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Lethally Stupid

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"Once again, Captain, your stupidity has killed us."
Marco, Sealab 2021
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Whatever you do, don't ever stay around this nitwit. Anywhere they go, havoc will go, property will be destroyed, accidents will happen, people will die if they go near them. No matter how bad it gets, they won’t notice how dangerous they are.

This character accidentally causes a disaster because of a) a stupid idea, b) not thinking of the consequences or c) because he/she made a terrible mistake. It is often Played for Laughs, because of the Slapstick and Black Comedy it may involve.

This trope is close to Lethal Klutz, though a Lethally Stupid character doesn't have to be clumsy to cause disasters. Not to Be Confused with Too Dumb to Live, when the character's stupidity puts himself in danger (he might bring others down with him and then make the two tropes overlap, but that's not a requirement). Also, Lethally Stupid may not always cause death, but they can make you want to kill them!

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Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Chaka from Black Lagoon is a very rare non-comedic example, but his psychopathic idiocy, complete and utter lack of care, and nonexistent impulse control all combine to make him dangerous less because of his own deliberate efforts (as he is way too stupid and incompetent to reliably carry out his ill-reasoned schemes to anything resembling completion) and more because of the way that his schemes typically decay.
  • The Dirty Pair are not completely dumb, but they are a bit air-headed (in the sense of "boy-crazy" and "fashion-conscious") and have a crappy luck that manifests in apocalyptic levels of collateral damage (sometimes because they didn't notice that teeny-tiny detail in their flightiness that said luck decided to turn into the trigger for said cataclysms).
  • Arale from Doctor Slump is a destructive force of nature, mostly due to the fact that she Does Not Know Her Own Strength, along with her reckless, childlike behavior and lack of common sense.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Vegeta's overwhelming pride always manages to cause trouble for the universe. In this order, he goaded Frieza into transforming, let Cell absorb 18 and reach his Perfect form for the sake of a better challenge, and deliberately became one of Babidi's Majins to fight Goku despite full knowledge that it would resurrect Majin Buu. In all three cases, a planet ends up exploding,note  and in the case of Frieza and Buu, Vegeta got himself killed.
    • Goku tends to care more about having a fair and challenging fight than anything else. He allows his most dangerous opponents to power up their maximum level even when the entire planet's at stake, and even gives Cell a Senzu Bean right before he was about to engage in a fight to the death with his son. He also has the habit of giving his enemies a Last-Second Chance when he really should just kill them and be done with it, (although this only causes trouble with Raditz and Frieza, since everyone else Goku spares turned good eventually). This comes to a head in Resurrection 'F', where he gives Frieza the opportunity to walk away again despite how badly it backfired for him the last time; not only does Goku get near-fatally shot for the trouble, but when Frieza was subsequently defeated by Vegeta, he flipped out and blew up the Earth.
    • Goten and Trunks aren't that bad on their own, but when they fuse into Gotenks, all bets are off. Thanks to the rash decisions he makes in an attempt to make himself look cool, Gotenks unwittingly caused himself and Piccolo to get trapped in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, Super Buu to eat his friends and loved ones, and allowed Super Buu to eventually absorb his power and give him an edge against Gohan. For this reason, in Super, Goku and Vegeta automatically decide that Gotenks is too unpredictable, thickheaded, and irresponsible to be trusted with anything to do with the Tournament of Power and refuse to let him or his components participate.
    • From before this, Pilaf releasing King Piccolo in hopes of mooching off his conquest. Also a case of Too Dumb to Live overlapping with Evil Is Not a Toy. And he does it again in Resurrection 'F', helping Frieza's men find the Dragon Balls and revive himnote .
  • Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters: Haruo survives the events of the first film, but his selfish and severely ill-advised actions and choices to bring the fight to Godzilla instead of leaving well enough alone lead to the deaths of every single member of the landing party which amounted to hundreds, if not thousands of people. Aside from Metphies, he is possibly the only one to survive.
  • Memories: In Stink Bomb, Nobuo is this to a degree that turns him into a Person of Mass Destruction. Starting with taking a pill that he assumes is an experimental flu medicine but was actually a bio-weapon (a co-worker explicitly told him what color they were and he misremembered) and continuing with him trying to follow the orders of his boss (to take his company's secret documents to Tokyo) like a good little Salaryman come hell or high water (and by which we mean "the JSDF tossing everything and the kitchen sink at him doesn't deter him") without bothering to think why the hell the government would be so absurdly determined to stop him or why every human he approaches that doesn't run like hell just keels over dead. The short ends with him killing all of the government and military officials inside of a secret bunker implied to be somewhere under Tokyo (and which means he may wipe out Tokyo, too, once he leaves) when he takes off the Powered Armor he somehow managed to get into because he thinks the officials aren't hearing him well.
  • Many characters in Ranma ½ let Revenge Before Reason, Honor Before Reason, Greed Before Reason or even Laziness Before Reason lead them to commit stupid acts that they refuse to stop doing or acknowledge it's their fault even when people are screaming at them or literally are trying to beat some sense into them (to provide a couple of examples (because they are the cause of most disasters): Happosai and Genma Saotome). It's a miracle nobody dies onscreen.

    Comic Books 
  • Vic the Veep, the Vice President of the United States in The Boys and a literal useful idiot being manipulated by Vought as part of their plan to get superheroes into the military. Late in the story he ends up killing the president himself by complete accident by letting a vicious wolverine out of its cage, much to the chagrin of the Corrupt Corporate Executive who spent millions trying to get assassins close to him. It's also revealed that he was indirectly responsible for their version of 9/11 as he (under Vought's instructions) knocked out the President and gave the order to the Air Force to stand down in order to allow the Seven to save the day, with disastrous results.
  • Gaston Lagaffe. It is the whole point of his stories. In French, “La gaffe” even means “the blunder”.
  • Minor Popeye character Oscar veers into this trope at times. During the Eighth Sea arc, when Popeye's crew mutinies, Oscar's big idea is to sink the ship, thereby drowning the mutineers, and actually goes to it until Popeye tells him to knock it off and plug the holes. And later on, when the ship starts to sink because of a storm, he puts life preservers on the gold because "gold's harder to find than women". And in the Search for Pappy arc, when a man has fainted and needs water, Oscar just throws him into the sea.
  • In Tintin, whenever Captain Haddock gets drunk, he will do something stupid and dangerous. (One of the more spectacular examples serves as the current page picture for Alcohol-Induced Idiocy, in fact.) Especially in the album of his introduction, where he gets Tintin into lots of trouble.
    • In the movie, Haddock can be this while sober. He accidentally hits a dam with a bazooka, causing a massive flood in a town.
    • Professor Calculus can be this to Haddock, who often gets Amusing Injuries from the former's clumsiness or inventions, or simply gets irritated by the deaf scientist who never hears what the Captain yells to him.
  • In The Walking Dead, Patricia frees a Serial Killer out of mercy, while he had already murdered two kids. It’s a miracle he didn’t get to kill anyone.

    Fan Works 
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    Films — Animated 
  • In Finding Nemo, Darla killed her last pet fish because she shook the bag too much. Did she learn from it? Nope, she does the same with Nemo. Meanwhile, her uncle keeps giving her new pet fish, despite, you know, her habit of killing them.
  • Scrat in the Ice Age films. He caused the ice age, a volcano explosion, and the continental drift simply by planting an acorn. He also destroyed an Atlantis-esque civilization because of his compulsive need to grab an acorn.
    • Sid brings more problems than help to his friends. He is at his worst in the third movie, where he steals three dinosaur eggs, which did not please their mommy.
  • The reason the Minions have trouble keeping a master is because they frequently end up accidentally killing him. They mean well, though. In the film proper, when trying to apologize to Scarlet, they end up nearly killing her with a falling chandelier. She is not amused.
  • In two films of Winnie-the-Pooh, Christopher Robin goes to school and leaves a message to tell his friends he’ll come back soon. Both times, Owl misreads the note and makes the others believe the boy has been kidnapped by a monster, sending them on a completely useless and dangerous quest.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Jerry Lewis always portrayed a character like this. Though, most of the time, he manages to look fairly likable.
    • Chris Farley played the same type of character in his sadly short career, a walking disaster area who nonetheless was sympathetic and likable.
  • Laurel and Hardy. Especially Laurel! God, it’s a miracle Hardy stays alive around him. And in one movie… he doesn’t.
  • The Pink Panther's Inspector Clouseau will either destroy your property, his own, make you insane, or cause your death. All this out of pure clumsiness.
    Dreyfus: Compared to Clouseau, this doomsday machine is just a water pistol.
  • Wherever The Three Stooges go, disasters are in the air. Just compare the setting and characters looked like before and after these three showed up. Hell, in real life, they'd be accidental mass murderers and most likely dead a dozen times over.
  • Captain Hugh "Bullshot" Crummond in the film and stage play Bullshot. Seriously, he's a walking disaster to exceed even Clouseau!
  • In Die Hard, the cops (excepting Al Powell) are so stupid and gullible they become threats to McClane. Especially in the first and fourth movies.
  • In Dinner for Schmucks, Barry's astonishing capacity for well-meant chaos takes up most of the plot.
  • Dumb and Dumber: Lloyd and Harry perform such things as accidentally killing a man (a prank gone bad because of an ulcer... and then they accidentally fed the man rat poison instead of his ulcer pills (in their defense, the man had the pills in his pocket because he was going to poison them)) and an endangered owl (they popped a champagne cork and it hit the owl) among other acts of chaos that they are too dumb to even notice they created. Lloyd is especially bad because he is both perfectly willing and able to cause malicious acts in revenge for slights (but is too dumb to think of how bad things can get as a result) and has even less common sense than Harry.
  • Due Date: There's a character who spends the whole movie making the protagonist’s life hell out of sheer stupidity.
  • The Hangover: Alan. He is responsible for the events of both movies, but it is worse in the second since he uses the drugs again, not learning from his past misadventures.
  • MonsterVerse:
    • Godzilla (2014): When Godzilla arrives in San Francisco at the Golden Gate Bridge, the military start firing on him in an attempt to slow him down even though there are still hundreds of mid-evacuation civilians on the bridge caught in the direct crossfire. Not only that, but it's only after the military's fire hits Godzilla's vulnerable gills that Godzilla becomes provoked into self-defense, smashing through the bridge when there were likely still civilians on it.
    • Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019): The military, as usual. At the beginning of the film, they're implicitly supporting the government's plan to attempt indiscriminately killing all the hibernating Titans regardless of their moral alignment, in ignorance of Monarch's findings that such a course of action indicating that killing all the Titans, if successful, could lead humanity to perish in an extinction-level ecological collapse. Midway through the film, the military rashly fire the prototype Oxygen Destroyer at Ghidorah in an attempt to kill him and Rodan, and Godzilla is caught in the blast and crippled: with Godzilla unable to keep Ghidorah in check, the three-headed Titan usurps dominance of the Earth's other Titans and forcibly awakens them to begin enacting a severe extinction event. It can be argued that the military are directly responsible for things going From Bad to Worse and for the deaths of millions around the world which could have been avoided had they not fired the Oxygen Destroyer and let Godzilla finish Ghidorah off.
    • Godzilla vs. Kong: Apex Cybernetics are so blinded by hubris that they legitimately thought they'd have no problem using King Ghidorah's remains' lingering telepathic consciousness as the damned nervous system of Mechagodzilla, a Humongous Mecha which Apex deesigned specifically to be unstoppable even to Titans. This leads to Ghidorah's consciousness remnants hijacking the Mecha the moment it gains a lasting power supply, slaughtering Apex, and then going on to level half of Hong Kong with the implication that Mechagodzilla would pick right up where Ghidorah left off with bringing an extinction event if it won.
  • In Planet Terror, during a zombie attack, a cop kills an old lady, thinking she was a zombie.
  • Despite being scientists, the characters in Prometheus repeatedly do stupid things that jeopardize their own mission. Two scientists get lost in a cave despite having maps with them (and one of them built the droids that made the map in the first place), one of the scientists removes his helmet to breathe the planet's air that could easily be contaminated, the scientists recover an alien head and then promptly cause it to explode, the main character informs nobody that she has given birth to an alien, which is now aboard the ship: the list goes on.
    • David is somewhat exempt from this trope, as he sabotages some of the scientists and does rash things while exploring the planet because he's under orders to do so.
  • Predators: Edwin is not really useful even with his medical knowledge and gets himself killed when he decides to target his allies because of his sociopathic tendencies.
  • In Pulp Fiction, Vincent can be dangerous even by accident.
  • In Scary Movie, many deaths are due to some characters being Lethally Stupid. In the fourth, the father keeps almost killing his daughter accidentally.
  • Shaun of the Dead: David ends up putting the entire group in mortal peril and indirectly causing the death and reanimation of Ed when he frantically tries to leave the pub after failing to kill Shaun.
  • The IOA in Stargate: The Ark of Truth nearly dooms two entire galaxies in an inept attempt to stop the Ori. The main cast is on a dangerous mission to enter Ori space in a ship with an advanced cloaking device. But the IOA has an agent on the ship who uses its advanced alien computer to create a Replicator- an extremely dangerous mechanical insect species able to infect and assimilate any technology they come across. His use of the computer core to create the Replicator exposes the ship the Ori. And he modifies the Replicator so that it's immune to the best weapon the team has to destroy it, which he does not mention until after they drop the shields around the thing so they can shoot it- meaning the Replicator immediately escapes and infects the ship. And the Replicator's infestation of the ship cripples its systems, meaning the cast is helpless when four Ori ships arrive to take turns pounding away at it. It's rather hard to sympathize with the guy when the Replicators wind up killing him and driving his corpse around.
  • Team America: World Police: they save the world by blowing up everything in their path.

    Literature 
  • Harry Potter: Do you remember how often Hagrid put his pupils in danger by showing them creatures WAY too dangerous to study for kids? Or when he sent Harry and Ron to get help from Aragog? He doesn’t even seem to understand how cruel hostile the creatures are.
  • Adults in general in A Series of Unfortunate Events are so stupid and oblivious that they leave the Baudelaires, other children, and themselves open to danger. Olaf of all people lampshades this in the movie, showing how many problems they would solve by just listening to the heroes. This goes double for Poe.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire tends to underline how lethal just normal degrees of lackadaisical thinking can get in the wrong time or place, not just the full glory of the Stupid alignment spectrum. Yet, it still has its stand-outs.
    • Any time the thirteen-year-old Joffrey Baratheon tries putting a secret, cunning plan together... people suffer; including his own family, not just the intended target and unrelated collateral damage. He's Book Dumb, fairly oblivious, extremely short-sighted and mostly happy to be Stupid Evil, but even when he's genuinely not being a dick For the Evulz, his ideas still tend to lead to gore-soaked political backfires because he's just not all that bright. It makes him a walking Spanner in the Works, which eventually gets him killed. Mind you, he occasionally does handle the Smart Ball (thus illustrating that most of the problem is an awful education combined with youth and having Cersei as a mother), but he never really knows what to do with it when he does get it.
    • Historically, King Aegon IV "the Unworthy" is a character who also played hopscotch between this trope and Stupid Evil. Take his wooden siege engines built specifically in the shape of dragons as a prime example. Not actually Evil (this time). Designed to dispense wildfire in the manner of flamethrowers? Not exactly clever, no. Fully constructed leagues away from the intended battleground? Ummm. Deployed over very uneven, off-road, forested terrain while fully stocked with the notoriously temperamental Greek Fire... in a dry summer? One BBQ'd army, coming right up. The wrong army.
  • Of Mice & Men: Lenny kills his pets and a woman accidentally, because of his great strength and little mind. This is Played for Drama, as he is actually developmentally disabled and has the intellectual ability of a young child.
  • Space Voyages: Bob Sandals, and NASA in general. Seriously, who sends three teenagers on a space mission launching at "the same time, just a couple miles apart" from another identical spacecraft piloted by two astronauts who happen to be in the service of an evil alien emperor?
  • The driver in The Egg Hamburger Steak Knows arc of Tantei Team KZ Jiken Note started off doing Poke the Poodle just to let off steam, but then he switched to switching the meats in his truck, which ultimately caused the bankruptcy of his employer Sunahara Meat.

    Live-Action TV 
  • German comedian Didi Hallervorden likes to play this character type. No deaths involved, but still...for example, he causes a minor car crash (because he was absent-minded due to searching for the mid part of Dr. Schiwago) and subsequently gathers the first flashmob in history. In an inversion of Police Are Useless, an arriving traffic police officer solves the riddle and dissipates the flashmob. The rammed guy still sits on his wrecked car...and gets rammed again by Didi, who is eager to explain that he confused it with Love Story.
  • Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul: Tuco Salamanca is an Ax-Crazy example. His very first scene has him fatally beat up his assistant because he spoke out of line. The "fatally" part was entirely accidental, but he doesn't care anyway. The prequel series then goes on to show that he is an incredibly moronic boss with a knee-jerk drive to kill and the only reason he has thrived in the cartel business is that he has the backing of the reputation of the Salamanca family as the very definition of "The Dreaded".
  • Community has Dean Pelton and Senor Chang; the former is responsible for starting a school-wide Zombie Apocalypse, the latter almost burnt down the whole school believing that fire couldn't go through doors because it's not a ghost.
  • Steve Urkel in Family Matters. A boy genius who is still so clumsy and stupid, Carl is lucky to be alive and sane (most of the time).
  • Holmes & Yoyo: It's why Holmes wound up being paired with Yoyo. Ask any of his former partners, who wound up in the hospital.
  • On Justified, the Crowes are a whole clan of Stupid Crooks, but Dilly Crowe is particularly dimwitted. The family is running a profitable sugar smuggling operation which is low-key enough to keep them off the radar of any local or federal law enforcement. Even if caught, they will not be facing serious jail time for smuggling sugar. Dilly screws this up in a spectacular fashion. First, he loses the family's profits gambling on dog races. In an effort to get back the money, he takes money that is supposed to be used to pay off a crooked Coast Guard officer and loses half of it in a casino. When the Coast Guard officer gets upset over this and starts mocking Dilly, Dilly shoots him. He single-handily turned a low-key smuggling operation into the murder of a federal officer and brought the federal authorities right into their backyard. Now they are all looking at lengthy federal prison sentences. This is implied to be just one in a lengthy series of screw-ups that put the Crowe family in danger. Daryl Crowe manages to get the feds off their back, but it costs them their business and criminal connections. Fed up with Dilly constantly endangering the family, Daryl has Dilly murdered.
  • Kenan & Kel, and not only Kel. Few stories featuring these idiots end well.
  • Lab Rats brings us Adam Davenport. A sheer idiot with bionic strength and laser vision. Upon finding out that his adoptive father Donald Davenport is running out of fuel and losing control of the jetpack he is currently using, Adam successfully throws him a parachute. His brother congratulates him and says that the parachute is headed straight for Donald at which point Adam lifts the makeshift visor that is blocking his malfunctioning heat vision and cries "Let me see!" The laser cuts the wing off of the jetpack and sends Donald freefalling. Thankfully, he lands on Terry Cherry Perry.
  • Major Frank Burns is an officer who should not even be entrusted with a courtesy sidearm, as every time he picks up his handgun, it is a danger to himself and people around him; he has not got the hang of even elementary weapons safety. And in one episode of M*A*S*H, he gets into an unattended tank, thinking a short course in armoured vehicles makes him an expert driver. A thirty-ton tank that Burns discovers he can neither control nor stop then destroys several tents, breaks up a poker school, and crushes Colonel Potter's personal jeep.
  • The plot of Mob City is kicked off by Hecky Nash trying to blackmail Ben "Bugsy" Siegel with photographs that show Siegel killing a man. Hecky is so blinded by his hatred and contempt for the mobsters that he does not care that he is pretty much signing his own death warrant and that of everyone connected to the scheme. By the time the first season is over, almost everyone involved is dead — including Hecky and Siegel.
  • Mr. Bean. He never seriously hurts anyone, but still…
  • This the point of 1000 Ways to Die: many idiots are responsible for killing other idiots.
  • Kate in Robin Hood, who has put herself in danger dozens of times, and gotten other people killed, because of her own stubbornness and stupidity.
  • Star Trek: Enterprise was supposed to be about humanity's first forays into exploration of space, which would necessarily involve them learning from their mistakes. Unfortunately, Captain Archer regularly makes mistakes even when the correct course of action is obvious or even explained to him.
    • In "Strange New World", the Enterprise manages to find a previously unknown Earthlike planet. T'Pol (the Vulcan representative and science officer) says that standard Vulcan policy for examining a new planet is to perform surveys from orbit for a week before flying down. Archer says that those are Vulcan protocols, not human. Human protocols, apparently, involve flying down to the planet right away and walking around without any safety gear. Predictably, this results in disaster. Furthermore, the technobabble explanation as to why the environment was bad for human biology is something that would have been picked up almost immediately, implying that absolutely no scanning at all was performed before they started breathing the air and drinking the water.
    • In Breaking The Ice Trip and Reed end up in danger when investigating a comet. The Enterprise cannot save them, but there is a more technologically advanced Vulcan ship nearby. Archers refusal to call them is not a "We must learn to not depend on the Vulcans" stance, but rather his refusal to ask for help from those goddamn Vulcans as a point of pride. Possibly justified, because the Vulcans are known to use any excuse they can to convince the top brass to scrub Enterprise's mission.
    • In "A Night in Sickbay" the Enterprise has run out of spare parts for their warp engine. They need to get a replacement which will both help the ship run smoother and ensure that they have enough spare parts to not get stranded in space. The Kreetassens have a spare part that is remarkably compatible with the Enterprise, however, after Archer's dog pees on their sacred trees, they kick them out and eventually demand a formal apology before diplomatic relations can continue. Archer is far more concerned that his dog caught a disease while on the planet. Even when T'Pol points out to him that he is acting far more concerned about the health of his pet than the safety of his ship (which his dog just so happens to live on) he still doesn't capitulate. While the Kreetassens are unreasonably uptight, they are also perfectly helpful once they are sincerely apologized to, providing an additional spare part beyond what they needed, making Archer look even more petulant by comparison.
    • In "Observer Effect", Trip and Hoshi are infected with a lethal disease when they go literally digging through garbage without so much as wearing rubber gloves, or even using tools. The episode later confirms that an environmentally sealed suit would have protected them when Doctor Phlox is able to examine them without apparent risk while wearing a hazmat suit.
  • London Tipton in The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. Just watch the episode "Orchestra" and you'll see what we mean.

    Music 
  • In her music video for "Clumsy", Fergie kills her love interest when she accidentally throws him out the airlock of her spaceship.
  • The music video for Green Day's "Walking Contradiction" shows the three members of the band going around causing all sorts of accidents through their own obliviousness.

    Video Games 
  • Dead Island: Jin is this, to the active detriment of herself and everyone around her. She hijacks the protagonists' armored truck and refuses to return control of it to them until they agree to get supplies to everyone still alive in the city, but their efforts to do so leads to the City Hall being overrun by zombies since the protagonists had to break the barricades in the sewers in order to get those supplies to the City Hall survivors. Her next stunt involves ignoring the blatant threats and warnings that the local prisoners themselves broadcast to "stay away from the police station", after those prisoners had killed all the police officers and bragged about it, but she (an unarmed young woman) goes to help them by herself. She gets one of the remaining church survivors killed and is gang-raped by the inmates for her trouble. Then on the island fortress, Jin loses the plot completely, angering Ryder White before releasing his clearly infected wife. The fan consensus was she wanted Suicide by Cop by this point.
  • Lindsay of Dead Rising is infamous in the Survival Horror genre for combining this with Too Dumb to Live. When Frank West first gets into Williamette Mall, he meets up with about a dozen other survivors by the main entrance, who have barricaded the doors to keep the zombies out, and things look like they can hold out for at least a bit. However, Lindsay sees her precious poodle (who has the tell-tale red eyes of a zombie) outside the mall, pulls apart the barricade, and lets the zombies in, getting herself killed immediately and the other survivors (besides Frank) soon to follow. Even in a New Game+, even if Frank is powered up, armed, and takes on the whole horde by himself to buy time, it's impossible to save the other survivors in this section, and Frank's only option is to make it to the safe room by himself.
  • Several of your Skills in Disco Elysium are this:
    Electrochemistry: From the void we came. And to the void we must return!
  • In Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, Lance Vance has gotten himself and his older brother Vic into so many predicaments that had nearly cost them their lives thanks to his stupidity. Ironically, Lance's own stupidity in 2002's original version of the video game leads to his own death at the end of the mission.
  • LEGO City Undercover: Oh dear god, Frank Honey. This man has mental faculties on par with a jar of mayonnaise, and the path of destruction and terror he leaves in his wake prove it a thousand times over. In one loading screen, he admits he's destroyed 65 places in a week.
  • Drill Man of Mega Man 4 isn't so bad in-game, but according to the guidebooks, he's remarkably thick and has the pattern recognition of a moldy potato, leading to incidents where he regularly does things like drill right through water mains and gas pipes without even realizing what he's doing until after something explodes on him.
  • After the United Federation suffers from a polio epidemic in Papers, Please, you are required to deny entrants who do not have a current polio vaccination. People who have an expired polio vaccination, have a certificate of vaccination that lacks a polio vaccination, or have no certificate of vaccination at all are considered this trope, and the Ministry of Health has required you to deny these people to keep polio out. Some of those who have no certificate state that they do not believe in vaccines.
  • This trope is basically the entirety of Team Magma and Team Aqua's plans in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire. At no moment the game ever denies the fact their plans make no sense, and that they are going to bring anything but the supposedly beneficial effects their plans are meant to bring, but the fact these teams have the resources to pull off those plans are what makes them threats in the first place.
  • Wheatley of Portal 2 is this trope, and sometimes a Lethal Klutz as well. This becomes especially clear in Act III when he's put in charge of Aperture. He clearly has no clue how to run anything, and nearly blows up the whole complex as he doesn't know how to vent the nuclear reactor powering the place.
    "Okay, no, don't worry, don’t worry, I've got it, I've got it, this should slow it down! No, makes it go faster..."
  • Ben from The Walking Dead is indirectly responsible for:
    • The death of Doug/Carley, Duck, and Katjaa, in Episode 3, after the bandits force him to steal medicine for them. When Lee finds a bag of stolen medicine just outside the gate, he takes it to Lilly, meaning the Bandits don't get the bag and attack. While the whole group manages to escape, Lilly will either believe Carley to be the thief and shoot her or believe Ben to be the thief and accidentally shoot Doug as he stops Ben getting shot. Later, Katjaa reveals Duck was bitten by a walker during the bandit attack, and when he has to be put down, she commits suicide out of grief.
    • The death of Brie in Episode 4. While the group is trapped in an abandoned school due to hordes of Walkers outside, Kenny attempts to break through a door to a room believed to contain weapons. He sends Ben to find a tool to hack the door open, and he brings back a hatchet he found stuck in the handles of double doors leading outside. The hatchet was put there by Lee to stop the Walkers from getting in. Brie gets killed when the Walkers break in.
  • World of Warships: Inexperienced and careless players with access to torpedoes. Unlike most real-life fleet engagements, in World of Warships the vessels go dangerously close to one another, so a player that shoots its torpedoes without looking (especially in lower tiers) will end up sinking his own allies.
    • AI-controlled units in cooperative matches too. Sometimes they'll fill the vacant slots in your own team, and may shoot you to death if they suffer a particularly bad case of Artificial Stupidity. If your ship is next to them and between them and their target, they may not care and open fire anyway, blasting you instead of their target.

    Web Original 
  • Nappa from Dragon Ball Z Abridged has spread death and destruction all over due to his inability to tell right from wrong and lack of common sense. One notable example of Nappa's stupidity is his game of "fetch" with the giant Arlian Yetti, in which he rips off one of his fingers and obliterates him with a Bomber DX. All while being totally oblivious towards the fact that he was killing him.
  • Thanks to his total lack of control over his magic in the first season of Gays in Capes, Tanum is literally a ticking time bomb who causes far more harm to his allies than to his enemies. This varies from the relatively inane, like the growth of trees in the middle of a battlefield, to putting all his allies to sleep in the middle of an important battle.
  • The Trope Codifier is Lumpy from Happy Tree Friends. You want to know how dangerous this moron is? He has a higher kill count than Flippy, who has an Ax-Crazy Superpowered Evil Side!
    • Splendid tries to be a superhero, but is so inept that he always kills the people he's trying to save.
    • Pop's carelessness tends to be the reason for Cub's deaths.
    • Subverted with The Mole. As with the aforementioned characters, his mistakes are often responsible for mass deaths, but his lack of awareness is due to blindness rather than stupidity.
  • Many reviewers are this in That Guy with the Glasses.
  • Rusty from Pokémon Rusty. How bad is his stupidity? Well...
    • He doesn't understand how HM moves work and tries Strength, Flash, Fly, and Surf to get around a tree that you use Cut on, but, predictably, none of them do the job. He finally refers to Red's twitter and, ignoring the obvious clue to use Cut, lights the tree on fire. This causes a massive wildfire that levels the forest and a nearby town.
    • He puts a Grimer into a bath and tries to wash it off in hopes of there being a legendary bird underneath. It gets Grimer washed down the drain and killed.
    • He plugs in a Tentacool, thinking its tentacles are wires and thus thinking it's an electric type. This gets the Tentacool electrocuted.
    • He stuffs sixteen Bidoofs in one Poké Ball simply because he "ran out." They die as a horrible mass of Bidoofs.
    • He tries to teach Zubat how to use Surf and doesn't realize that Surf and Zubat are incompatible. This leads to Zubat drowning.
    • Despite causing the Bidocalypse and being sent back in time to Set Right What Once Went Wrong, he opts to play out everything exactly the same way, enslavement to Peanut Butter and all.
  • Red vs. Blue: Private Michael J. Caboose is one of the stupidest people in the galaxy. He is also famous for getting the first kill in the entire series... on his own team leader. He has gone on to accidentally kill so many of his teammates that Command has installed a keyboard shortcut to report his teamkills.
    • We'll put it this way. How does the Blue Team convince Caboose to kill some enemies? By telling him that they are on his team and that he needs to help them.
  • Bowser Jr. from SuperMarioLogan has accidentally burned down his house and school by playing with fire, literally, for starters.
  • Bronco and Silo from the Whateley Universe. Vamp's first exposure to them is when she is nearly hit with several hundred pounds of packed snow that get launched from the other side of a small hill and land on the sidewalk near her. This would have killed most of the students at the school. They are constantly getting detention for doing dumb stuff like this just because they can.

    Web Video 

    Western Animation 
  • The Amazing World of Gumball: Richard Watterson due to his Bumbling Dad personality, he can cause disasters by accidents. In one episode, He causes The End of the World as We Know It only for getting a job as a pizza delivery man.
  • American Dad!'s Stan Smith veers to this with his self-serving ideas of what is right, and it doesn't help that he has access to dangerous CIA resources.
  • Animaniacs has Mindy. She has a tendency to wander off (usually while following something) into dangerous areas, with her dog Buttons tailing behind to save her. She always gets out unscathed, but Buttons is subject to all manner of brutal slapstick while trying to keep her safe.
  • Master Shake from Aqua Teen Hunger Force, such as provoking the Monster of the Week or abusing one of Frylock's inventions, although it usually leads to his own demise.
    • Meatwad, who's so childlike and idiotic that even though he (usually) means well, he tends to cause just as much destruction and mayhem as Master Shake, and isn't all that useful even when he's able to recognize what the right thing is.
  • Archer: Sterling Archer is known as "the world's most dangerous spy"-and is equally dangerous whether you're with him or against him. May be more a case of Lethally Brilliant, but Lazy.
    • Cyril is often the smartest of the main cast but becomes this whenever he has a gun due to the fact that he never bothers to look where he's shooting.
  • As demonstrated in the Camp Lazlo episode "Waiting for Edward", this applies to Chip and Skip. At the beginning of the episode, their bumbling ends up injuring Slinkman, and Edward is on the receiving end of various Amusing Injuries looking after them.
  • Dog from CatDog. He wreaks so much havoc everywhere he goes any time he sees a garbage truck. Due to being his (much more level-headed) conjoined twin, Cat is always literally dragged along behind him.
  • Chowder: The Title Character is incredibly ditzy, with most of the show's problems happening because he constantly ignores Mung's warnings and teachings about the potentially dangerous foods they deal with. It eventually reaches the point that Mung starts to blame himself for the trouble that Chowder causes because he should know better to expect Chowder to listen.
  • Dexter's Laboratory: The hyperactive Dee Dee usually sabotages Dexter's experiments and destroys his lab but she does so out of ignorant curiosity rather than malicious intent.
  • Ed of Ed, Edd n Eddy caused massive property damage and physical injury to the things and people around him through a mix of Literal Mindedness, mistaking reality for fiction, and just not knowing his own strength. Episodes like "Rent-A-Ed" and "The Day The Ed Stood Still" revolve around his dangerous idiocy.
    Eddy: Why do you always have to WRECK EVERYTHING?!
  • Cosmo from The Fairly OddParents, not helped by the fact that he's magic. It takes a special kind of moron to sink Atlantis nine times.
  • Family Guy.
    • Two words: Peter Griffin. He is so dangerously stupid he even burned down a children's hospital, by accident!
    • In "Our Idiot Brian", Brian gets a brain tumor that made him as stupid as Peter, and Stewie had to trick him into getting it surgically removed because he couldn't bear to see him endangering his life with his stupid antics.
  • In Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes, Johnny causes some of their problems by burning something, or messing with Reed's stuff, and ends up unleashing a giant inter-dimensional insect.
  • Zapp Brannigan in Futurama. Whenever he is called for help, he'll come to make things worse. And let's not forget that most of his exploits involve most of his men getting killed.
    • Zoidberg is also this by virtue of being a doctor on Earth with no clue how human anatomy works.
  • Generator Rex: Noah sets Rex up for a double date where Rex goes with Annie, is a Cute Clumsy Girl known as the "Blonde Widow" because all her previous dates ended up in the hospital "or worse." She always doing very stupid things that somehow manage to inflict the consequences of all her actions on everyone in the vicinity except her. Noah specifically chose Rex because he's the only one who could possibly survive a date with her.
  • Goofy is generally portrayed as way too clumsy, but it gets worse in Goof Troop, where his stupidity ends up putting Pete in dangerous situations extremely often, which was given special attention in "The Good, the Bad, and the Goofy", but in that episode, Goofy ends up saving Pete. However, Pete usually brings Goofy into his schemes willingly.
  • Billy of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy. Everything he does will inevitably result in mass destruction and chaos, and if he gets his hands on magical weapons and artifacts such as Grim's scythe, you can bet he'll end up causing The End of the World as We Know It.
  • Inspector Gadget causes a great deal of harm to his superior Chief Quimby by always tossing the exploding message back at him. There are also times he somehow takes out Claw's minions by his own stupidity when his gadgets get out of hand. Somehow, a promotion to Lieutenant makes him even worse.
  • Invader Zim, due to being very Chaotic Stupid, such as accelerating the expansion of an explosion that had slowed down due to being in a time chamber. Even GIR points out how stupid that action was.
    GIR: But if it goes fast, won't it get all bad?
    • If it's not Dib's interference or Zim's own ineptitude that foils a plan, it'll be GIR in another moronic stunt.
  • In Jackie Chan Adventures, many episodes start when Jade causes trouble when toying with magic. She even accidentally shrank Jackie!
    • And blew herself up... and duplicated herself... and knocked out Uncle one time. It's no wonder her older self recruits Uncle to produce the spells on her behalf.
      • And once nearly ascended to the level of Demon... (Though it saved the world in retrospect.)
  • In Metalocalypse, all the members of Dethklok are this. Every time they put on a show, it's likely to result in the violent deaths of their fans and other innocent victims, as the group tends to leave a trail of death and destruction anywhere they travel. Dethklok even requires fans who attend concerts to sign "pain waivers" that absolve the band of legal liability for these occurrences.
  • Mike Tyson Mysteries portrays Mike Tyson like this, having so far accidentally killed 15 people due to sheer stupidity. 13 of those are astronomers and astronauts he killed in car accidents alone.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
    • Lightning Dust certainly qualifies. She is a flyer like Rainbow Dash. However, unlike Rainbow Dash, she is very reckless with her flying, unintentionally causing harm to the other flyers and nearly killing five civilians in a hot air balloon. Although she doesn't mean to cause harm, she doesn't care about the well-being of others and only cares about being #1.
    • Rainbow Dash herself can be this at times. She's possibly the best flyer in Equestria, but her landings leave much to be desired, often smashing into things. Plus, there was that time she got it in her head it would be a good idea to kick a dragon in the face to get it to stop creating a smoke cloud over the country... and that was it. In "Tanks For The Memories," she even accidentally wreaked havoc in the weather factory because she didn't want Tank to hibernate.
    • Derpy also qualifies on a couple of occasions:
      • In "Feeling Pinkie Keen", she worked as part of a moving crew and it's implied that she accidentally dropped several heavy objects on an already injured Twilight Sparkle.
      • In "The Last Roundup", she causes unintentional damage to the town hall, which sets the whole plot in motion.
    • Starlight Glimmer after her Heel–Face Turn tends to make mistakes regarding her magic, which inconveniences the other ponies around her.
  • Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz of Phineas and Ferb. In Milo Murphy's Law, his "condition" is distinguished from the title character's as follows: Milo causes chaos by his mere presence, whereas Doofenshmirtz causes it with bad decisions.
  • The Mayor in The Powerpuff Girls. He is far too incompetent for a crime-stricken place like Townsville, and can't do anything more useful than calling the girls. And whenever he does something else, it's stupid and troublesome. In one episode, he even sold his town to Princess for candy. In another, the Mayor goes drunk with power overzealously trying to fight crime, in minutes going from effective to Disproportionate Retribution to punishing imagined crimes to finally even outright destroying Townsville in an attempt to save it.
    • Big Billy is the least mean of the Gangreen Gang, but also the most destructive because his strength is as huge as his idiocy.
  • Regular Show: Rigby tends to instigate life-threatening anomalies from simple, mundane subjects. Like unleashing a destructive video game monster when he was warned not to cross the wires.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Homer Simpson is definitely not someone you'd want to see in a nuclear center. Depending on the Writer, Homer's stupidity can either cause mere property damage, or actually hurt people, and even make them insane (poor Frank Grimes... and prior to burning out, he points out that ever since Homer took over as safety inspector, the plant's accidents and near-meltdowns have tripled). In the Halloween episodes, he is often seen killing others because of his idiocy.
    • Chief Wiggum often rats out his own undercover men by mistake, is bamboozled by criminals, and generally leaves the citizens he's supposed to protect worse off than before he got there.
  • Almost every adult in South Park is this, but Randy Marsh takes the cake. He even accidentally killed his daughter's boyfriend.
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks features a ship that is not the creme de la creme of Starfleet, but the answer to the unspoken question "what would it take to get kicked off" is Ensign Fletcher. Initially appearing to be a Nice Guy who can defuse any argument, Fletcher ends up trying to enhance his intelligence by hooking up an isolinear core to his brain. When it turns into a tech-eating monster, he goes to extreme lengths to prevent Mariner and Boimler from getting help because it would get him in trouble. After they finally manage to get rid of it in a way that accidentally saves the ship, Mariner portrays him as a hero to get him transferred to a better ship—where he is fired within a week for throwing garbage into the warp core.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012) Michelangelo has been gradually becoming this. He often makes the mistake of goading monsters and mutation freaks which doesn't end well, and him screwing off near or with mutagen has resulted in several characters getting exposed to it, even himself at one point. And he still doesn't learn.
  • Elmyra Duff of Tiny Toon Adventures will often leave a path of destruction behind trying to catch a "cuddly wuddly", and she also nearly kills her "pets" several times due to her stupidity; a Halloween episode took this further with several past pets committing suicide rather than having to deal with her.
  • From Transformers: Prime Miko Nakadai, full stop. The girl has proven on multiple occasions that she simply cannot learn from her mistakes. Even after nearly getting herself killed (several times), nearly getting her friends killed (again, several times), and nearly getting some of the bots themselves killed (notice a pattern yet?). Miko still hasn't learned that she'd be of more help to the Autobots by not sneaking onto a battlefield and becoming a protective burden. After her recklessness nearly gets Bulkhead killed, she finally gets some much-needed Character Development that results in her stopping being quite so prone to Leeroy Jenkins style stupidity. She also fond the Apex Armor around the same time, allowing her to actually contribute during fights.
  • From T.U.F.F. Puppy, Dudley Puppy often accidentally inflicts Amusing Injuries on fellow agents, citizens, or bad guys. But especially Kitty Katswell.
  • Xavier: Renegade Angel. No problem is too small for him to escalate into a life-threatening emergency.

    Real Life 
  • In regards to technological health; a script kiddie is a person who uses existing computer scripts or code to hack into computers, lacking the expertise to write their own. Such people are often considered more dangerous than a hacker, because at least a hacker has some idea of what they're doing. On the rare occasions that they manage to destroy something important by pure accident, a hacker usually has sufficient knowledge to fix whatever it was they broke, even if they have to resort to a scorched-earth format-and-reinstall. A script kiddie, meanwhile, has no idea how the system actually works; they just use someone else's code and expect it's going to work. When something happens that they didn't mean to, they'll have no idea what to do, and could potentially cause irreparable damage.
  • The Goiânia accident, while partly the result of people not knowing the risks of fooling around with radioactive materials, is also the result of plain stupidity, stupidity that left a final death toll of 4, plus 249 contaminated survivors, and over 112,000 people in the city of Goiânia checked for radiation sickness. When scrappers broke into a derelict hospital and stole a radiation source from a radiotherapy machine containing radioactive cesium chloride, things already started to go wrong when the two men began to suffer nausea and began vomiting while disassembling the device. The second of the two men kept going at the machine while the first went to seek treatment, and he eventually smashed his way into the device and got some of the cesium chloride out. After selling the device to a nearby scrapyard, things only got worse, to sum it up.
  • General Custer, a 7th Cavalry General who lead his men into a massacre with absolutely no battle plan whatsoever. Infamously, not only did he get himself killed, he got all of his men killed as well.
  • Driving under the influence, whether of alcohol or drugs. Impaired judgement plus a few thousand pounds of metal traveling at high speeds equals high probability of tragedy for anyone unfortunate enough to be in the idiot's path.

 
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Trouble-making clumsiness

In the following episode from the episode "Troublemaker" from Season 2, Yellow is stupid & well-meaning yet he causes disasters and misfortunes towards others because of his clumsiness and a lack of thought.

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Main / LethallyStupid

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