T. rex would follow the movement. What he didn't think about was Ian grabbing another flare and leading her away. By the time Ian threw his flare away, he was running so the T. rex ignored the smaller moving target to get the larger one (Ian).
  • In The Devil and Miss Jones, Joe O'Brien protests inside his former place of work, and handcuffs himself around some pipes convinced that security will have to cut through them to get him out. But they easily slide the handcuffs up, freeing Joe; the pipe has an end to it, not continuing to curve around somewhere else like the others. Should've looked, Joe.
  • In WarCraft, Llane orders Garona to kill him so that she may gain respect among the orcs and thus a chance at forging a peace between the two species. This part works without a hitch, but Llane didn't count on Lothar coming back to reclaim his body and thus finding Garona's knife in Llane's back, pretty much ensuring that the human side won't wish to negotiate.
  • Space Camp: The NASA robot JINX never stops to consider in his rush to give his friend Max his wish to go into space that sending him up in a barely-ready shuttle that doesn't even have enough oxygen to make it to reentry could be detrimental to his health.
  • In Mr. Right, while fighting Francis, a mook pulls the pin on a grenade and prepares to throw it. Francis points out they are in a small room so if he throws it, he'll be caught in the explosion. The mook panics and asks what to do. Francis puts the pin back in, puts the grenade away, and allows the man to live.
  • In typical Coen style, Fargo's plot revolves around Jerry Lundegaard's plan to hire two criminals to kidnap his wife so his wealthy father-in-law will pay the ransom money. Half will go to the criminals, and half will go to Jerry to get him out of an unspecified tight spot. He failed to consider that the criminals might try to blackmail him for more money, his wife might be hurt or killed, his stingy, distrustful father-in-law (who, by the way, doesn't like Jerry at all) might not listen to Jerry's directions and try to repeatedly interfere, and his teenage son might be traumatized by his mother being kidnapped and held for ransom.
  • Almost every problem Scott and his friends face in Ant-Man and the Wasp are the direct result of his carelessness in Captain America: Civil War. Where he jumped at the chance to help Captain America, without considering what would happen after he revealed himself and the existence of Hank Pym's shrinking technology to the world.
  • The entire plot of Operation: Dumbo Drop. A group of American soldiers accidentally get a village’s prized elephant shot by the Vietcong. Feeling responsible, they promise to reimburse the village by getting a new elephant and bringing it to them. It’s only after they make this agreement that they realize that they have absolutely no idea how they’re going to wrangle and deliver an elephant. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Deadpool 2: Deadpool's plan to save Russell from Cable is to have his new formed X-Force team dive in from a plane and parachute to the cargo truck. However, everyone else points out the dangerously strong winds he's clearly ignoring. Deadpool himself would have no problems with the wind thanks to his regenerative abilities, but the rest of his team probably wouldn't be as lucky; his team consists of a mutant who is always invisible, someone who has acidic vomit, and a man whose only major qualities is that he has Type-1 and Type-2 diabetes. Unsurprisingly, only Domino, who has the power of good luck, survives a gruesome death. Not to mention, the wind blew everyone away from the truck and Cable.
    Deadpool: I'll be the first to admit: this did not go according to plan. I'll also be the first to admit that that plan was written in crayon.
  • Murders in the Zoo: While trying to escape from the zoo, Eric pulls the switch that opens all of the cages in the carnivore house; releasing all of the big cats. This does cause his pursuers to hurriedly back off. However, only after he has done this does he seem to realisethat he is now inside the building with all of the escaped predators.
  • In Andhadhun, the plan for the drop-off didn't consider the possibility of Manohar dropping the Duffel Bag Full Of Money into the elevator and taking the stairs himself. This gets Murli killed.

  • The Hobbit:
    • To enable the dwarves to escape from the Wood Elves, Bilbo secures them inside barrels so they can float away downriver. (Not that being packed into a barrel himself would have been an improvement. Getting out again wouldn't have been easy.)
      It was just at this moment that Bilbo suddenly discovered the weak point in his plan. Most likely, you saw it some time ago and have been laughing at him; but I don’t suppose you would have done half as well yourselves in his place. Of course, he was not in a barrel himself, nor was there anyone to pack him in, even if there had been a chance!
    • Not to mention the entire journey itself. The one weak spot in the dwarves' scheme to get their gold is that Smaug is still sitting on it and a baker's dozen dwarves are no match for the dragon, which is why Gandalf insisted that they rely on burglary. However, Bilbo, seeing the size of the hoard he's supposed to steal, states that they should have brought an army of burglars, as there's only so much he can steal at once. Then Smaug smugly asks Bilbo how he's supposed to get his share back home. Only a series of lucky breaks (for a given definition of luck) keeps the adventure from going to waste. The movie works around this by planning to have Bilbo fetch the Arkenstone, which can be used to convince all the armies of the six other dwarven settlements to come to Thorin's aid.
  • Twice in Kitty Goes to Washington. Kitty had good reason to banish Elijah Smith back where he came from, but she didn't consider that this would mean the collection of vampires and lycanthropes under his control would then be out of control. Cue chase scene, followed by calling in backup to deal with the fallout. Later, Kitty tries to distract the guards on the first floor of a building by throwing rocks at the upstairs windows, hoping they'll investigate the crash. She realizes belatedly that if they instead put two and two together and look out on the street, she'll get caught red-handed. (Luckily, they're typical guards.)
  • In the Knight and Rogue Series, when told he must, in order to regain his legal rights, capture a murder suspect he released from jail and become his brother's steward, Michael sets out to bring the criminal to justice. Upon learning she's innocent, he decides to not even bother with bringing her to trial, opting to be tattooed as a horrible criminal instead. It's not until afterward that he realizes that this will make people hate him by default and take advantage of him due to his being unable to go to the law for help. Fisk was not impressed. Bonus points for his father forcing the situation on him in the hopes that only his oldest son will hire Michael for a stable job if he's marked, as he apparently didn't notice that Michael spent the whole past year funding his adventures by stopping for the day in random towns and doing odd jobs for people who don't need to see the area on his arm where he gets marked.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: The Trio devises a plan to impersonate students from House Slytherin so that they can sneak into the Slytherins' dorm and hopefully uncover some information about the titular Chamber. They spend a month concocting an extremely advanced shapeshifting potion and make some thoughtful arrangements, like stealing appropriate robes and preparing drugged cupcakes to put said students out of commission for the duration of their foray. Finally, everything is ready, and they perform the transformation... whereupon they realize that they have no idea where the Slytherin dormitory is. Of course, said thoughtful preparations were thought of solely by Hermione, so it's possible she knew where the dorm was, but her transformation went wrong preventing her from joining the boys and distracting her from telling them.
    • In the same book, Harry and Ron miss the train to go to Hogwarts, and in order to get there, they steal Mr. Weasley's flying car. They promptly get seen by about seven Muggles across England. As McGonagall points out to them, they had an owl and perfectly legitimate reasons to be late, so they could have just sent a message to be picked up... but even that might not have worked, as Dobby would have likely intercepted or destroyed the letters to keep Harry from returning to Hogwarts, which kind of begs the question why Harry didn't tell any of the staff about Dobby.
    • Again, in the same book, it's revealed through Flashbacks that Tom Riddle Jr. (a.k.a Voldemort) didn't actually think about the consequences of unleashing a giant monster and killing a muggle-born witch (Moaning Myrtle). He was very smug about about being a Karma Houdini until learning that since the authorities couldn't find the person or being responsible for the death of Myrtle, they'll be shutting down Hogwarts for safety reasons, thus sending Tom back to orphanage he hates oh so much. This is what led Tom to framing Aragog as Slytherin's Monster and Hagrid for being the one to release him.
    • There's also Viktor Krum's ill-fated transfiguration during the second task of the Triwizard Tournament in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. While his transfiguration (turning his head into that of a shark) allows him to swim underwater without problem, he's unable to change himself back and has to rely on other wizards to revert his head back to normal afterwards.
    • In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Harry suffers from this twice with regards to Snape. After having his vision of Sirius he forgets that Snape is also a member of the Order until he arrives in Umbridge's office. He also doesn't consider that Snape may have been pretending when he tried to give him a code. Of course by the time both of these things occur Harry's thoughts are being influenced by Voldemort who does not want Harry to think things through.
    • Vincent Crabbe has a fatal dose of this in Deathly Hallows, when, during a fight with the Trio, he produces Fiendfyre, a powerful curse that creates sentient flames. In a room full of very flammable things. Did we also mention he had no idea how to control the fire? After he burns to death, Ron speculates that he may not have been paying attention when he was taught how to stop the curse.
    • In the "Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump" section of The Tales of Beedle the Bard, the king makes such a mistake by decreeing in the persecution of witches and wizards followed by requesting a wizard to teach him magic. Since the power to use magic is innate and no witch or wizard would dare to come forward to volunteer under the threat of persecution, only a charlatan obliges.
  • A Stainless Steel Rat Is Born: Young Jim diGriz gets himself imprisoned so he can meet other criminals and learn from them. The problem is that the criminals he finds in prison are the ones who were dumb enough to get caught.
  • In Stephen King's short story The End Of The Whole Mess, this is Bobby Fornoy's Fatal Flaw. His brother reminisces about when he was a child and developed a glider, not figuring out that the backwoods of his house were too dense to fly such a thing until he was high in the air and ended up crashing. The story itself showcases Bobby finding out a way to create world peace via a natural water-borne calming agent he discovered...and not detecting until it's too late that the agent triggers early-onset Alzheimer's. Oops.
  • One Relativity story has, in the climax, all of the heroes trapped at the top of a "parachute" carnival ride. Dark Flame suggests that they each get into a gondola and cut the cable, and then they'll be lowered safely to the ground by the parachutes. It isn't until after her cable is cut that she realizes that it's just a carnival ride, the gondolas were designed to be lowered by cables, and the parachutes were just decorative.
  • In Halo: Glasslands and Halo: The Thursday War, the Elites are in a civil war between a faction who still worship the Forerunners and a faction trying to create a new, more progressive society. Humanity's Office of Naval Intelligence thinks that it would be a good idea to support the zealots even though A.) most of them really hate humans and B.) the progressive faction are dedicated allies of humanity. As it turns out, most of the zealots end up joining a fervently anti-human Covenant remnant whose primary goal is to Kill All Humans.
  • There exists in the Firekeeper Saga an entity called the Meddler. His trademark is, as his name suggests, to meddle in the affairs of mortal creatures, and many of the books' events are discovered to be a result of his trying to escape a prison he had been sealed in by getting key figures moving. However, he pays little heed to the consequences of his actions, best illustrated in a legend told of him in which he helps a pair of young lovers forbidden to see one another by the boy's father. However, the father reveals after they've run away that they're actually half-siblings and that the boy was aware of this...and the girl was not.
  • In Lieutenant Hornblower, Acting-Captain Buckland is persuaded to follow the secret orders to attack a nest of Spanish privateers, so he just sails the ship up a channel between the fortifications, hoping to blast them apart with the ship's cannon. Turns out they can't get the right elevation; then the ship runs aground while the Spaniards happily pound away with heated shot. It's all they can do to escape intact—Bush reflects later that taking a wooden ship into a situation where red-hot cannonballs can be fired into her was pretty foolish. (The writers of the television series apparently thought it was so bad, they had the mad Captain Sawyer do this as a Death Seeker.)
  • In Pact, Blake Thorburn binds Pauz, a minor demon, into a book, but fails to account for the small army of corrupted animals that Pauz had assembled—which promptly attempt to kill him, resulting in him nearly being gored by a deer. Later, he challenges Conquest, Lord of Toronto, to a wargame in exchange for his freedom, but fails to account for Conquest's willingness to damage the city and its citizens, leading to a moment of My God, What Have I Done?.
  • Examples from Aesop's Fables:
    • Averted in one version of "The Frogs and the Well". Two frogs search for a new place to cool off after their marsh dries up and they find a well. One of the frogs suggest they jump down here as it's wet and would be good for them. However, the other frog prevents him from doing so, asking how they'd get out if the well dried up. An alternate version plays the trope straight when the other frog jumps into the well before he hears the other's argument.
    • Played straight in "The Fox and the Goat". A fox trapped in a well tells a goat to come into the well for its excellent-tasting water. The goat does so and, finding itself trapped, asks how they'll get out. The fox asks to get a boost up from the goat's horns so he can climb out, saying that he'll pull the goat out after. The goat does this and is abandoned by the fox. When called out, the fox says to the goat that he should have thought before jumping in.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: Given the Gambit Pileup nature of the story, this is a Fatal Flaw for a depressing number of characters, leading to many a Pyrrhic Victory and petards a-hoisting. Most (if not all) viewpoint characters display some form of Wrong Genre Savvy, Stupid Good, Stupid Evil, Lawful Stupid, Chaotic Stupid, Selfish Good and/or Selfish Evil tendencies leading to various brands of Not Quite the Right Thing for the circumstance (or Not Quite The Right Wrong Thing, depending on the character), all of which come back to bite them in the end. Funny how that one little angle you hadn't stopped to think about suddenly has very big consequences if you're a leader with insufficient reality checks on your power and you can't shift gears fast enough...
  • The Wheel of Time—being basically A Song of Ice and Fire with more tropes played straight, and a hell of a lot more magic wielding—has a number of examples as well, but one of the more entertaining involves Mat infiltrating the Stone of Tear to save his allies from the baddies. He shoves a bundle of fireworks into an arrowslit, then lights them to create a diversion so he can sneak in by another route. When he notices that the blast has made the arrowslit larger, he changes his plans and climbs through it instead...then realizes that half the garrison is headed his way. Naturally, he gets away with it.
  • Scarlett, of course, has this many times in Gone with the Wind. She rushes into a marriage with Charles Hamilton to save face in front of those who (correctly) thought she was pining away for Ashley Wilkes. Reality hits her as early as their wedding night, as he approaches their bed and she suddenly realizes what's going to happen. She's only able to put him off by pleading timidity and fear. Then when he dies after only two months, she realizes that between her marriage, widowhood, and impending motherhood, that she's never going to have the fun she had as an unattached girl, being forced to wear mourning for years and shun all social events.
    • Later, when she tells Rhett that she doesn't want any more children (translation, they will now have a Sexless Marriage), he simply shrugs and nonchalantly declares that he'll seek sexual pleasure elsewhere. Only then does she realize what she's given up—late night conversations, him comforting her after a nightmare, etc.
  • The Walter Lantz adaptation of The Pied Piper of Hamelin diverges in a few ways from the traditional plotline. Here, the Piper traps the rats in a cage instead of just drowning them. The townsfolk skimp on the Piper's bill, thinking there's nothing he can do about it. The Piper then opens the cage...
  • In Wings of Fire: The Dark Secret, Flame and Ochre (two of the replacement dragonets) are tasked by Morrowseer to try and kill Starflight. While he hides behind a NightWing guard, they go up to her and ask her where a NightWing dragonet was so they could kill him, hoping they would help. Instead, the guard roars at them for this, roaring an alarm that strange dragons have come to attack their dragonets, and Flame and Ochre get thrown into prison.
  • In Dictator, the third book of the Imperium trilogy, Caesar's assassins show courage and cunning in planning and carrying out the assassination—but they make no plans whatsoever for the aftermath, simply assuming that the Republic will reassert itself and things will go back to normal with Caesar dead. Cicero repeatedly bemoans the failure of the conspirators to take out Antony as well as Caesar, or to take any other measures to restore republican government.
  • In Shaman Blues, Witkacy's plan for luring a wraith into entrapment circle involves cutting himself with its focus object and let the blood bring it in. The gaping flaw in the plan is that he forgets about binding power of blood, and as a result is almost dragged into the afterlife along with the wraith.
  • In the Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I. book Hair Raising, Rusty the full-time werewolf's secret weapon in a gang war between the the full-timers and the transforms-at-the-full-moon werewolves are undomesticated cockatrices. Dan asks how Rusty is going to corral his beasts, as a cockatrice can anyone who looks at it into stone. Rusty realizes this...after he's unleashed the cockatrices.
  • In the backstory to The Unexplored Summon://Blood-Sign, Kyousuke summoned the White Queen, an all-powerful Eldritch Abomination. The White Queen fell in love with him at first sight, and he decided to try and use her power to help fix the world. After the events of the Secret War, the White Queen turned evil and became the greatest threat to the world, and Kyousuke resolved to stop her at all costs. To achieve this, he creates and summons the Colorless Little Girl, a second all-powerful Eldritch Abomination who's in love with him. There's absolutely no way this could backfire.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In one episode of 30 Rock, Kenneth pitches an idea for a game show he had to Jack: a show like Deal or No Deal where the contestants must find out which briefcase has a million dollars of gold inside. While filming it, the contestants only need to look for which model is having difficulty holding her briefcase. The show is then quickly canned. Kenneth even lampshades it:
    "Ooooh, gold's real heavy, innit?"
  • In The Adventures of Timmy the Tooth episode "Molar Island", the Gingivitis Gang, Flossmore Valley's resident Bulk & Skull note , are depicted on Timmy's dream vacation at the titular island as the cannibalistic Gingivitis Tribe who steal the crown of Moral Island's King Tooth. When they capture Timmy and Brushbrush intended to cook and eat them, Timmy points out that stealing that Crown is causing the island to sink and they'll all sink with it. The Gingivitis Tribe agree to put aside their differences and help the other residents of Molar Island (Timmy's friends in the real world) return the Crown to the King, saving the island.
  • All My Children: When Michael Cambias is found dead after being acquitted for his rape of Bianca, Bianca's sister Kendall, having been married to him, subsequently claims that she's pregnant with his child after marrying him (actually marrying Enchantment's chemist, Boyd Larraby, who masqueraded under Michael's identity to help make it seem like Kendall married Michael) before his death, in order to protect Bianca, who really was pregnant with her daughter Miranda daughter after Michael raped her. Greenlee, due to being Locked Out of the Loop, believes that Kendall is just trying to steal the Cambias fortune and full control over Fusion Cosmetics, and when Kendall is put on trial for Michael's murder, she goes so far as to expose Kendall's Fake Pregnancy in open court by ripping her dress off in a fit of rage. Soon afterwards, she gets a serious What the Hell, Hero? from Ryan and her father Jack, who inform her that due to her actions, she's ensured that Kendall is the prime suspect in Michael's murder and may very well go to prison or worse for it, something Greenlee never considered beforehand. Greenlee immediately suffers a My God, What Have I Done? moment.
  • Arrested Development: Gob comes up with a magic performance in "Key Decisions" where he is locked up in the same prison where his father is doing time and escapes. His plan is to swallow the key to the cell, pass it, and unlock the cell door. When it comes time to do so...
    Gob: Hey, Dad. Is there, like, a private bathroom I can use?
    George: Um... [taps the in-cell toilet with his foot] You're looking at it.
    Gob: No, no. I can't use that. I, uh, I need privacy. Yeah, I've always been that way.
    (George gives him an "I'm serious" look)
    Gob: Come on, dad! If I'm gonna pass this key, I can't do it in front of all these other guys!
    George: Well, we could ask them all to leave but, um, there's this thing. They've been locking the doors lately, so...
    Gob: I've made a huge mistake.
  • In Backstage, Kit has a Hannah Montana-esque Secret Identity called DJ Diamondmind whose tracks are renowned. She used her alter-ego's tracks to audition for Keaton School for the Arts; when this gets out, Reality Ensues: She finds herself accused of plagiarism and faces expulsion (it works out, but it's still a pretty big oversight).
  • Subverted but then played straight on Better Call Saul. Tuco is a very intelligent drug lord who does show some patience in his dealings and is careful thinking things out. However, he quickly realizes his big mistake is assuming that everyone working for him can also see the big picture and won't, say, try to kill a rival without clearing it with him first or bother covering up any of the evidence of their involvement. Tuco soon realizes most crooks are in fact stupid and impulsive to not realize the consequences of just shooting a guy.
  • The Big Bang Theory shows Leonard trying to slip out to meet his then-girlfriend and getting Sheldon to cover for him. Given that Sheldon cannot do this convincingly, Leonard almost immediately wonders why he didn't think this through.(Specifically, if he knows that Sheldon can't lie convincingly, why didn't he just lie to Sheldon too?)
  • An episode of Blake's 7 plays this for laughs with its justification: when Vila asks Tarrant if he can actually dock their tiny ship into the Liberator that they have just reclaimed from Servalan, the following exchange occurs. (Incidentally, it's just a throwaway gag, since the very next scene has them already back on the Liberator safely.)
    Tarrant: I hadn't really considered it.
    Vila: What?
    Tarrant: I thought we'd be dead by now.
  • Boardwalk Empire: In season 5, Nelson van Alden and a conspirator try to con their way into a Capone money counting operation to rob it. Their threadbare ploy breaks down before they can even get the door open. Nelson stoically comments that their plan was poorly thought through and then resorts to a desperate assault, with disastrous results.
  • Breaking Bad: Saul notes that when it gets out that Skylar was married to a drug lord, she will have an impossible time finding a job and providing for their kids. When Walt says he has millions of dollars to give them, Saul snaps that the Feds are now watching, and there's no way Walt can ever get that money to them without it being seized. By the stunned look on his face, it's obvious Walt is realizing for the first time how badly he's messed things up.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • In the final episodes of Season 4, Spike schemes to break up the Scoobies by exploiting the existing tensions between the group, and then planting evidence to lure Buffy into a trap as part of Adam's plan. However, after all is said and done, Adam points out that Spike gave Willow the evidence, and Willow won't be speaking to Buffy now. Spike quickly goes out to fix his scheme. Amusingly enough, this exchange was added into the series after the writers themselves realized the error of Spike's plan only after the initial episode was already filmed.
    • Apparently, when she had Willow activate all Slayers worldwide, it never occurred to Buffy at that moment that not all of the newly empowered Slayers would be willing to use their powers for good, with one Slayer in particular, Simone Doffler, becoming a terrorist and obsessed with killing her, and another Slayer, Dana, having been driven Axe-Crazy thanks to a psychopath kidnapping and torturing her as a child.
  • Charmed (1998): When Chris asks Phoebe for help getting Piper and Leo back together in time for his conception (Chris is Piper and Leo's Kid from the Future), Phoebe points out that Chris is the one who separated Piper and Leo in the first place. Phoebe insists it's not her fault that Chris didn't think things through, though she does eventually agree to help him.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "World War Three": The Slitheen get into 10 Downing Street and chase the Ninth Doctor, Rose, and Harriet Jones. The Doctor activates a defense mechanism that means there is 3 inches of thick metal between them and the Slitheen — or any way of escape.
      The Doctor: They'll never get in.
      Rose: But how do we get out?
      The Doctor: ...Ah.
    • Series 9 finale "Hell Bent" has a justified example with the Doctor's Driven to Madness plan to save Clara from her already-happened death, which falls apart over 1) him basically hoping it doesn't destroy the universe and 2) Clara's own objections to it, especially when she realizes he'll take away her memories of their time together and leave her with an ordinary Earthly life.
    • "Rosa": The antagonist, Krasko, is trying to Make Wrong What Once Went Right by preventing Rosa Parks from either taking her famous bus ride, or ensuring there are few enough passengers on the bus that Rosa won't be asked to give up her seat. However, he doesn't seem to have considered that a) she could just take another bus, and b) since this is a deeply racist period of history, he could get her out of the way by framing her for a crime she didn't commit, instead of trying the most complicated solution possible.
  • In the Enemy at the Door episode "Jealousy", a woman anonymously denounces her sister-in-law to the German police as a black marketeer, justifying it to herself as saving her brother from a woman who (in her opinion) doesn't deserve him. The Germans confiscate the entire family's papers as part of the investigation, discover an irregularity in the brother's birth certificate, and deport him. Any consolation the sister might have got from having at least succeeded in separating him from his wife is lost when the Germans decide at the last minute to deport his wife along with him.
  • In The Flash Sisko, HR, and Julian hide from Caitlin/Killer Frost by locking themselves behind a containment door. Forgetting that she still has all her access codes, which she points out after opening the door.
  • Several of the hot calls in Flashpoint start with someone running into a snag in a plan:
    • In "Never Kissed A Girl", a young parolee who was imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit goes to the courthouse to confront the prosecutor who railroaded him, but doesn't realize until it's too late that his ankle bracelet will trigger the courthouse metal detector. He freaks out and grabs a gun from a court officer.
    • In "Aisle 13", two teenagers who've just robbed a store find their planned escape route blocked. It's only then that they realize they didn't have a plan for that scenario.
    • Invoked by Parker in "The Perfect Family". Parker convinces a young birthmother who had abducted her son from his adoptive parents to surrender by pointing out that their impromptu plan didn't take into account that she had no idea how to care for an infant.
  • Friends: Chandler finally gets tired of all the things he has to do for his company while working in Oklahoma, so he quits. When Phoebe asks him what he's going to do now, he says the trope by name.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Catelyn Stark's Mama Bear tendencies sometimes drive her to rash actions.
      • She arrests Tyrion for the attempted murder of her son because she was told the assassin used his dagger but is stumped when Tyrion asks the obvious question of who would be dumb enough to arm an assassin with their own blade.
      • Although Jaime was in mortal danger and Catelyn couldn't trust anyone else, the odds of Brienne successfully escorting Jaime through a war zone, conducting a prisoner exchange, and returning with two girls without backup were very low.
    • Balon Greyjoy's main flaw as a ruler. In the first Greyjoy rebellion, he rebelled on the assumption (not without cause) that Robert had not reconciled with his former enemies and that his rule over the Iron Throne was still not widely accepted and he hoped to capitalize on the instability and secede from the Seven Kingdoms. However, his refusal to court allies and build alliances meant that the Greyjoys could never find support from the mainland and by attacking the Riverlands and burning Lord Tywin's ship at Lannisport, he made himself a threat to all of Westeros. Hence, he brought ruin on himself and allowed Robert to strengthen his regime by invading the Iron Islands. In Season 2, he proves he hasn't learned his lesson and tries the same thing again. He had no real strategy except for killing Starks and their bannerman and although he is more successful this time it only lasts until the other factions actually turn their attention toward him in Season 4 when the War of the Five Kings ends, at which point the Ironborn prove unable to hold the castles they've taken. By Season 6, his invasion has failed completely and the Ironborn have gained nothing at all.
    • Robb Stark:
      • Talisa flat-out points out to Robb on their first encounter that he's raised an army to overthrow the king with no idea what would happen afterward if he won.
      • Instead of marrying Roslin Frey to keep the Freys on his side for the war effort, Robb marries Talisa out of love. Instead of putting aside his honor and simply holding him hostage, he executes Rickard Karstark.
    • This is Lady Olenna's appraisal of the deceased Renly's bid for the throne since he had an older brother and no legitimacy, so he should have stayed well out of the game. Granted, it's in the Tyrells' interest to speak this way when they are supporting those who consider Renly a usurper.
    • Brienne of Tarth:
      • Brienne embarks on a quest to protect the Stark girls with a Lannister-customized sword, a Westerlands squire, and a southern accent. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?? The problems with this are demonstrated when she tries to "save" Arya Stark ...who believes nearly her whole family is dead or prisoner of the Lannisters.
      • Brienne decides to fulfill her oath to kill Stannis instead of protecting Sansa. Of course, Stannis dying will keep the Boltons in control of the North meaning Sansa continues to be in danger. She manages to rescue Sansa just in time from Bolton men after Sansa escapes on her own from Winterfell, but it was a close-run thing and had it not been for Theon, she and Pod would have failed.
    • Cersei Lannister, oh so very much. There are almost too many instances to list where she schemes to achieve some short-term goal or petty vendetta, with no thought whatsoever given to the long-term consequences. She considers herself to be an expert at the game in the same vein as her father Tywin, but Tywin himself told her "you're not as smart as you think you are."
      • When Tyrion demands Trial by Combat when accused of killing Joffrey, Cersei rather shrewdly chooses The Mountain as her champion, believing no-one would fight against him on Tyrion's behalf. However, she fails to consider Oberyn Martell, the only man in King's Landing who wants to fight Ser Gregor, declaring himself Tyrion's champion. Worse still, her daughter, Myrcella Baratheon, was currently residing with the Martells in Dorne. When the Red Viper is slain, Myrcella's life is essentially forfeit.
      • In Season 5, she fails miserably at her father's level of scheming, trying to manipulate the extremist Sparrow sect into doing her dirty work. Pity, she overlooked that her cousin Lancel, who had been privy to all her own dirty dealings, was a memberr. There's also her lack of concern for antagonizing House Tyrell, who the royal family are now wholly dependent on for their food supply.
      • In Season 7 she confides in Jaime that she has no intention of honoring her word to Jon and Dany to help them fight the Night King and his undead forces. She instead intends to sit back and let the two sides destroy each other while she fortifies her defenses and numbers with the Golden Company. Jaime immediately points out that this means either the Jon/Dany alliance wins and then they immediately march south to finish her off as they'll have realised her deception, or the Night King wins, takes their forces into his undead army and becomes something Cersei has no hope of outfighting.
    • Ramsay Bolton, to the point of this being his Fatal Flaw.
      • Sansa reminds him that if Fat Walda has a son from Roose, Ramsay is nowhere as well positioned to inherit as he thinks he is; he is a bastard legitimized by another bastard (Tommen), whose questionable legitimacy was the whole damn point of the war.
      • Murdering his father, stepmother and younger brother to become head of House Bolton and Warden of the North has three major problems. First, Roose had been able to uphold the Boltons' dominion over the North despite Ramsay's impulses due to his pragmatism and political savvy in maintaining the support of the Lannisters and the Northern houses, qualities that Ramsay lacks. Second, killing Walda ruined the Boltons' alliance with the Freys, who control one of the most vital routes in and out of the North, and at a time when the Boltons are in desperate need of allies. Come the very next episode and we already see the start of issues. Smalljon Umber points out that Ramsay's Chronic Backstabbing Disorder means no one will ever trust him again. The result is that the Umbers refuse to pledge fealty, and House Bolton's hold on the North is shakier than ever. And third, he doesn't have an heir, so if he dies before producing one, House Bolton is extinct and it's his own damn fault.
      • This is what finally seals his downfall in "Battle of the Bastards". Ordering his archers to fire on the clashing Stark and Bolton cavalry regardless of losses on their side means he has few troops to counterattack when Littlefinger arrives with fresh reinforcements from the Vale. He also did not anticipate a giant to break Winterfell's gate when he hunkers down for a siege. Finally, when Sansa lets Ramsay's hunting dogs into his cell, she reminds him that he had not fed his hounds in over a week, a result of Ramsay deliberately starving them so that he could feed Sansa's older brother Jon to them, and they are very, very hungry.
    • Jaime is incredibly impulsive. The problem being that many of his spur-of-the-moment actions either don't further his cause or outright make his problems worse. To wit:
      • Attacking Ned Stark and his men did nothing to free Tyrion from Catelyn Stark.
      • His murder of Rickard Karstark's son in a poorly thought out escape attempt only made many Stark bannerman all too eager to kill him.
      • He freed Tyrion, only for the latter to use the newfound freedom to murder their father.
      • His attempt to bring Myrcella back from Dorne wasn't well thought through either, and ends in failure.
      • He's called out on his impulsiveness In-Universe more than once. Notably by Cersei and Bronn.
        Cersei: You're a man of action, aren't you? When it occurs to you to do something you do it. Never mind the consequences.
        Jaime: I like to improvise.
        Bronn: That explains the golden hand.
      • He charges at Daenerys, who is protected by an actual dragon.
        Tyrion: Flee, you idiot.
    • Rhaegar Targaryen's love affair with the already engaged Lyanna Stark (Rhaegar was already married with several children, as well). The country was torn into civil war and his own House was all but destroyed. Pretty much everything that goes wrong in the current timeframe of the series is traceable to this one event.
    • Tyrion Lannister:
      • In Season 6, he attempts to forge a truce with the Great Masters of Slaver's Bay to help pacify Meereen in Dany's absence. He thinks he had achieved that, only for them to decide to invade Meereen later on, requiring Daenerys to save them with her dragons.
      • He plans devises an attack on Casterly Rock in Season 7 to deprive House Lannister from their valuable resources. While the Unsullied force sent to besiege it is successful, it turns out the castle has no strategic value (since their gold mines have dried up) and they have been lead to a trap by House Greyjoy. To make matters worse, the only reason his army managed to take Casterly Rock was because the Lannister bulwark has long since moved to the Reach and besiege the stronghold of their Tyrell allies, leading to Tyrion's side losing a massive chunk of their army.
    • Ellaria Sand never considers the consequences of her actions in attempting to avenge Oberyn's death. Killing Myrcella just gives Cersei a more justified reason to go after her while murdering Doran and Trystane Martell and taking over the leadership of Dorne leaves more problems. When Euron Greyjoy ambushes their ship and kills two of her stepdaughters, she and her own daughter are captured and delivered to Cersei who poisons the latter and forces the former to watch her die and rot for the rest of her life. In the end, not only Ellaria destroys one of the great Houses of Dorne but also leaves the region into a power vacuum.
  • The Good Place: The big twist in the first season is that they're actually in the Bad Place, being psychologically tortured by thinking they're in the Good Place. Eleanor in particular is The Cynic, who drives herself crazy due to having to live up to the impossible standards of all the good people around her. She spends much of her time trying to prove her friends aren't as good as they say they are, and failing. What Michael forgot was that she was right, most of the people in the neighborhood are demons pretending to be good. Eleanor figures this out in over eight hundred memory resets.
  • Hannah Montana: Miley fails her driving test and doesn't want to wait for two weeks as required by DMV regulations before retaking the test, so she takes it as her alter ego. It doesn't occur to her that Miley can't use Hannah's license until she has to show it to a cop.
  • Happy Days - Richie is antagonized by a bully - he asks Fonzie for advice, who tells him to stand up to the bully and he'll back down. Richie stands up to the bully - he doesn't back down. Richie asks what's gone wrong, and Fonzie adds that for this to work he needed to have beaten somebody up before and have a reputation - Richie hisses "That's a big thing to leave out!!"
  • The "Enjoy the Ride" story line in Hollyoaks has a tragic example of this. Jono and Ruby reunite after splitting up, but Jono is about to be deployed with the army. They decide to elope to Gretna Green so Ruby will be allowed to live with Jono at the barracks. Ruby's family panic when they discover she's gone but, as her foster dad points out, Ruby and Jono will not be able to get married even if they reach Gretna Green - they haven't given the appropriate notice to get a marriage licence. Ruby and Jono hadn't even thought about this, and steal a minibus to drive themselves and their friends to Gretna Green; which causes a crash that kills four people, including Jono.
  • In the Season 3 finale of iZombie, Chase Graves gets hundreds, of not thousands of people in Seattle infected with the zombie virus, afterwards announcing their existence to the entire country, blackmailing the US government into supplying them the brains, lest hungry zombies spread out from Seattle. After a 3-4 month Time Skip and the start of Season 4, we find out that the government has walled off the city and is using the national guard to patrol outside the walls, thus cutting off Chase's access to brains and the rest of the country. In fact, Chase knows that the only thing that keeps the government from employing the Nuclear Option is the presence of humans in the city, hence the penalty of death for a zombie scratching or attacking a human. Openly lampshaded by people like Blaine noting that maybe Chase should have taken the possibility of the government not giving the walking dead equal rights before he went ahead and exposed zombies to the world.
  • This is the fatal flaw of Kuroto Dan on Kamen Rider Ex-Aid. He is such a Magnificent Bastard that Heads I Win, Tails You Lose is his M.O, but usually messes up something seemingly minor in the long run. It comes back to bite him in rear in spectacular fashion ranging from being put on a leash held by the good guys to being killed by an abused partner in crime. Not in that order though. Also, he proclaims himself to be the Game Master, yet lacks proper knowledge of the rules he can't change. This ruins/hinders his two attempts at reviving himself. First, he fails completely. Second is the aforementioned leash thing. He had never thought that creating an unbeatable gashat would not be good idea. His father proved him wrong.
  • The Kicks episode "Breakaway" sees Devin being punished by her parents for sneaking out in the previous episode. They give her three punishments: Loss of her cell phone for two weeks, loss of her computer for two weeks, and loss of television privileges for two weeks. Thus, in order to do her homework, she needs to use her mother's computer in a room where she can be monitored. Only after this is enforced does anyone realize the problem: Since the living room is adjacent to the room where Devin is working, they aren't able to watch television either because it would distract her. Also, her mother finds herself unable to use the computer when she needs to because Devin is using it.
  • Law & Order
    • In the episode "The Taxman Cometh", ADA Mike Cutter attempts to nullify the "adoption relationship" between a wealthy women and her female lover, explaining that the relationship was seen as a marriage of the two, even though New York state law was against gay marriage at the time. It works, in that the Family Court judge did nullify the adoption... But it doesn't, in that the judge also enforces spousal privilege (i.e. lover legally couldn't testify). A Supreme Court judge did reverse the enforcement after the commercial break, Cutter's face prior to commercials really shows how little he thought this through.
    • This was set up by an earlier case of Cutter's boss running into the same issue. McCoy argued that the marriage law was invalid in order to get past spousal privilege in order to get one of a gay couple to testify against the other, only for the witness to refuse to testify, even facing a contempt citation, to protest McCoy's actions.
  • In the season 3 finale of The Man in the High Castle, the Nazis plan to use a dimensional portal to access other realities and invade. Juliana openly cites to Smith the key problem of sending a small incursion force into worlds of advanced technology where the Axis was already defeated.
    Juliana: He's just gonna roll tanks through the portal alongside the troops? With no idea what they'll find on the other side? If they even get to the other side? Or have none of you thought that through?
    • As it happens, Smith discovers that the plan is doomed as people can only cross into other realities where their counterparts are dead.
  • In the season 2 finale of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Abe finally has enough of his treatment by both Bell Labs and Columbia and quits both of them. He tells wife Rose, bragging about how great it felt to stand up for his beliefs and be his own man.
    Rose: Abe...the university owns our apartment.
    Abe: does...
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus: One sketch has an inept extortionist who claims that he has set a bomb on an airliner and thinks he's got it all figured out... until the pilot tells him that he'll be killed in the explosion along with everyone else.
    "I'll tell you where it is for a pound."
  • Happens to a lot of the killers on Motive. To be fair, half of the killings are spur of the moment or acts of passion and thus natural the killers don't realize the consequences until too late. But even those who had planned the murder out find the aftermath to be different than what they expected and how they were nowhere near as careful cleaning it up as they thought.
    • More than once, someone who tried to remove a rival for their romantic flame or what they thought was a favor to a friend learn the hard way that the would-be paramour doesn't return the feeling as expected.
  • The Mr. Potato Head Show: Queenie was going to try to force Mr. Potato Head to let her sing on the show by stealing his detachable ears and holding them hostage. She didn't make her demands until after she detached the ears, and he couldn't hear her, though...
    Queenie: Man, I shoulda thought this plan through better!
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000
    • In the episode featuring Space Mutiny, Crow and Tom find, hijack, and wreck two hyper warp escape craft imitating the dogfight scenes in the movie. When Mike points out that "maybe we should have used them for escape purposes?!", it takes Crow and Tom a moment to realize they could have escaped from the Satellite of Love with them.
    • In the episode featuring Eegah! Tom and Crow decide to freeze Crow to 0 Kelvin. When Joel finds out and panics, stating that doing so would cause a chain reaction to kill everyone, Tom mentions that their calculations said the same exact thing before realizing that, yes, it was a bad idea.
  • In the Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide episode "Lost and Found", Ned locks Moze in an outdoor enclosed space to keep her from stopping him from getting a pair of sneakers autographed by NBA player Carmelo Anthony that were in the lost and found, only to realize that he locked himself in with her, preventing his prospects of claiming the sneakers. Another happened in the episode "Revenge" when a new student joins the schools volleyball team and "accidentally" injures most of the best players, leaving the team with her, Moze and the benchwarmers. It's revealed that the new student is from a rival team, and wanted revenge on Polk's volleyball team for beating her team and keeping them out of the playoffs last year. She gloats that now her team will win since she plans to play badly and Polks team is only the benchwarmers. Only for Moze to point out that now that she's a part of Polks volleyball team, her old team no longer has it's best player and now they don't a chance without her as the Polks' benchwarmers are still better than her old team. Not to mention, now she has to face the team she abandoned, and they aren't happy with her, It end with her running from volleyballs being thrown at her.
  • On The Office (US), most of Michael Scott's schemes end up as this. For instance, it's shown that he once promised a group of third graders that he would pay for their entire college tuition. Ten years later, when it's time to pay up, Pam calls him out on this.
  • Rome: Brutus and his fellow conspirators kill Caesar, justifying it by declaring him a tyrant. However Marc Antony points out that if Caesar is a tyrant, then by Roman law all his previous acts are void, including the appointment of the conspirators to their positions of power. Rather than risk an election (given that Caesar was well thought of by the common people) they're forced to make a truce with Antony (giving him time to rally the mob against the conspirators with his Rousing Speech at Caesar's funeral).
  • In a Saved by the Bell episode, Zack has detention on the day of a trivia contest for a trip to Hawaii. He sends Screech in his place, who comes back to ask him a question. Mr. Belding explains only those in detention can talk to others there, so Screech purposely gets in trouble. When he sits down, Zack tells him the obvious problem with that plan.
  • Scrubs:
    • In the season 5 episode "My Big Bird", Elliot finds out that a man she had a brief fling with was married, Elliot having mistakenly believed that the man's wife had passed away by said man's Exact Words ("She wasn't with us."). She angrily tells him to go tell his wife what happened... but since she doesn't go with him she doesn't realize until it's too late that she allowed him to spin the story anyway he wanted and put all the blame on her. The end result: after spending most of the rest of the episode running for her life, the Woman Scorned ultimately catches up to her and duct-tapes her to the wall.
    • In the season 8 finale (JD's last day), Sunny helps JD trick Dr. Cox into admitting that he thinks JD is an exceptional doctor and person while JD is secretly listening. Once Cox gets over the initial shock of being tricked and JD leaves, he has this to say to Sunny:
      Cox: You realize that even though he gets to leave, you have to stay?
      Sunny: I didn't think that out.
      Cox: No. Ya didn't.
  • On an episode of Seinfeld Kramer is at a department store when he decides to sell the clothes he's wearing to another customer. When he's left naked in the store's changing room with nothing to put on, he whimpers, "I didn't think it through!"
  • The Shield: The Fatal Flaw in the immunity deal Vic secures with the Feds. Having pulled the grandfather of all fast ones to secure a position at ICE, he never stopped to think that they didn't exactly do things like The Barn did. (Meaning that Olivia isn't going to overlook his laundry list the way Claudette's superiors forced her to.) It all comes to a head in the Grand Finale when the Feds get him back in a big way by sticking him in an isolated cubicle.
  • The episode "Attached" of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Picard and Dr. Crusher are abducted by a xenophobic faction of an alien world, another faction of which is applying for Federation membership. They were abducted because it was believed they would lead to more contact. When Riker points out that not returning them will result in more ships and very uncomfortable scrutiny, the look on the alien minister's face indicates she didn't consider the ramifications.
    • In "Parallels", When Worf asks Troi if she could become Alexander's surrogate mother, legally available to care for Alexander should anything happen to Worf. Troi asks what that would make her to Worf, and he says the Klingon word for this relationship, soh'chim, has no exact translation but the closest equivalent is stepsister. Deanna's response? "That would make my mother your stepmother."
    Worf: (look of shock) I had not considered that... (beat) It is a risk I am willing to take.
  • The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode The House of Quark has a drunken Klingon fall on his own knife in Quark's bar. Quark had the brilliant idea to use it as a publicity stunt to increase revenue by claiming he had killed the Klingon in a heroic act of self defense. Somehow, he didn't consider that this might get him in trouble with the guy's family. What's worse, when he tries to tell the family the truth, they reject it, because being slain in combat is an honorable way for a Klingon to die, and a drunken accident is not.
    • In the two-part Past Tense, Sisko, Bashir and Dax are accidentally sent to 2024 where San Francisco has a massive "Sanctuary" for the poor and ignored. Sisko realizes the area is about to be hit by the "Bell Riots", a huge uprising of violence that will kill hundreds but pave the way for Earth to change for the better. They're named for Gabriel Bell, who becomes a hero when he's killed by police protecting some hostages. In an altercation, Sisko and Bashir realize the man killed defending them was Bell. Sisko thus poses as Bell when the hostage crisis starts so history can unfold as it should. Bashir warns him there's one major issue...
    Bashir: Didn't you say Bell was killed when the police stormed the building?
    Sisko: That's right. But I'm not Bell.
    Bashir: And we're the only ones who know that.
    (Sisko's face falls)
  • The Storyteller: In "The Soldier and Death", the soldier attempts to trick his way into Heaven by handing his magic sack to one of the souls waiting to enter Heaven, and asking the soul to call him into the sack once he is within Heaven. However, the soldier forgot that all souls entering Heaving lose all mortal life, so once he is in Heaven, the soul has no memory of why he has a sack or what he is supposed to do with it. So the soldier is remains Barred from the Afterlife and left to wander the earth without his magic sack.
  • In the opening to an episode of The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Zack wins a bet against his brother, Cody, and now the latter owes him smoothies, which he now has to make.
    Zack: Did not think that through.
  • In season 5 of Suits Louis blackmails his way back into the firm by threatening to reveal Mike as a fraud. When he tries to fire Mike Jessica points out that by keeping their secret he has made himself part of the crime, and cannot expose him without getting himself charged. Removing any leverage he had.
    • Indeed, it's often noted by the other characters that, while a smart and savvy lawyer, Louis' main problem is that he'll jump into things without fully understanding the consequences.
  • On Timeless Rufus finally stands up and tells the Rittenhouse organization he won't be their spy. Rufus is confident of his stance, pointing out that he's the only one who can pilot the time ship and thus they need him. The next day, he's informed that his assistant is being trained to pilot the ship. Boss Mason lampshades this:
    Mason: What did you think was going to happen? You'd stand up on your hind legs, do your little speech and they'd just slink off into the darkness?
  • (Also counts as a Real Life example.) The Tonight Show: Johnny Carson would often have non-celebrity regular folks as guests (often the most interesting and entertaining part of the show). One was a self-styled "idea man" who came up with get-rich-qucik schemes, none of which really panned out. He had high hopes for his latest—shaving his head and painting advertising on it (this was way, way before shaved heads were commonplace). Johnny commented that, coming on this show, he must have been able to charge some pretty high rates—and the guy froze... he never thought of that. Johnny tried to keep the tone light, but the guy spent the rest of his time there looking like he'd swallowed a foul-tasting bug.
  • In an episode of Top Gear, there was an amphibious car challenge. Hammond's car looked like a boat (with the steering wheel near the back) with an upper portion for the "girls in bikini to go", which he then noticed was so high up he couldn't see over while driving.
    • Then came Jeremy Clarkson's mobility scooter in season 18, which was arranged so that the drive wheels had nothing actually pressing them against the ground.
    • The motor home challenge: Clarkson designed a three-story home on top of his car. It was barely able to clear overhead passes, and proved to be top-heavy, nearly tipping over several times on the road, and finally did during a very windy night.
    • None of their cop car vehicle-stopping devices proved well planned. Richard neglected to consider that cars can turn, James neglected to consider that cars have windshield wipers, and Jeremy neglected to consider that a car's axle can handle only so much stress. The net result was that none of them managed to stop the Stig—and, as an additional bonus, one of Jeremy's wheels ended up a substantial distance from his car.
    • One of their car vs. X races had James and Hammond in a plane James was piloting racing Jeremy in a car along the ground. Sounds like a good plan, but by the time James had completed all the pre-flight checks Jeremy already had a considerable head start, which was a problem since they were in a small, single-engine plane that was barely faster than Jeremy's high-performance car. And then, to top it all off, they had to land at dusk, since James wasn't checked out on night flying, and finish the race on public transit. An amused Jeremy lampshades it when he hears about that part:
      Jeremy: He really hasn't thought this through, has he?
  • In The Wire, Detective McNulty's cunning plan to fake a serial killer in order to get money for an investigation into a murderous drug crew becomes a textbook example of this. Although command showers him with resources, people gradually get wind that he's giving overtime out to people for different cases, so he ends up getting blackmailed into giving people overtime to go and play golf in Florida. Because the eventual bill runs into the millions, McNulty makes himself liable for not only firing, but serious jail time. Because the case becomes a political football, he ends up having to bullshit the entire police command staff and all of city hall. And because McNulty hadn't thought what he'd do when the drug crew were busted, leaving him with a non-existent "serial killer" to catch, he ends up having to find a way to de-escalate the thing rapidly. For a while, you think he'll manage to stay on top of things. He doesn't. The wheels come off. Spectacularly.
  • In Yes, Prime Minister, Sir Humphrey plans to thwart a plan of Prime Minister Hacker's to move selected military units Oop North by discrediting the Employment Secretary, who came up with the plan, and making it seem like he's after Hacker's job. It works like a charm — until the end, when the Employment Secretary's gone and Hacker realises that there's now nothing left to stop him implementing the plan and taking all the credit for it. Humphrey realises too late that his plan involved attacking the Employment Secretary so much, it didn't actually do anything to discredit the plan itself.
  • In an episode of Mythbusters, Adam and Jamie are going over the various techniques people claim to sober a drunk person up. One of the perceived ways being exercise. So while Adam is running on a mini-treadmill, Jamie notes that he's beginning to wonder if the treadmill was such a good idea. Initially due it's size and portability, it seemed ideal as it could easily fit in the back of a car with little effort, but he was now noting how the treadmill has no railings, and Adam is drunk. No sooner had he said that, Adam wipes out on the treadmill.

  • Have you heard the story of Bottleneck Bob? He tried to rob the train with cattle, but evidently forgot they needed to be corralled somehow: "The cattle ran all over the place/And there was Bob with the longest face..."
  • In Eminem's "Stan", the title character, furious that his idol Eminem still hasn't responded to any of his letters, is about to drive off a bridge with his pregnant girlfriend locked in the trunk of his car and drown them all, and is narrating these events into a tape recorder as a final letter to Eminem. The obvious flaw in his plan — namely, that he can't mail the tape to Eminem if he's dead — doesn't occur to him until just as he's going over the edge.
    Well, gotta go, I'm almost at the bridge now.
    Oh, shit! I forgot! How am I supposed to send this shit out?!
  • In the Mozart opera The Abduction from the Seraglio, the hero Belmonte gets captured by the Pasha, who already holds his betrothed Constanza captive. He says that his father can pay a generous ransom for them, only to be informed that said father is a mortal enemy of the Pasha. Oops.
  • Kids Praise: The seventh album begins with two separate instances of this trope in action:
    • First, Psalty agreed to a history-of-hymns project that would take weeks of research, and would be due in two days. He even admits that he agreed without realizing how long it would take.
    • Second, he tries to invent a machine that stretches time to allow himself and the kids to do those weeks of research in under 24 hours. However, he shows it to the kids before he tests it, and kids will be kids..
  • The children's song There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. She keeps swallowing creatures to catch the last thing she swallowed.
    She swallowed the cow to catch the goat, she swallowed the goat to catch the dog, she swallowed the dog to catch the cat, she swallowed the cat to catch the bird, she swallowed the bird to catch the spider that wriggled and wriggled and tickled inside her. She swallowed the spider to catch the fly, but I don't know why she swallowed the fly. I guess she'll die.
    There was an old lady who swallowed a horse. (Beat) She's dead, of course!
  • The Dethklok song "Bloodrocuted" tells of an electrician being chased through the woods by bounty hunters because he just so happens to look exactly like a wanted criminal with a large bounty on his head. He stumbles upon an electrical substation and manages to kill the bounty hunters by cutting his arms and electrifying a puddle of his own blood for them to step in. He then realizes that he has no way to patch himself up and will therefore bleed to death very soon.
  • Smash Mouth's Everyday Superhero:
    I try to hide my true identity
    But no-one knows it's only me.

    Myths & Religion 
  • In The Epic of Gilgamesh, the gods created humanity so that they would work and feed the gods, allowing them to live in leisure. Then the gods couldn't stand the noise people made, so they tried to exterminate them a few times, culminating with The Great Flood. It was apparently successful...until they realized that there was no one left to feed them, nor anything to eat...
  • In the Greek myth King Midas and the golden touch, a greedy king named Midas makes a wish from Dionysus that everything he touches would turn to gold. He gets the wish, and is overjoyed... Until he realizes too late that this means he can no longer eat or drink anything...or touch his daughter. If he had thought more carefully (or just listened to Dionysus' warning that it was a stupid wish), he might have instead just wished for the ability to turn stuff into gold (but not every single thing he touched). Fortunately for Midas, Dionysus took pity on him and showed him how to remove his golden touch and turn his daughter and everything else back to normal.
    • At least in the original. Many people are told the story as a classic Jerkass Genie story.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • The matches regarding the Pure Wrestling Title belt in Ring of Honor were often anything but, as the rules were loose enough for wrestlers to do many, many unintended things. It did achieve the goal of having matches unlike any other promotion was having at the time though, so they just went with it.
  • CM Punk's dormant "feud" with Delirious started back up in IWA Mid-South with Punk in pursuit of Delirious's Light Heavyweight Title, but when Punk challenged and beat Delirious, he didn't win the belt because he was above the weight limit.
  • Chris Hero mocked Bryan Danielson for this in 2005 when he answered Hero's challenge for an ROH World Title match by signing a contract and then sending it to Hero at CZW so he could sign it too. See, Hero could have just as well have had anybody sign the contract.
  • At the 2009 Slammiversary, Jeff Jarrett said he had no desire to win any TNA titles, he only cared about making sure Mick Foley dropped his. Yet Jarrett repeatedly sabotaged AJ Styles' efforts to defeat Mick Foley, even though AJ winning would have meant Mick would have lost his title.
  • At nCw Femme Fatales, Mary Lee Rose had been very open with the fact she had no desire to wrestle Cheerleader Melissa, which is understandable. However, she still spent a lot of time harassing Melissa, interfering in her matches and such. Mary Lee Rose did want to wrestle someone eventually, so she issued an open challenge. Not only was Cheerleader Melissa the first person to accept, but she couldn't help but point out how dumb Rose was for not realizing that would happen. Unfortunately for Melissa, Mary Lee Rose's manager, Mademoiselle Rachelle, lobbied to stop the match from happening and pitted Melissa against Yumi Ohka instead.
  • Frankie Kazarian and Christopher Daniels are accusing AJ Styles of getting a binge drinking crackhead pregnant. Well, the show is called TNA, but what is AJ's response to this? Challenge Christopher Daniels to a match on the stipulation he will admit to being the father if Daniels can beat him, but will take a paternity test to find out for sure if he beats Daniels.
  • In WWE, Seth Rollins made the exact same "open challenge even though I've been antagonizing someone I have no desire to wrestle" mistake. In this case, it was Dean Ambrose who answered.

  • Bleak Expectations: This trope describes many of Harry Biscuit's ideas, and Pip Bin's. The fact the two live long enough to reach adulthood is astounding. At one point, the latter falls foul of Admiral Hardthrasher, when Pip lets loose he's responsible for the death of the admiral's brothers - specifically the ones he liked. In order to defend himself, Pip sets Hardthrasher on fire and sinks his ships... despite not knowing how to swim. And the ships are out at sea. This prompts Pip, in a very rare moment of self-awareness to admit he hadn't thought this through.

    Tabletop Games 
  • One Paranoia mission introduces the new Mandatory Bonus Duty of Executive Officer, who (in addition to being the Team Leader's Number Two) gets a brevet promotion for the purpose of wearing a higher-clearance uniform — the idea is that Commies will mistake him for the Team Leader and concentrate their fire on him instead. As usual for Paranoia, The Computer failed to consider what might happen when others made the same mistake:
    Green-clearance Team Leader: All right, men, let's go!
    Random bystander: Hey, why are you letting him boss you around?
    "Blue"-clearance Executive Officer: Hey, yeah! [shoots the Team Leader] All right, men, let's go!
  • In one Time of Judgment scenario in Werewolf: The Apocalypse, the Silent Striders decide to join the Wyrm's forces and goad the Wyrm's servants into attacking Grandmother, in the hopes of weakening both the Wyrm and Grandmother. They do so by passing through the Black Spiral Labyrinth, which hopelessly corrupts them. Instead of fighting Grandmother, the corrupted Silent Striders attack the Garou Nation.
  • Betrayal at House on the Hill: One scenario involves the traitor attempting to send the house and everyone in it, including themself, to hell. If they win, in the end text they realise too late that this probably wasn't such a good idea.

  • In Pokémon Live!, one trainer that challenges MechaMew2 has his Electrode use Selfdestruct in the hopes that the move would be returned... overlooking the fact that using the move made his Electrode faint.

    Video Games 
  • BioShock Infinite:
    • About midway through, Booker makes a deal to get an airship out of Columbia, which, in fairness, was done right after he woke up from being bashed unconscious.
      Elizabeth: [incredulous] You can get us out of here?
      Booker: Yes! I just need to... [audible wince] supply enough weapons to arm an entire uprising.
    • After Booker and Elizabeth risk life and limb to get to gunmaker Chen Lin's impounded tools, they realize that the "tools" are more like machines—way too big and numerous to be transported anywhere, let alone all the way back the way they came from the shop.
      Booker: Well, we sure as hell aren't gonna be able to carry all this back to the shop. God, we didn't think this all the way through...
    • They end up solving it by shifting to a reality where the rebels already have the guns. Roaring success! Too bad in this reality nobody has any idea what the hell they're talking about when they say there was a deal.
  • A frequent experience in Bomberman: Place a bomb, walk into an alley, realize alley is a dead end because of said bomb...
  • Quite a few times in the Henry Stickmin Series, in Diamond, Henry ditches his motorcycle to escape the cops and succeeds, only to realize that he left the diamond behind on the motorcycle. And in Complex, Henry and Ellie get on a truck full of prisoners to escape... except nobody's driving the truck.
  • Done twice in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle. If you have a stand that keeps you locked within a single timeframe (or dimension), who's going to stop you but a Stand that can rewind time? Even worse, against a Hamon user?
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, Larxene is trying to cheer Namine up about the plan. Namine replies that they want part of Kairi to replace Kairi in Sora's memories so that he'll forget Kairi. Spot the flaw in this plan.
    • King Mickey has a bit of an impulsive streak that causes him to leap headfirst into half developed plans. Case in point: in Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep - A Fragmentary Passage, he confesses to Aqua that he spent so much time trying to figure out how to get into the Realm of Darkness that he never actually considered how he was going to get out.
  • Something you can do in Smackdown vs Raw 2011 ladder matches: have you and your partner both climb up a ladder. The opponents get up and realize they could just tip the ladder over. Cue doing just that.
  • Much of the Fun in Dwarf Fortress comes from the player neglecting to think things through, such as forgetting to make a proper drainage system for your water (or magma!) devices, cooking all the fort's seeds so there's have nothing to plant for crops, building a prosperous fort without regard for thieves, knocking the last support out from under your megaproject...
  • Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 has a fabulous example from Ghetsis, surprisingly. He orders Kyurem to attack the player character directly, rightly expecting this to force N into action to stop the attack, so he can steal N's legendary dragon and fuse it with Kyurem, which he controls. The thing he didn't take into account? N's actions did save the player character, who beats the daylights out of him and Kyurem in defense of their rescuer.
  • In Mass Effect 3 Citadel DLC, Shepard is targeted by someone who wants to be Shepard. No, not Conrad; it turns out to be a plan to Kill and Replace Shepard by a Shepard clone. Turns out, they're a Bad Boss, worse than pure renegade Shepard and a xenophobe. If the idea is to become the legend, then they'd need to gain crew loyalty for the suicide mission and follow the paragon path Shepard had—only to find out that they're hosed upon learning that Shepard's love interest is an alien. This is consistently lampshaded, with Shepard noting that a good friend and contact such as Admiral Hackett won't be fooled for a minute.
    • In general, this is the Fatal Flaw of the Salarians. Their short lifespans seem to make it hard for them to think out their actions on a long-term scale. What's worse is this applies to their entire culture, failing to remember the same mistakes they made long ago despite the rest of the galaxy being able to remember and tell them. For example, uplifting the Krogans: First they uses the Krogans to wipe out the Rachni. Then the Krogans revolt because their Blood Knight nature combined with their extreme healing abilities and high birth rates (which is why they were chosen to fight the war in first place) forces them to start pushing onto other inhabited planets for living space. Seeing that their one-time soldiers can't be stopped by force they use the Genophage to drop birthrates to controllable levels. Eventually the Salarians find an even more violent and strong species called the Yahg, who killed the parties first sent to meet them, and think they will be a great idea to uplift.
    • The leviathans in their plan to create an AI that would stop conflict between organic and synthetic life and preserve that at any cost. Given such a command, the AI naturally came to accept that creating the Reapers, which exterminate all technologically advanced organic life every 50,000 years clearly fits the bill. So no wonder the existence of the leviathans is akin to believing in the Loch Ness Monster with all of their stellar empire wrecked and forgotten by the galaxy.
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda:
    • Liam's personal mission is one long run of it. In order to help with research and forging relations between the Angarans and the Initiative, he lends critical Initiative intel to some Angaran friends of his without considering the implications of what could happen if those friends and the intel were to be captured by the enemy...which they promptly are, so he gets Ryder to help him on a rescue mission. Unfortunately he only thought as far ahead as "sneak aboard their ship inside a storage crate", and figured they'd just shoot the bad guys and save the day, without considering that things might not go according to plan, or even how they were going to evacuate all the prisoners.
    • Peebee's Loyalty Mission wouldn't happen without this. There's a doohickey on a planet Peebee's found, but the problem is the Tempest can't land because it's a volcanic planet and there is nowhere to land. So she tricks Ryder and the other squadmate into the ship's escape pod and fires it at the surface. Once there, she has to admit she's got no plan for getting off-planet again. If her ex hadn't followed them with her own shuttle, they'd never have been able to.
    • Proving some salarians just don't learn, the fate of the Paarchero, the salarian ark, is rife with this. The salarians wake up in Andromeda, off-course but aware of the kett. Salarian military doctrine is to learn everything about the enemy before fighting, then turn the enemy's strengths against them. So some of the ark's leadership decide they need to learn about exaltation. Their solution? Sell the Paarchero out to the kett, resulting in dozens, if not hundreds, of salarians being horrifically experimented on and / or killed. One of the conspirators, when caught, insists it had to be done, apparently not knowing that anyone exalted has their memories either removed, or no longer has any emotional connection to their past life, so even if they had the knowledge, there'd have been no way to utilise it. Ryder points out the sheer stupidity of this approach.
    Ryder: "Hey, I know how to not get us all exalted: Get us all exalted!" You idiot!
    • Ultimately, this is Zig-Zagged for the Andromeda Initiative overall. While they had the foresight to plot out potential habitable planets for each of their species, they didn't take into consideration the fact that they had little to no intel as to who or what could be inhabiting the new galaxy, and as such they went in armed with little more than small arms and a few light combat ships...which turned out to be a problem when they arrived and the main bad guys were flying fully armed capital ships around. Granted, the entire expedition knew how blind they were going in, and they were also faced down with a massive Outside-Context Problem in the form of the Scourgenote  but it still doesn't excuse the fact that they walked into Andromeda with no heavy firepower nor the means to manufacture that firepower to back them up in case things went pear-shaped.
  • In the Borderlands 2 expansion Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage!, one side mission you get from Mr. Torgue involves a contaminated batch of beer being served at the tournament (a diseased midget fell in the vat). Mr. Torgue hires you to do a "product recall", and by "product recall" we mean "storm the bar the beer went to, kill everyone inside, and get the beer back so nobody gets hurt by the contaminated beer". Only when you've completed the mission does Mr. Torgue realize that what he just asked you to do "MADE NO SENSE G*D DAMNIT!"
    • He later hires you to go kill people with Torgue guns so he can use footage of it in an advert for Torgue guns. A radio advert. This time, he doesn't realize it.
    • He lives this trope in general as in his pursuit of the Rule of Cool, he ends up doing many short-sighted things, like trying to blow up a planet that he was on.
  • In Star Wars: The Old Republic, the Republic has a top-secret prison on the planet Belsavis, where they send people who will never be allowed back into the galaxy again. Unfortunately, they never thought about what would happen when a closed population inevitably started having children, none of whom had ever been convicted of a crime, yet were still considered prisoners. Eventually, these descendants started a movement to gain their freedom, which left them open to the Empire's offers...
  • In the bonus route of Puella Magi Madoka Magica Portable, Homura spends all her efforts to save everyone individually from their despair and/or death, and prevent Madoka from making a contract. Great! Then Walpurgisnacht shows up, and they're not ready to fight her as a team. Homura gives up and bails before the battle even starts.
  • In the Flash game Mastermind: World Conqueror, you play as the evil mastermind with a goal to destroy the world. When you finally succeed, you see the world explode from your space pod...and are then offered a small menu of cheesy lines you can say with no one to hear you and your oxygen running out.
  • This is more or less the defining trait of Wheatley in Portal 2. As a particular example, in one scene after Chell escapes from a deathtrap, Wheatley calls to her to come back. If you actually go back, Wheatley realizes that he cannot reset the trap and he has no other trap prepared, and apologetically resorts to asking you to throw yourself down an obvious pit.
  • In Sonic Adventure, Tails modifies his plane so he and Sonic can fly up to the Egg Carrier. This seems to go smoothly until Tails realizes he forgot to equip landing gear just as they're about to land the plane.
  • In Sonic Unleashed, Orbot called out Dr. Eggman for his habit of acting hastily, like reawakening Dark Gaia before it was mature, resulting in it being unable to sustain itself due to its own weight and collapsing, and discarding the Chaos Emeralds along with Sonic.
  • In Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War, Sigurd has a bad habit of dealing with his problems by stabbing them in the face with little regard for the consequences. It ends up being his Fatal Flaw; his recklessness allows the corrupt nobles to use him as an Unwitting Pawn and throw him away when they no longer need him.
  • In Fire Emblem Gaiden and its remake, Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, Jesse decides that it's a marvelous idea to chase after Grieth's thugs on his own to save Est. He realizes that going up against a gang of thieves and slavers alone was a bad idea when they just toss him in a dungeon, too.
  • In Super Mario Galaxy, Bowser's plot is to steal Grand Stars to recreate the galaxy to revolve around his Sun in a new EvilEmpire. However, despite that he's happy to endanger innocent lives, mutilating the order of the Galaxy is exceedingly risky and possibly might end up destroying the entire galaxy and him with it, not just any innocent lives he's open to endangering and leaving the rest of the galaxy for him to rule. And that actually makes him MORE of a threat to the galaxy, whereas kidnapping Princess Peach to make her rule alongside him unwittingly makes him at least a bit LESS of a threat as it at least partially led to Mario defeating him and saving the galaxy.
  • In Reflections on the River, the plot is triggered by the player character, Zheng the Witch, kidnapping a prince or princess to use as leverage (the king having refused to pay the actual agreed price for a witch's service). As even the captives can see, however, it's really just going to make things worse.
    Prince Shun: That did not go as smoothly as it could have. [...] I once believed witches to be quite wise.
    Zheng: What's that supposed to mean?
    Prince Shun: How would kidnapping me help you in any way?
    Zheng: Look, I was in a hurry, and I had to think on my feet.
  • This is very much the modus operandi of Nate in Uncharted, his most famous quote being "I didn't think that far ahead". On a small scale he often carries out solutions to problems without thinking about the consequences of the aftermath; one moment in the second game has him quoting the trope verbatim as he uses a train car to bust out of a repair shed, alerting all the enemies in the area. On a larger scale this is his overall theme throughout the series; other characters often point out that he's often going up against incredibly dangerous people for the treasures he seeks, which always lands him in their bad blood and frequently sends him to jail. The third and fourth games even have the backstories themselves construed to warn him of the danger, yet he doesn't think anything of it and plows ahead on the adventure, putting him and his loved ones in constant peril and biting him in the ass later.
  • One of Flowey's ultimate goals throughout Undertale is to goad the protagonist into becoming a killer, because he thinks they're his best friend from the time when he did have a soul, and he wants them to become like him so they can be together again. If you go for the Genocide Route, he'll become much nicer to the protagonist before realizing somewhere around New Home that Kill 'em All means him too. On the other hand, if you play the Pacifist Run, Flowey devours all the other monsters to regain his soul... and with it, his conscience.
  • King's Quest (2015): In Episode 3 Graham runs off on a well, guess, with naught but an engagement ring to a tower to find his future wife/one true love, because a magic mirror told him so. Once he gets to the top (and after getting rejected by both of them) the princesses imprisoned therein ask if he's got any rope. He was actually hoping for Rapunzel Hair.
    Princess Vee: You're a bit of a ropeless romantic, aren't you?
  • In Pokémon Sun and Moon, as you invade Aether Foundation's headquarters, you encounter Faba, who has the key to president Lusamine's office. He had allowed you to defeat him so he can gather more Aether employees to defeat you, Hau and Gladion. When Hau asks if he had the key and Faba responds in the affirmative, Hau pointed out that if he had just stayed hidden, they would have been stuck forever. Faba is gobsmacked at being outsmarted.
  • In the canon ending of Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location, Ennard successfully enters the protagonist's body. The hidden cutscenes for completing the Custom Nights show why choosing a corpse for a hiding spot isn't exactly the best of ideas.
  • Dragonball Xenoverse 2 plays with this in the Infinite History missions. If you bring in Gotenks to the first mission, he's in awe when his components' fathers become Super Saiyan 4, but decides to mock them in claiming that Fusion is so much cooler, prompting Goku and Vegeta to fuse into Super Saiyan 4 Gogeta. He's, then, reminded that now he has to defeat him now, which the fusion warrior sheepishly realizes he never thought of.
  • In Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, Amazing Spider-Man finds one of the pieces of the Tablet in a construction zone, only to get caught up in a battle between the Juggernaut and Silver Sable and the Wild Pack. Juggernaut accidentally stepped on the Tablet piece and has it wedged in his foot, but Sable is bearing down on him with firepower. Spidey spots and tosses away the tracker Sable planted on Juggernaut, leading her and her men to chase after it, leaving Spidey alone with the Juggernaut, a decision he regrets a split-second later.
  • Brian Virgil of Fallout 4 falls victim to this twice. First there's his plan to escape The Institute. Hiding out in the extremely irradiated Glowing Sea. He survives there by turning himself into a Super Mutant. Not thinking that it would eventually start robbing him of his scientific intelligence. And the second comes when you give him the cure. He takes the cure before leaving the Glowing Sea. Meaning he's basically trapped there forever.
  • In The Feeble Files, after Feeble returns to the city of Metro Prime from Cygnus Alpha, a prison colony that he escaped from, he's able to go to the automated Confession Booth and then "confess" that he is a rebel and that he will do what he can to overthrow OmniBrain and his totalitarian Omni Corporation. Later on we can hear an announcement saying that he's become this cycle's top confessor, and that he should go to the nearest Confession Booth to receive his "reward". Feeble remarks that what he just did was probably a really bad idea.
  • In the tutorial for Zoo Tycoon Dinosaur Digs, when you learn about how to build a Dinosaur enclosure (for a T rex) you are eventually prompted to go ahead and remove a wall piece, which of course releases the T Rex and it starts to kill your guests. the tutorial then blames you for not thinking ahead.
  • During a bonus chapter of Valkyria Chronicles 4 the squad gets caught in a blizzard, only to conveniently find a hot spring. When Riley overhears the men's grumbling about the ladies going first turn into other misogynistic comments, she angrily runs out to confront them... forgetting that she doesn't have anything on.
  • In Persona 5, when the group's working on identifying some burglars threatening Shibuya, Yusuke proposes luring them to Leblanc, like they did in The Daybreakers OVA. Unfortunately, not only would such a plan result in the protagonist getting kicked out, but Yusuke forgot that he left his mother's painting, the Sayuri, in there. Luckily, cooler heads prevail and the Thieves go with another plan.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY:
    • In Episode 8, Weiss falls out of the sky. Jaune leaps up and catches her in his arms. He manages to look badass for a moment, then realizes that they are now both in midair with no landing strategy. He crashes, but at least provides Weiss' landing cushion.
    • This is the reason why we catch Team RNJR (Ruby and the remains of Team JNPR) walking through the forest in the first episode of Volume 4: Ruby decided they should walk to Mistral at the end of Volume 3. On the other side of the continent she lives on.
    • In Volume 5, Raven planned to steal the Relic of Knowledge to keep Salem away from her tribe. Yang, however, makes her aware that if Salem was willing to pursue her when she thought Raven was only harboring the Spring Maiden, then she would definitely be on her hitlist upon learning that Raven not only is the Spring Maiden, but is also carrying one of the Relics she's after. Raven's shocked to discover that she didn't exactly consider the implications.
    • In one skit in RWBY Chibi, Cinder demonstrates a Dynamite Candle for her "evil class" (consisting of Roman, Neo, Emerald, and Mercury). When Emerald points out that the trap is too obvious, Cinder misinterprets it as her henchwoman not understanding the concept and lights the dynamite right then and there to demonstrate. She has just enough time to realize what a bad move that was before the dynamite explodes.
  • DSBT InsaniT:
    • Happens in the first episode when Koden sends Killer to kick Bear, Snake, Duck, and Balloon out of his house.
    • Also in "Beach Brawl" when Kerry impulsively throws Shovel at frozen Cell, thinking that would shatter him.
      Bear: Even I saw that one coming a mile away.
  • Dr. Havoc's Diary: In Episode 17, Brock sneaks onto Havoc's submarine by cutting a hole in the side with a welding gun. Guess what eventually happens?
  • Nomad of Nowhere: In the first episode, Toph and her team (sans Skout) decide to set the forest on fire to flush out and capture the titular Nomad for good... while they're still in it.

    Web Comics 
  • An early strip of Sluggy Freelance starts off with Riff and Torg talking about how Zoe has a date with this guy she has a huge crush on. Riff then mentions that he is going to visit his ex-girlfriend Gwynn at her apartment, which she shares with Zoe. Torg is surprised that Riff going to see her alone like that. Riff insists that they're not alone, that Zoe will be which point he realizes that even though he was aware of both of these pieces of information he only just now realized that they were related.
  • El Goonish Shive:
    • Referenced but averted by discussing the plan before trying it, allowing someone else to point out the flaw ahead of time.
      Female Immortal: I hate being invisible and intangible; it feels like cheating.
      Male Immortal: We can't exactly claim to be "everyday students" and expect to pass unnoticed in Elliot's house.
      Female Immortal: We could pretend to be burglars! That would make sense, right?
      Male Immortal: ...I don't think you've thought this through...
    • Abraham. Almost everything he ever did and we know about, starting from an enchantment Gone Horribly Wrong for which he became infamous. He (among other things) swore to destroy every creature created by his botched enchantment, the Dewitchery Diamond, on the assumption that the Diamond would be used against curses, thus creating monsters. He hadn't accounted for the Diamond being used to rid people of harmless conditions, like Elliot's Gender Bender problem, and so ends up compelled by his oath to kill Ellen, who is hardly a monster (even when she tries).
    • Abraham also claims to Raven that he tried everything he could to destroy the Diamond. Right away, Raven suggests he throw it in a volcano, and Abraham's reaction shows that he clearly didn't try everything.
    • When Tedd proclaims the use of his Battle Mode Gauntlet and finds an entity he might be overpowered by, and is utterly unprepared to face.
    Tedd: Oh man I did not think this through.
    Tedd: Just to, ah, clarify, "battle mode"? Just the name of the setting. It doesn't necessarily imply that I want to—
    • The Emissary of Magic. While you could argue that trying to communicate through Grace's dreams (if you didn't know, it's really hard to remember dreams even if you're actively trying to) was on orders from The Will Of Magic, his reaction to Pandora's entry was entirely his own doing. The first thing he does is threaten her. The first thing he should have done was ask her why she was there. Lampshaded in The Rant:
    Imagine if it had worked. "She's gone! VICTORY IS MINE! And I have no idea why she was here in the first place! Or if she'll come back! Or if maybe her intentions were as noble as I believe mine! Or... Huh."
  • Webcomic/webgame Wicked Awesome Adventure points out how often this befalls adventurers in the course of escape and exploration.
    • J.E.T. enlists the help of a wounded and unwilling Candimp to disarm a trap.
    • Rhys solves a puzzle to access a new area of the Haunted House for exploration—opening a trap door, too.
  • Girl Genius got a few examples.
    • Like this guy who neglected to think about why everyone was in an oubliette.
    • Zeetha also got a major one - killing everyone on the pirate base and then blowing it up was all well and good, but it did mean that there wasn't anyone left alive to tell her where her homeland is. She's been wandering around Europa for several years now, trying to find anyone who might have any idea.
    • Agatha and her friends fought their way across a town that was doubling as a war zone to reach a tower that was tall enough to be able to blast the Castle with enough lightning to recharge it. Along the way, she rebuilds - with improvements - the lightning generator, so that it will be even stronger for when she needs to use it. She decides that destroying all the enemies that stand in the way between her and the observation tower would be a good trial run. She's improved it so much that it destroys the tower that they were trying to get to in the first place.
    • Krosp's creator was intending him to be the Emperor of All Cats, and to use this authority to create a cat spy network that could infiltrate anywhere. Turns out, regular cats just aren't smart enough to be spies. The uplifted bear army he also created to serve Krosp works out a lot better, making this a possible subversion, depending on whether that was the plan all along or just a very good recovery.
  • In Maliki, as Fang and Electro are bored, Maliki hands them a magnet to play with. She realizes a second too late that letting Electro hold a magnet is a pretty bad idea, since she literally electrifies everything she touches.
  • Belkar in This appropriately-titled The Order of the Stick strip. He's spent a lot of time trying to goad the Knight Templar paladin Miko to kill him, as doing so would make her Fall from paladinhood. He assumed that his teammates would resurrect him afterwards. V then points out that the Raise Dead spell requires 5,000 GP of diamonds to work- diamonds that they don't actually have.
  • Fontes' Rants: Fontes uses the Life Note, a parody of the Death Note, which creates a life form he writes in it, to create an Ax-Crazy Marty Stu character. When he recovers after inevitably being knocked out:
    Fontes: ...I really shouldn't have made him able to summon firearms...
  • Spinnerette has two groups trying to clone Adolf Hitler and Robert E. Lee so they can lead their respective people again. Dr. Universe, the scientist who promised to do the cloning, only did so because he knew the plan would fail because nobody would follow a clone of Adolf Hitler or Robert E. Lee.
  • From Super Stupor, this strip, after Punchline explains why The Anarch's plan is really just Suicide by Superhero:
    The Anarch: I may have made a slight error in my calculations.
    Punchline: When you were adding up the numbers, did you remember to carry the stupid?
    The Anarch: Yes!... no.
  • In Schlock Mercenary, the UNS tries to use a court case to trick a nearly-all-powerful AI into admitting that he has been performing morally-questionable actions (specifically, "disappearing" problematic people).
    Kerchak: And then what?
    Breya: I...haven't thought that far ahead.
    Kerchak: I'll bet you a bushel of pureed bananas he has.
    • AIs Ennesby and Tagii try to convince a space station's AI that Tagii is from a ship built by the same species, hoping to rely on Tagii's isolation trauma to explain any discrepancies. Nigh-instantly after establishing contact, Tagii sends a Distress Call.
    Tagii: AAAAIIIEEENNESBY! We are fools! We thought isolation trauma might be a good excuse, a ploy. We did not follow the thread of our own logic to its terrifying end! (terrified whisper) T'kkkuts Afa has been alone for ten million years.
  • In The Wotch, the Uricarn Demon killed all the other members of his species. He didn't think it through.
    Uricarn: I enjoy being your bit of controlled chaos. Beats just wandering aimlessly finding cheap thrills like I was doing after exterminating the rest of my kind...which was kinda stupid in retrospect. Probably should have let myself grow up a bit before making that decision...*
  • In Commander Kitty, Nin Wah tries to turn herself over to the Triple-I by teleporting herself to one of their ships...while CK is busy shooting them down.
  • In Questionable Content, Angus, Marigold, and Faye get drunk together. Faye asks Marigold if she has ever dated anyone (she hasn't). She says that she think she has a chance with someone and looks at Angus as he returns to the couch. Faye, feeling incredibly awkward, walks out and goes home. Thing is, Angus likes Faye (which Faye knows) and Faye may like Angus. Angus doesn't like Marigold like that, but she left them together drunk and alone. When Dora points out the obvious, Faye has the appropriate reaction.
  • In Ménage à 3, during a Girls' Night Out, Zii notices that every man in the bar is buying DiDi drinks, and decides to intercept them. Problem is that she does so by drinking them down herself—not the best move, especially considering that DiDi has at least 50 pounds on her.
  • In the Oglaf story "Chronotherapy", a wizard agrees to go back in time and avert a deadly plague before it's even got started. He is successful; so successful that the people who hired him to do it, although well-intentioned, don't believe he did it.
    Wizard: [suddenly appearing] I have reached through time itself to cure the plague before it has even got started. The thousands who fell to its taint now live, as if it never was.
    Queen: Sorry, what plague is this?
    Wizard: I...fuck. Shit. ...There was a plague and you were going to give me a reward if I could cure it.
    Queen: Well... I don't really...
    Wizard: [crestfallen] No, that's fine. I wouldn't believe me either.
    Queen: What was the reward?
    Wizard: [Facepalm] Marriage to the princess and a dukedom.
    Queen: Well, that's not possible. But I can arrange for a handjob and a hot meal if you like.
    Wizard: That'd be great, thanks.
  • The first story arc of The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! climaxes with Bob volunteering to save Ahem by fighting a monster. He reassures Voluptua: "Trust me, I know what I'm doing!" The monster appears, and it's a horrific thing with mandibles bigger than his whole body, and he realizes suddenly, "No I don't!"
  • 8-Bit Theater: During their battle with the Lich King, the Light Warriors manage to remove his soul from the earth orb—and then realize they have to get it back in him.
    Red Mage: In other words, we've only succeeded in making the invincible king of death even angrier at us.
    Thief: Y'know, I really hadn't planned this far ahead in the scenario. I presumed we were going to be dead about five minutes ago.
  • Dr. McNinja realizes only after the fact that someone on a murder spree for unknown reasons just contacted him to make a particular substance and he proceeded to make exactly what she was asking for and give it to her.
    • Concatenated example, as that, in turn, was just the excuse his brain came up with to turn against the person in question who he approached without any kind of protection... to deliver a medicine made to prevent her from releasing chemicals that made everybody who gets near her want to kill her.
  • Messenger: Eldora is a brave Chio. Not necessarily a bright Chio, but a brave Chio.
  • Far to the North: Kelu charges up the side of a mountain, without a coat, to vent her Mama Bear rage on the goblin that almost killed her nephew. Only when it appears right behind her does she realize she never figured out what she was going to do when it showed up.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent:
    • After hiding in a crate of tuna cans to smuggle himself to a place in which he was hoping to have a vacation of sorts, Reynir starts wondering if someone is going to need the tuna cans he took out of the crate to be able to fit in it. He honestly should also be wondering if the crate is actually going to his intended vacation spot. Mostly because unbeknownst to him, the ship he's riding has been blackmailed into making a detour to deliver food to an underfunded crew exploring a Death World Forbidden Zone.
    • In a following chapter, a bunch of deer run through the book salvaging spot Sigrun and Emil are visiting. Sigrun keeps Emil from shooting them because they are healthy and only zombie animals need to be shot on sight, so they just let the deer go by and enjoy the show. Right after the last deer leaves, Sigrun realizes it would actually have been a good idea to let Emil shoot one of them so they'd have extra food.
  • The Whiteboard: In this strip, Sandy reveals that she is having automobile issues. Doc promptly responds. Sandy promptly facepalms and lampshades this trope.

    Web Original 
  • In The Salvation War, after the demonic general Abigor hears of the defeat of (most of) his cavalry attempting to charge a ridge line with "cowardly mages throwing mage bolts, with mage-bars in the ground and silvery snakes in the ground that cut up demons and their steeds alike" (paraphrasing here), his plan for the second day of fighting is to extend his lines by thinning them — by the time he was done, an almost fifteen-mile-long front! — so as to outflank and envelope the enemy, while ordering the massed use of demonic bolt "fire" to suppress the mages. Too bad he didn't realize that he would only be able to see a small portion of the battle at any one time and thus would have to keep riding back and forth along the lines until he was already on the front lines in the midst of the carnage, with multiple rockets headed his way... they missed him, but he immediately and correctly intuited that he had been personally targeted.
  • Kevin Murphy puts the exact phrase into the mouth of the Scott Ian-looking Geat who makes a spectacularly failed attempt to charge Grendel in the 2007 Beowulf RiffTrax.
  • This trope is lampshaded in the The Music Video Show's Cobra Starship Snakes on a Plane episode:
    "Alright. All the snakes are been released. Now to get off this plane." (looks around with an Oh, Crap! face)
  • The Spoony One puts this in the mouth of the main villain of Highlander: The Source when he gets the Quickening at the top of a tall tower.
  • The plan that Leeroy's raid group comes up with for taking on the Rookery in the Leeroy Jenkins Video ignores two key facts:
    1. Scattering the whelps of the Rookery only keeps them off you for a few seconds and will likely bring more to bear on you — you really want to hatch as few of them as possible. Fear rotation is rather pointless in the Rookery anyway due to the rate at which the eggs respawn.
    2. The paladin ability Divine Intervention does not allow a protected character to use any skills and is very much wasted on mages (who primarily rely on skills such as AOE attacks) and has the added "bonus" of killing the paladin who uses it, removing a character with the ability to tank and heal from the general fight.
  • Marble Hornets: Half of what Jay does. For example, breaking into Alex's home. He drops his flashlight, and then runs into the Operator.
  • At the beginning of Achievement Hunter's GO! series, Geoff reveals that he would pay for a pizza party for every person who gets five wins. By the end of the twelfth episode, the scoreboard is reading 3/3/2/2/2 and Michael points out that, pretty soon, he's gonna be hosting back-to-back pizza parties. Geoff just looks at the scoreboard in total disbelief.
  • In Ten Little Roosters, Ryan is nearly attacked by a puma, but then Lindsay distracts the puma by calling to it like a cat. As the puma gets closer to her, Lindsay realizes that it's a really big predator and it's moving quite quickly towards her. She ends up getting mauled for her troubles.
  • This happens on a fairly regular basis in the Yogscast Minecraft Series. Examples include Duncan Jones not planning for a return trip from the Moon to the Overworld (causing Lewis Brindley to loudly berate him), Duncan trying to build an in-game golf course despite not knowing how it would be played (causing Simon Lane to then berate him), Simon building TNT bridges over lava, and many more.
  • In Noob, there was a period during which the guild's Only Sane Man leader decided to basically take time off and gave command to the guild's de facto Lancer. Unfortunately, the guy is a misogynist who can't stand stupid people and all the other members of the guild are three women and a not very bright guy. When complaints arise, temporary command gets transferred to the senior member of the women...AKA the guild's Manipulative Bitch and The Scrooge.
  • This post on Facts from a Cardboard Box. The writer had gotten a Vaporeon, a Jolteon, a Flareon, a Leafeon, and a Glaceon and he was training the three Eevees he had left...on Route 20. For context, in Pokémon X and Y, that's where the Moss Rock is. If an Eevee levels up near a Moss Rock, it evolves into a Leafeon. Luckily, getting new Eevees isn't particularly hard in that game (assuming you know where to look) and Wonder Trade meant they weren't outright wasted.
  • The CollegeHumor video "The iPhone 7 is Just Worse" skewers Apple's introduction of iPhone 7, specifically how it removes the 3.5 mm headphone jack, without realizing that this creates many new problems for users.
    Tim Cook: It's all about simplicity, everything will run through one port. Now, you might be asking yourself, "What if I want to charge my phone... (in realization) while listening to music?" Shit!
  • In the NFL Quarterbacks On Facebook convo "The Fantasy Draft," Tom Brady establishes the rule that the draft order is established by going from least handsome to most handsome. This comes back to bite him as he gives himself the last pick, by which point the only starting QB remaining is... Mark Sanchez.
  • In Resident Evil 2 Abridged, Claire finds her brother, Chris's, diary, where he explains that he can't tell Claire about his plans to go fight Umbrella, as doing so could put her in danger. Claire reads this after coming to Raccoon City, which is now overrun with zombies and various Umbrella-made monsters, to look for him after he mysteriously disappeared.
  • Puffin Forest:
    • In "Everybody Died in Call of Cthulhu" a player character killed himself by setting everything in the room he was in on fire, including the only door out of the room. This same player character had in a previous game collapsed the entrance to a mine with dynamite while he still in it, which Ben let him live from.
    • In "The Hero of Parnast: Part 2", the group wanted Wallace out of the group as swiftly as possible, so at the end of the adventure, they sent him ahead on a mount with the villain in tow. They realized too late that this would, again, cast Wallace as the true hero of Parnast.
    • In "Read your spell BEFORE you cast it" a player cast the spell Darkness on a dragon without reading what the spell does. Instead of making it so that dragon couldn't see them, it made it so they couldn't see the dragon.
    • In "PEE IN MY BUCKET!" a player cast the spell Flaming Sphere, while they were on a wooden ship that was stuck in some trees, which set the ship on fire, and resulted in most of the remaining crew falling to their deaths escaping from the flames.
  • Not Always Legal has this story of a security firm springing an unscheduled training drill, with an actor in a fake explosive vest, at a nuclear containment facility guarded by armed military police with shoot-to-kill orders.

    Western Animation 
  • 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 "Lady and 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!
  • 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.
  • American Dad!: The 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.
  • 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: 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.
  • 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, there would be victim spells this all out for Zaheer as he is chained up in prison, being the last one of his group to survive the ordeal. The look on his face shows that he realizes that she's absolutely right.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Daffy Duck and the Dinosaur: You know, maybe that giant inflatable duck wasn't such a hot idea after all.
  • 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 Danny's plan to have Vlad use his Ghost Gauntlets to remove the medallion makes perfect sense and ultimately works, Danny apparently never considered what a big risk he was taking putting himself at the mercy of his Arch-Enemy until it was too late to back out.
    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 a copy 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Timmy's main flaw when he makes a wish, he doesn't think them through most of the time when he tries to improve his life. Wishes like being an adultnote , having Christmas everydaynote  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.
  • Family Guy:
    • In the episode "Blind Ambition", there is 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. "Nope...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:
    Fanboy: Why didn't we think of that?
    Chum Chum: We really should've thought of that.
  • 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.
  • 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 they 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 don'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. 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 power to replicate the powers of anyone it scanned, by lying to the android that the Justice League were evil. When J'onn J'onzz is the only member of the Justice League whose powers haven't been copied, Luthor encourages A.M.A.Z.O. to replicate them. 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 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.
  • This happened to Bonnie Rockwaller in the Kim Possible episode, "Number One," where after she finally manages to become the MHS-cheerleading captain (with the surprise of Kim supporting her), and 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.
  • 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 too or seeing through him, 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 friends before Clyde shows up.
  • In Lupin III The Italian Adventure, we have a group of four teachers in the episode "High School Undercover!" who commit so many unthinkable contrived answers to their problems regarding their little mishap with a gang leader. In summary they 1) absolutely disregard asking the police to arrest the thieves (even knowing where they'll meet the gang) and instead face possible death if they don't give him money; 2) they build a bomb to retaliate back but for some reason it needs a diamond to work (never mind the fact one of said teachers asked his wife to lend him a diamond ring but didn't think about just taking it from her when she wasn't looking); 3) they try to defend themselves from Lupin himself after the thief tries to retrieve the stolen diamond jewel he lost, but they all arm themselves with a golden bat, a mop (because his wielder would mop the floor with Lupin), a bass instrument (to drop the bass on Lupin), a bottle of sulfuric acid (perhaps the only real weapon but only gets flung across at a long distance and misses Lupin, who doesn't even try to dodge) instead of, again, asking the police for help; and 4) Lupin questions them on the fact they could have simply pawned the rare diamond they got for money instead of building the damn bomb needing one to work. To cap things off, one of the teachers is actually the vice principal of the school, but he's a much bigger mess of a man than the other three. In the end, the police does come to their aid and arrest the gang about to kill them all because Lupin grew soft and decided to give them a hand from the shadows.
  • 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 shrunken by Poison Joke, catches Apple Bloom going off into the Everfree Forest in search of Zecora. She tags along by hiding in her mane which seems to work until she demands for her sister to turn around. Apple Bloom then leaves her on a branch and in response, Applejack threatens to tell Big McIntosh on her. Since she's only a few inches high, she then realizes it won't do any good. For that matter, it's hard to imagine what telling the most easy-going character in the franchise was supposed to accomplish anyway.
    • Applejack has another in "The Best Night Ever". She brings her home cooking to try and raise money for Sweet Apple Acres, despite the party having free hors d'oeuvres laid on for the benefit of the attendees in the first place and the "hoity-toity types" like the nobility not being likely to buy such food anyway. She realizes this just 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. Transfer all the alicorn magic to Twilight? She trades it for hostages. Prevent Tirek from knowing about Twilight? He just has to look at the stained glass window and ask Discord about it. 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.
    • 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.
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • Doof falls into this a lot. Once he tried to drill a tunnel to China and forgot about the lava from 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.
  • Turned into a Running Gag with Mojo Jojo in The Powerpuff Girls, 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 "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.
  • 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 missing.
  • 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, 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 episode "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:
    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 episodes third act when Homer is caught in a fire in his own house, but he is saved by Ned Flanders.
    • 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 10 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 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 and yet doesn't expect any twists when she uses the third one to wish Sofia was no longer "a purple cat".
    • 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. 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.
  • Sonic Boom:
    • In "The Sidekick", Sonic fires Tails as a sidekick after he gets hurt and decides to get a new one to protect 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) and, in desperation, decides to put the two through a massively dangerous race that Eggman hijacks by bringing in a (rightfully-named) 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)
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • For a copepod who goes to college and makes highly-elaborate plots to get the Krabby Patty formula, Plankton can be a little slow when it comes to thinking ahead of his goals. For example, a robot made to look like a customer enters the Krusty Krab. Eugene Krabs, smelling an obvious trap, takes the place of the register. To his astonishment, the robot just asks for coral bits and even pays him money after it's given its order. Suddenly, Plankton, who somehow managed to hide inside the dollar bill (even for someone his size, there must have been some hammerspace in there), pops out and gloatingly orders Krabs to hand him the secret formula. When Krabs responds, "Or what?", Plankton admits he never really thought the plan would get as far as it did; Krabs responds by flushing Plankton 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 to 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.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • In the South Park episode "Summer Sucks", after fireworks are banned, 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. This continues until the park is bustling with activity and Cartman decides to sell the park back to the original owners at a loss.
  • 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.
  • 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!:
    • The episode, "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 admits that he didn't think this through too well.
    • 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 El Tigre Manny accidentaly activated a giant robot Granpapi created. He explained the robot was supposed to be activaded 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Alternative Title(s): Did Not Think This Through