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I Don't Think That's Such a Good Idea

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"I forgot to include a character that says 'Uh, I don't think that's such a good idea', at every juncture."
Tom Siddell on Gunnerkrigg Court

In many media, especially in children's shows, there is a character who is passive to the point of being annoying. While everyone else is wanting to go off and try a dangerous adventure, they think that maybe everybody would be better off if they just stayed put or went bowling.

This is what the character says as a weak argument against the adventure. Usually the character is blown off as being stupid, unfun, out-of-touch, and uptight. But the overall portrayal is based on whether the adventure is seen as a good thing or a bad thing. If it's the wimpy character in a group of good guys, it's bad. But if we're trying to teach an Aesop, then we were supposed to be listening to the wimpy guy.

Usually the Straight Man does this in comedies. The wacky guy wants to do something stupid, the Straight Man cautions against it, Mr. Wacky does it anyway, and Hilarity Ensues. Straight Man rolls his eyes and laments. At least for the moment.

Compare The Drag-Along, The Complainer Is Always Wrong, and I Warned You. Compare and contrast Are You Sure You Want to Do That?, which is delivered by a more confident person who is generally correct, and Actually a Good Idea, when the naysayer admits that the idea isn't terrible afterall.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Mazinger Z: When Kouji wants to get in the titular Humongous Mecha for first time, his little brother Shiro says that he doesn't think that trying to pilot a super-powerful war machine without previous training is a good idea. Kouji blew him off as being irritating, but Shiro was very, very right.
  • Pecola: In "Hurricane Pecola", Chewy reacts this way to Pecola using one of Dr. Chu's canned tornadoes to help him fly his kite.
    Chewy: I don't think this is a good idea, Pecola.
    Pecola: You're right, Chewy. It's not a good idea... it's a great idea!

    Asian Animation 
  • In Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Joys of Seasons episode 71, Weslie says something like this when Sparky wants to wake up Paddi. Sparky gets sent backwards by Paddi's pillow, which is equipped with a forcefield that activates if anyone enters it to prevent the sleeper from being disturbed.

     Comic Books 
  • In the Laff-A-Lympics (Marvel) story "The Purple Pig Puzzle," Hong Kong Phooey says this when Babu tries asking politely to try on a zoo gorilla's cap (one of the clues to finding a ceramic purple pig).

    Fan Works 
  • Ghosts of Evangelion: Ryuko wanted to skate-board but Asuka didn't want to allow it because she could get hurt. Her daughter accused her from being anti-fun.
  • In Facing The Future, when Sam is about to use the Fenton Portal to give herself ghost powers, Jazz comes in trying to advise her on what a bad idea it is.

  • Aliens:
    Frost: Man, I'm telling you, I got a bad feeling about this drop.
    Crowe: You always say that, Frost. You always say, "I got a bad feeling about this drop."
  • C-3PO from The Empire Strikes Back:
    Artoo—I'm not sure that's such a good idea. It's a very long drooooooppp!
    Surrender is a perfectly viable alternative! The Empire may be gracious enough to— *click*

  • Angela Nicely:
    • Laura and Maisie often express doubt when they think Angela’s plans are too risky.
    • Mr. Nicely sometimes expresses concern about his wife’s ideas, usually if they involve Angela.
  • Roys Bedoys:
    • In “Don’t Watch Grown-Up Movies, Roys Bedoys!”, Maker thinks that Roys’s suggestion of watching a “grown-up movie” is a bad idea.
    • In “Let’s Go Trick-or-Treating, Roys Bedoys!”, Truly thinks it’s a bad idea when Roys suggests going back to Mr. Master’s house for more candy.
    • In “That Website’s Not Safe, Roys Bedoys!”, Loys expresses hesitancy about Roys clicking on the link to the eponymous website.

    Live Action TV 
  • One episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 made fun of the use of this trope on Baywatch:
    Mike (or was it Joel?): Now, don't you kids go swimming off the pier! It's dangerous! Five minutes later...
    Robots: Ah! Help! We're drowning off the pier! Heeelp!
  • Dad's Army's Sgt. Wilson has something very similar as his catchphrase, in response to The Neidermeyer's Zany Scheme of the week.
    Do you think that's wise, sir?
  • My Name Is Earl:
    Randy: Earl, I need you to go to Joy's and punch her in the face.
    Earl: I don't think that's such a good idea Randy.
    Randy: Are you saying that because it's a great idea?
  • Kel of Kenan & Kel usually thinks this about Kenan's ideas. Kel's often right.
  • From The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1981):
    Arthur: I wonder what happens when I press this button?
    Ford: I wouldn't.
    Arthur: (after pressing button anyway) Oh...
    Ford: What happened?
    Arthur: A sign came on saying "Please don't press this button again."

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Hobbes from Calvin and Hobbes is known for being this way around Calvin, only reluctantly going along with his crazy ideas related to the cardboard box (the time travel scenes in particular), and stepping off at the last moment before their toboggan careens down into the abyss.
    Calvin: C'mon, what could go wrong?
    Hobbes: Whenever you ask me that, my tail goes all fuzzy.
    Calvin: Oh, knock it off.


    Western Animation 
  • In Rugrats, Chuckie used this exact phrase so often that it became a catchphrase. Even though his objections are almost always ignored, the It's a Wonderful Plot episode, showed the world turned into a wasteland torn apart by babies.
    Chuckie: Why are all the babies causing so much trouble?
    Guardian Angel: I guess there's no one around to tell them it's not such a good idea!
    • His father Charles Sr. is also very much like this. In one episode, the other fathers want to watch a football game, but Charles wants to watch a chess tournament instead. In another episode, Tommy's father Stu shows him some of the new toys, including a radioactive-powered alligator toy and a working Time Machine, both of which Charles thinks are unsafe for kids.
  • Bob the Tomato from VeggieTales says this line verbatim often, either to Larry's wacky ideas or to a morally-dubious character suggesting they do something wrong or foolish.
  • The Wonder Twins shorts on Superfriends used this as a matter of formula. One teenager would suggest doing something really stupid. Another one would say it's not a good idea. The first one blows the second one off. When the first one gets in big trouble, the second one ends up calling the Wonder Twins.
  • In The Simpsons, Marge Simpson does this with Homer's ill-judged ideas, to the point where they started lampshading it. She's usually right.
  • In the Futurama episode "Brannigan Begin Again", Zapp Brannigan tries to perform a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new DOOP HQ with the Nimbus' laser cannon. When Kif tells him that it's not a wise decision, Zapp replies that he doesn't like Kif's "I don't think that's wise" attitude.
  • Boo-Boo reacts to Yogi Bear's zany schemes with his catchphrase, "The ranger's not gonna like it, Yogi."
  • In South Park episodes, "Pandemic" and "Pandemic 2: The Startling", Craig turns into this guy, but more to the effect of lampshading the whole show.
    • An older episode does something similar—Barbara Streisand is trying to get Cartman's ancient mystical artifact, and she persuades the kids to go for a ride in her car. Kyle briefly realizes that they're not supposed to go into cars with strangers, but Cartman curtly replies by saying "not if they're giving you money dumbass!" Subverted in that, of course, getting into the car with Barbara Streisand was a really dumb thing to do.
  • Arnold in The Magic School Bus.
  • In a season one episode of Ed Eddn Eddy:
    Edd: Eddy, I don't think this is such a good idea!
    Eddy: Have I ever steered you wrong?
    Edd: Yes.
  • Zilly on Dastardly & Muttley in Their Flying Machines. Invokes this with every invention Klunk comes up with.
  • In one episode of Rocko's Modern Life, when Ed experiences cabin fever while trapped with Bev, Rocko, and Heffer, he snaps and decides to propel himself out by piling a bunch of stuff into a makeshift rocket.
    Bev: Ed, I don't think that's a good idea!
  • Xiaolin Showdown: in the episode "Ring of The Nine Dragons”, Jack and Wuya are exploring an old Aztec temple for the titular Shen Gong Wu, and Jack says this in regards to Wuya suggesting she glide through the walls and see where they should be going.
  • 101 Dalmatians: The Series: Spot is Closer to Earth than the puppies and will often voice her concern over their latest Zany Scheme, only to be ignored.
  • Bradley Mortin towards his older sister Mimi's plans in What About Mimi?.