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Who Would Be Stupid Enough?

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Agatha: This really is a Wulfenbach Ship?
Marie: Oh, yes. It was remarkably easy to steal. But then [glancing at her husband] who would be fool enough to try?
Oggie: Hey! Iz like hyu vife iz callink hyu a fool wit-out ektually—
Master Payne: You cannot possibly be as stupid as you act.
Oggie: ...Ken if I vants to be!

If anyone says "Who would be stupid enough to fall for that?" or anything like it, you can be almost guaranteed that we'll see someone show that, yes, they are stupid enough, no matter how obvious the Schmuck Bait. This is also useful for summoning The Ditz to volunteer to do the aforementioned stupidity.

If you don't want someone to do it, you are clearly Tempting Fate. Anything too stupid for even a single person to think of hasn't been invented yet.

In some universes, this is a very dangerous trope to invoke.

May be followed by a Description Cut, Answer Cut, or Inadvertent Entrance Cue.

You may ask yourself "Who would be stupid enough to ask questions like that?" There's your answer.

Closely related is someone showing up unexpectedly and others refusing to be surprised. "Yeah! I know you did this! Who else would be crazy/stupid enough to do this?" (In this case, the speaker has it exactly right. The culprit does turn out to be the person they named; not somebody else, nor does it turn out that nobody at all would be that stupid.) Another variation is the form "Not even (character) would be stupid enough to do that!" followed by the reveal that, yes, they were.

Sometimes it will be deliberately invoked by someone whose enemies know they're not that stupid and allow them to catch the bad guys off guard.

Often overlaps with Unintentionally Unwinnable, when the softlock wouldn't occur without players making out-there decisions.

See also Schmuck Bait, Don't Touch It, You Idiot!, What Does This Button Do?. For the case when a character innocently mocks some action in the presence of someone who did said action, see Oblivious Mockery. For the case where people believe that a certain character is stupid enough to do something, see No One Else Is That Dumb. The inverse is Nobody's That Dumb where a character proves even they aren't dumb enough to do something. Murphy's Law asserts that someone is stupid enough to do anything, and the problem when people do stupid things is that the things could be done.


Example subpages:

Other examples:

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    Advertising 
  • An M&M's commercial for the 2012 Super Bowl introduced a Ms. Brown M&M at a relatively high-class party with some soft piano music for atmosphere when a few guys start snickering at her. When she asks what their deal is a girl explains that they think she's naked. Brown chastises the guys, explaining that her shell is simply brown and that only a fool would think that she would show up to a party naked. Cue Red barging in and saying, "Oh, so it's that kind of party!" He then pulls off his shell and starts dancing as LMFAO's "Sexy and I Know It" suddenly starts playing. Brown is not amused.

    Anime & Manga 
  • In one episode of Eyeshield 21, Sena watches a TV program on his team's new secret player, and there's a bit where Hiruma, posing as Eyeshield 21, gives an "obnoxious tough guy" speech. Kurita tries to assure him "No one would take that seriously", but then we cut to Monta watching the same program, talking about what a jerk Eyeshield 21 is.
  • In the first season finale of Sailor Moon, the youma create an illusion of a captured Tuxedo Mask, which Sailor Moon rushes toward. After the trap is exposed, they create the same illusion again. Sailor Mars says, "Do you really think she's stupid enough to fall for it again?", only for Sailor Moon to prove that she is.
  • K: Missing Kings - Kuroh describes to Neko how the tower is heavily guarded, and finishes by saying, "Only a fool would try to break in through the front." Cue Misaki, on his skateboard, screaming.
    Neko: [pointing] A fool just went in.
  • Ranma ˝:
    • In the anime episode that introduces Gosunkugi, he digs a pit in an attempt to trap Ranma. Two unnamed students ask each other who would make such an obvious trap, and who would fall into it. Enter Kunō...
    • In the manga, Ranma says this when Akane wins a bathing suit that supposedly makes anyone capable of swimming like a pro Olympian just by wearing it. Shortly afterwards, it turns out that it really does work.
      Ranma: There's no such thing as a bathing suit which makes a person able to swim. There is no-one in the world dumb enough that would believe such a thing!
      Akane: Hey! How do I look?
  • A badass version of this occurs when episode twelve of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann pits the crew against Spiral King general Adiane. The fight ends up with Adiane's mecha on the deck of Team Dai-Gurren's battleship. Adiane taunts them with the fact that they wouldn't be stupid enough to fire on her when they're so close to one another.
    Yoko: Unfortunately, we are that stupid.
  • A variation happened in Higurashi: When They Cry where Satoko said that only Keiichi would be dumb enough to fall for her mud Pit Trap. Cue a mud-covered Rika crawling out of the ground.
  • Played with on Slayers, where Lina sees a trap and tells Gourry that he'd be the only one stupid enough to fall for it... then Lina herself walks right into the trap about ten seconds later, after being Distracted by the Shiny.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX gives us the following lines
    O'Brien: There's no way he'll attack head-on.note 
    Judai: Battle! Featherman, direct attack!
  • In Dragon Ball, whilst going through Pilaf's castle to retrieve the last Dragon Ball, Goku, Bulma, and co. follow arrows through a maze — leading to them being trapped. Pilaf remarks that he couldn't believe there were people stupid enough to fall for that. Even better, Goku's group expressed and dismissed concerns that the arrows were a trap on the grounds that they were too obvious to be a trap.
  • A variant appears in Haruhi Suzumiya.
    Kyon: Who would ever believe that?
    Koizumi: I was hoping that you might.
  • In the first episode of Dominion Tank Police, a mook in a stolen prototype tank is confident he's escaped the heroine's older model by climbing an elevator shaft, because she'd have to be some kind of lunatic to fire straight up at him. They both end up buried in the rubble.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi's Spin-Off Babies series Negiho has the girls trying to force out Konoka's "stalker" by doing annoying things to her (like Face Doodling and Tickle Torture). Off to the side, Yue wonders how stupid the stalker would have to be to actually show up for such an obvious trap. Cue Setsuna blasting the lot of them with her Shinmeiryuu techniques, Neck Lifting Asuna while shouting "What do you think you're doing to Ojou-sama!". She's quickly caught in a stalker-snare afterwards.
  • This is practically a Running Gag in Gintama whenever Hijikata would ask who would be dumb enough to (action), cue Kondo doing said action.
  • In Squid Girl, to demonstrate to Nagisa that Ika isn't a threat, they give her a fishing pole with a shrimp as bait. Nagisa just finishes telling herself that there's no way an invader like Ika would fall for something so obvious when she feels a tug at the other end of the line.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Wing episode 3 has a scene where an Alliance commander declares "Only an idiot would challenge this base's defenses"; Zechs snarks "Well then, here come the idiots!" just before Heavyarms shows up and starts trashing the place. (Though in this case, the real idiot was the commander thanks to his Suicidal Overconfidence.)
  • In One Piece, the answer is usually that Luffy would be stupid enough:
    • Niji Vinsmoke at one point comments that nobody would be stupid enough to go up against Big Mom's army... cut to Luffy doing just that.
    • After the Straw Hats and Bege interrupt the wedding with a bunch of animals disguised as Luffy to cause chaos; Big Mom, in a fit of rage, asks Luffy to show himself. Bege laughs to himself, asking if she is so stupid to think that he would actually do it. Immediately after, Luffy indeed shows himself, to the shock of Bege.
  • On Pokémon: The Series, our heroes visit a sanctuary for abandoned Pokémon which is protected by several traps, including pitfalls. Ash comments that you'd have to be pretty stupid to fall into one (which offends Misty since she fell into one earlier); cut to Team Rocket at the bottom of a pitfall.
    Jessie: This is the third hole we've fallen into! How come no one ever falls into our traps, but we always fall into theirs?!
    James: Well, this one was cleverly hidden, well made and—
    Jessie: I'M GLAD YOU'RE ENJOYING IT!
    Meowth: (in pain) Meowth!
  • In Chapter 25 of Wild and Horned Hermit, a Touhou Project spinoff Manga, Marisa spots Sanae using a comet sighting to drum up interest in the Moriya Shrine. She then makes a remark that Reimu would probably be making an even worse get-rich quickly scheme, such as selling rubber tubes filled with oxygen. Guess what Reimu is shown to be preparing to do on the very next page?
  • In Full Metal Panic!, upon discovering that Sousuke plans to evacuate Jindai High School by having Atsunobu announce that "a student council aide I'm sure you're all well aware of" accidentally released a chemical weapon on school grounds, Kurama mocks him for thinking anyone would buy such a nonsense story. The answer, as Atsunobu helpfully points out, is a school dumb enough to let Sousuke keep attending after he accidentally released that last biochemical weapon on campus.
  • The 100 Girlfriends Who Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Love You has a ramen shop owner offer various kinds of ramen that would be impossible to finish, and when that fails, she starts offering ramen that no one would want to even order in the first place. The one that fits this trope best is the "Stupid-As-Hell Challenge Ramen", ramen topped with a hamburger topped with what appears to be soft-serve ice cream. Her intention is that nobody would order it since it looks gross and would be embarrassing to ask for in public. Then Naddy walks in and immediately orders it.
  • Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle: In an attempt to re-capture Princess Syalis after she escapes the castle, the Demon King sets up a Box-and-Stick Trap with a bed inside. His right-hand man immediately declares that "not even the Princess would fall for that" seconds before Syalis triggers it.
    "What is she, a racoon!?"
  • Chainsaw Man: During Part 2 of the manga, Chainsaw Man is now a popular and well-known being with a devoted fanbase. While his identity is meant to be a secret, Denji is reckless and desperate enough to be trying to use his secret identity to get a girlfriend. When he tells Asa that he is the Chainsaw Man, she rebukes him and leaves. Yoru comes to believe he might really be the real deal, but Asa says that not only he was likely to lie to get her interest, but also that someone with such a dangerous job and massive public pressure as Chainsaw Man would be unlikely to be so stupid that he would just blurt out his identity to get a girl.

    Comic Books 
  • In Jeff Smith's Bone, Fone Bone evades a pair of rat creatures by leaping onto a branch over a gorge and saying "Those rat creatures would have to be pretty stupid to follow me onto this frail, little branch." Three guesses as to what happens.
  • In Countdown to Final Crisis Monarch asks "Who would be stupid enough to take a shot at me?" Turns out that would be Superboy-Prime, who proceeds to rip apart Monarch's costume, destroying the universe.
  • From The All New Atom: Ivy Town is being attacked by two movie monsters brought into the real world.
    Bystander: What are those hideous fiends?
    Ms. Exposition: Well, the Lizard is called Gosana, and the Bat/Reptile is called Kame-Komori. They're from a series of low-budget Japanese films from a small and seedy film company called Dorobo Studios. They were created as rubber suit monsters to sponge off the popularity of much better film franchises at Toho and Daiei Studios. Many hard-core aficionados say they're the worst giant monster films ever made, despite some tasty special effects. Of course, the films have almost never been seen since the sixties — so only a total geek loser would even know who they are.
    [next panel]
    Atom: [inner monologue] Hey! It's Gosana and Kame-Komori!
  • Inverted in one Sam & Max: Freelance Police short story parodying Star Wars.
    Sam: It smells like some kind of high-tech waste material compactor. They'll never think we were so incredibly stupid as to hide in here.
    Max: That's right! Nobody's that stupid.
  • Happens a lot with Smiffy from The Beano.
  • The Simpsons:
    • There's a comic where a truck driver is delivering a shipment of bunnies to Springfield Elementary, and a panther (well, Bart. Long story) to Springfield zoo. He tells Groundskeeper Willy that the rabbits are in the crate on the left, wonders if he should clarify which left he means, then reasons that no-one could mistake a panther for a rabbit. In the next panel, Willy is brawling with the Bart-panther, who apparently didn't take kindly to being fed carrots.
    • In another issue, Bart notices that Duff Beer is holding a "Find the Winning Bottle Cap" contest and expresses his hopes that Homer might win. Homer remarks that such contests are for suckers, and wonders what kind of loser would buy beer just to win one. Cut to perpetual loser Gil, surrounded by hundreds of bottles.
    • In another issue, after Homer is unable to go on a family trip due to the airport not allowing someone with his girth on the plane, he starts an organization for the rights of overweight airline passengers. When asked by Kent Brockman how he intends to fulfill his goal, Homer figures the best way was to ask a rich guy to bankroll an airline for obese people, prompting Brockman to wonder what idiot would do that. Cue Homer and his organization going to Mr. Burns' office.
  • In one Carl Barks Donald Duck comic, "The Sap-head Factory", a diamond smuggling ring has an ice production business as the front for their mining. They claim that since the ice company advertises "Arctic fresh" ice, they mix a bit of the real stuff because "Honesty is the best policy"- the Arctic ice, actually has diamonds in it. The leaders of the smugglers discuss the need for an Unwitting Pawn; an innocent face to make the deliveries so customs won't suspect anything, who'd be dumb enough to actually believe the cock-and-bull cover story. The leaders are wondering, "Who'd be that dumb?" when in walks Donald, trying to get a job at the factory to avoid the summer heat wave.
  • In Groo the Wanderer, the answer to that question, in any context, is always Groo. One of the comic's many Running Gags is that whenever someone makes an observation prefaced or followed by the phrase "As any fool can plainly see...", Groo will chime in with "I can plainly see that!"
  • In Eight Billion Genies, Ernest asks why anyone would wish for a volcano to erupt, much less eight of them all named "Mount Doom", complaining about how heavy that Foreshadowing is. In the same scene, Ed asks why a child would wish for Robbie's school to be turned into chocolate. Robbie's genie responds that they don't try to explain wishes, they just grant them.

    Comic Strips 
  • Peanuts:
    • The following exchange is from a May 1960 strip:
      Lucy: Say, you don't think Charlie Brown would try to steal home, do you?
      Patty: Never! Not even Charlie Brown would do anything that stupid!
      Charlie Brown: [on third base] I wonder if I should try to steal home!?
    • From an April 1962 strip:
      Linus: Boy, look at it rain!
      Lucy: I've never seen it rain so hard for such a long time...
      Linus: I'm just glad I'm inside...
      Lucy: Well, good grief, only a real blockhead would be out in a rain like this...
      Charlie Brown: [standing on the pitcher's mound] Where is everybody?
    • A strip from 1986 has a variant: Peppermint Patty complains about how the school maypole dance was canceled due to the school having no liability insurance, asking in disbelief, "Who would be clumsy enough to get tangled around a maypole?" Of course, the final panel shows that Charlie Brown has somehow done exactly that.
  • A variant occurs during a Story Arc in the comic strip Bloom County, where Bill the Cat becomes a Greedy Televangelist and claims if people send him $50 million, the Lord will "call home" Jimmy Swaggert, Oral Roberts, Jerry Falwell, and Jim Bakker. In the last frame, Milo says "Wipe out the gang of four, eh? Who knows who would fall for such a seductive pitch!" just as Opus is rifling through a wad of dollar bills. (This was a parody of Oral Roberts' fundraising appeal claiming that God would "call him home" if he didn't get a certain amount of money in donations.)
  • In Hsu and Chan, rival game designers Satoshi and Akira Yamamoto discuss how the only way for the Tanaka Brothers to stop them from stealing the game innovation of the century would be to plow through security, rush the stage, and physically smash their computer. Akira remarks that "No sane man would—" before realizing who he's dealing with. Cut to Hsu and Chan discussing their plan to plow through security, rush the stage, and physically smash the computer.
  • In a FoxTrot comic, Jason asked every member of his family if they wanted to have a Snowball Fight with him. They each reply "Do I look like an idiot?"... until he gets to Roger, who says "Let me get my coat." before Jason can even finish the question.
  • Garfield:
    • In one strip, a TV-commercial is blatantly stating "Are you a complete loser without any taste? Then we've got the thing for you!". Cue Jon coming in the room: "Hey, I've got three of those."
    • In another strip, Garfield is watching a commercial for a health supplement that promises to help men attract women, but then mentions that Side Effects Include... uncontrollable knee slapping, foot stomping, and blinking, as well as abnormal hair growth all over the body.
      Garfield: What idiot would buy that product?
      [Jon stands behind Garfield with hair growing all over his body, blinking wildly, stomping his foot, and slapping his knee over and over again]
  • Beetle Bailey:
    • In one strip, Sarge shows Beetle the new ejection seat on Sarge's jeep. Beetle asks Sarge if Sarge is worried someone will sit in the seat and pull the ripcord. Sarge asks who would be stupid enough to do that. The last panel is General Halftrack airborne.
    • Another one has General Halftrack issuing a camp-wide directive not to stick one's nose in one's canteen.note  Discussion wondering who would be so stupid trickles up (including Sarge's lampshading the Schmuck Bait) to the General, shown angry and porting a heavily bandaged nose.
    • Similarly, Sarge issues a directive (this time, only to the Company) not to try to dislodge a ball stuck on a roof by kicking the building. Beetle, Killer, et al. confront an angry frowning Sarge, in a full leg cast hidden behind the desk.
  • In one Calvin and Hobbes strip, Calvin is sitting in front of the TV and disparaging the programs he's watching:
    Calvin: Who do they think is stupid enough to sit and watch this trash?
    Hobbes: You.
    Calvin: If there was anything better on, I'd watch that.
  • In one Sherman's Lagoon sunday, Sherman finds Ernest making a computer virus he calls, the "I wuv you" virus. Sherman points out that there was already a virus like that, and now people know not to open those kinds of emails.
    Sherman: I mean, what kind of desperate, pathetic sap would still open that?
    Ernest: Done. Now hit "Send".
    (Beat)
    Filmore: Yo, Ernest. Major computer question.
    Ernest: Bingo.

    Fan Works 
  • The Bolt Chronicles: After Mittens watches a television episode in which a character deliberately makes himself sick to create a diversion, she expresses doubts that anyone really would do something so dumb. Turns out Bolt does exactly that in order to get Penny and Joe to meet.
    Mittens: Though I gotta say, as good as that peanut episode was, it does stretch credibility juuuust a tiny bit. Who in their right mind would even consider putting themselves that much in harm's way to create a diversion like Howard did? It would take a special kind of idiot to go to those lengths, don'tcha think?
  • Hero Chat: The heroes Queen Bee (Chloé Bourgeois) and Ryuko (Kagami Tsurugi) have their secret identities outed, and thus are publicly retired for their own safety. They are replaced by Honeybee and Arashi... who are still Chloé and Kagami. While there's a magical Glamour and the team's Master of Illusion helps with the "new" heroes meeting the "old" ones, multiple people point out that probably the only reason this actually works is because the city collectively thinks no one would be stupid enough to try such a simple trick.
  • In the Kim Possible fic If You Build a Better Monkey, Shego (now on Kim's side) suggests catching the thieves who stole some rare zoo animals by posting an ad to buy just such animals in a villain forum. Kim is skeptical that the culprits would fall for such an obvious set-up. Shego just rattles off a few names from Kim's Rogues Gallery, and Kim concedes the point that, yes, some villains are that dumb.
  • In The Karma of Lies, Adrien tries to explain that Lila stole tens of millions out of his family's secret emergency account, using all her past scams as proof she'd do such a thing. However, the police believe he stole his own money in order to evade the government and is trying to frame her, and his lawyer explains that this trope is the reason why. Among other issues with his testimony, the police just don't believe he's stupid enough to let someone that he thinks is a con artist (one who he claims has been actively grifting his classmates for months, no less) get into a position where they can learn his banking information.
    LaChaise: Let's say, for the sake of argument, that you really did believe Lila to be a fraud but still wanted to help her and wired her ten thousand euros. Why would you let her see your passwords? Wouldn't it have made sense to make her stay in another room while you typed them in?
  • In The MUSHU-Verse story She-Pooktacular, Danny Phantom meets his Alternate Universe Distaff Counterpart, Dani Fenton/Inviso-Belle. When everyone present questions her on the name, Dani answers that it was either that or "Dani Phantom", and remarks that only someone stupid would make their superhero alias a pun of their own name. Cue her looking at Danny's logo and realizing that's what he did.
  • In New California Dreaming, Coyle refuses to take a less-than-safe quest from Moira Brown. A few weeks later, some poor sucker from Vault 101 comes along...
  • In The Night Unfurls, right after her liege lady reminds her that a fortress is not invincible, Chloe internally asks "who would dare brazenly strike at the Black Fortress?" Cue Kyril and the Black Dogs arriving moments later, even coming out victorious in the next chapter.
  • Phoenix's Tear: Reignition: Hare takes offense to C.P. accusing him and his friends of working for Muu, pointing out how Muu hates humanity, along with having other reasons to avoid employing them. He questions how anyone could assume that he'd accept any human followers... causing Genki to laugh nervously while flashing back to when he met Allan, an arrogant trainer who actually wanted to join Muu himself.
  • A Rabbit Among Wolves:
    • After seeing the news report about Adam's death, Juniper Arc remarks about how she knows her son Jaune is smart enough to stay out of trouble. Cue her seeing his face on the screen and the police knocking on her door.
    • When Coco brings up how Jaune forgoing a mask is the smartest decision he's made since it lets people see him as a person, Yang brings up its also likely that he doesn't see a point as his face is already known though Coco says that's stupid.
  • Thieves Guild, a crossover between the Persona 5 fics Forewarned is Forearmed and Breaking (all the) Things (among others), has this exchange when one Akira tells his story to the other, which does not begin with him being arrested for a crime he didn't commit.
    Broken!Akira: Someone did try to get me arrested. At the end of the last school year. I saw a man trying to assault a woman in my hometown. [Shido, of course.] But then— Someone came running in and punched him. Knocked the guy out and then ran off. Later, someone called the police and tried to get me arrested.
    Akira's mind races as he tries to figure out what the implications of that are. He doesn't know who would have had a reason to attack Shido, exactly? Well, there are probably a lot of people that would want to punch him, but Akira's having a hard time imagining why anyone actually would. Even Akechi, he's pretty sure, is smarter than that. And Akechi hates Shido and is certified Bad At Plans, so that's saying something. Context 
  • White Sheep (RWBY): Ren, a human, ends up in Menagerie, the home of the Faunus, and claims to be a sloth Faunus. He has no obvious Faunus traits, but everyone just assumes they're hidden or hard to notice, because what human would be stupid enough to come to Menagerie? He even tells Sienna Khan, leader of a violent Faunus militia group, to her face that a human would have to be "pretty ballsy" to pretend to be a Faunus in Menagerie. She still doesn't notice, and last we see her she's still hoping for romance with "a certain sloth Faunus."
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series:
    • Although not with the exact same words...
      Yami: Does anyone here really believe that guy is a ghost?
      Tristan: I do!
      Yami: Anyone besides Tristan?
      [pause]
      Tristan: I do!
    • And later:
      Brisbane: You can't mean that you're about to step on that map!
      Yugi: No,I was just gonna leave.
      Brisbane: So you're stepping on the map, then?
      Yugi: No, I'm leaving.
      Brisbane: ...Step on the map.
      Yugi: Make me!
      Brisbane: Oh, come on. I'll be your friend.
      Yugi: Look, there's no way I'm stepping on any freakin' map!
      Brisbane: What if I told you there was candy inside the map?
      Yugi: You've got to be kidding me! I'd have to be an idiot to fall for—
      Tea: Hey, candy! That sounds pretty good!
      Tristan: Yes, let's go get the candy!
      [cue Tristan and Tea dragging a protesting Yugi onto the map]
    • Also subverted in another episode of the same series, where you'd expect Tristan to follow this trope again:
    Yugi: Man, Duke! I can't believe you actually thought that crappy little dice game would sell!
    Joey: Yea, it was just a carbon copy of Duel Monsters! You'd have to be as blind as my sister to not notice the similarities!
    Tristan: [holds up dice] This is going straight up my nose!

    Films — Animation 
  • Asterix Conquers America, where Julius Caesar outlines his plan to have Getafix thrown off the edge of the world:
    Lucullus: But who would be so stupid — I mean, so courageous to sail to the end of the world?
    Caesar: I can think of someone who was made for the task... You, Lucullus, you'll do it.
  • The Simpsons Movie: The citizens of Springfield decide to have someone distract Russ Cargill while the others escape the dome.
    Lenny: But who would be stupid enough to stay while we escape with our lives?
    Cletus Spuckler: Ahem. My time to shine!
  • In Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow, when the gang infiltrates Ultron's base:
    Azari: There's no-one here. Maybe Ultron assumed no-one would be dumb enough to sneak in.
    Pym: HA! We showed him! We are dumb enough!

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Battle Beyond the Stars. Sador uses this trope to deride his brainless underling when asking who'd come to aid the Akirans. "No-one would be that stupid, even you!"
  • Played straight by The Chechen in The Dark Knight: "Who's stupid enough to steal from us?" Turns out, the Joker. Although "stupid" doesn't really factor into it. Try "supremely confident".
    Gambol: You think you can steal from us and just walk away?!
    The Joker: [deadpan] Yeah.
  • In Draft Day, Seahawks general manager Tom Michaels discusses his wish to make a trade reminiscent of the RGIII trade with his head coach Walt Gordon. Michaels knows that someone has to be really stupid to agree with such a trade. Gordon asks him: 'Who's the most desperate guy you know?' Cut away to the city of Cleveland...
  • In Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Harry outlines his plan for him and Marv to rob Duncan's Toy Chest, which he figures is a Refuge in Audacity;
    Harry: Yup, there's nobody dumb enough to knock off a toy store on Christmas Eve.
    Marv: Oh yes there is, Harry. [points at himself, then Harry]
  • When the Nazis demand that Indy hand over the Grail Diary in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Henry Jones Sr. laughs at the idea that they'd assume his son was stupid enough to bring it with him after he'd mailed the diary to him in the first place to keep it out of the Nazis' hands. Unfortunately, Indy didn't quite get the memo... Although you figure his dad could have sent a note or something, saying "keep this away from the Nazis".
    Henry Jones Sr.: I should have mailed it to the Marx Brothers.
  • Knives Out: Linda is not stupid enough to take the Schmuck Bait the Great Detective offers her in her interview, but her husband sure is.
    Linda: If you think I'm dumb enough to trash talk my little brother in front of a police detective and a state trooper—
    Gilligan Cut to her husband's interview
    Richard: Walt doesn't do shit!
    • The entire plot of the standalone sequel, Glass Onion, hinges on this. The culprit of Andi's murder is obvious- too obvious. Benoit Blanc and Helen reason that billionaire "genius" Miles Bron can't be the real killer, because no one would be stupid enough to kill someone personally when they had so many (very public and well-known) reasons to want them dead. As such, they dismiss Bron as a suspect, only to find out after an entire movie's worth of investigating that it really was him - and to top it off, his methods of offing those who presented a threat to his plans, by their very concept and their lack of originality, made it as clear as day (at least in hindsight) that only he could've been the culprit.
      Benoit: It's so dumb...
      Birdie: It's so dumb, it's brilliant!
      Benoit: No! It's just dumb!
  • Scooby-Doo (2002): In the airport scene, Shaggy walks up to Fred and the girls without Scooby, prompting Velma to ask where is the dog. Shaggy explains big dogs aren't allowed on the plane. Cut to Scooby, wearing women's clothes.
    Velma: You've gotta be kidding.
    Daphne: Nobody is stupid enough to believe that.
    Fred: Who's the ugly old broad?
  • Small Soldiers when the toy soldiers get out of control we get these lines of dialog:
    Stuart Abernathy: What kind of moron would put military technology in toys?
    Irwin Wayfair: [pointing at Larry] Well that would be Gizmo over here.
  • In Spaceballs, the villains' plot relies on them discovering the pass code to the defenses protecting the heroine's planet. Dark Helmet eventually manages to get it:
    Dark Helmet: So the combination is 1 2 3 4 5? That's the stupidest combination I've ever heard in my life! That's the kind of thing an idiot would have on his luggage!
    [later...]
    President Skroob: What's the combination?
    Colonel Sandurz: 1 2 3 4 5.
    President Skroob: 1 2 3 4 5? That's amazing! I've got the same combination on my luggage!
  • In Superman III, Corrupt Corporate Executive Ross Webster has learned that someone is embezzling money from his company, and is despairing of figuring out who it is:
    Ross Webster: He'll just go on quietly taking the bread from our mouths, he'll keep a low profile and won't do a thing to call attention to himself. Unless he is a complete and utter moron.
    [cut to Gus Gorman pulling into the parking lot in a brand new sports car]

    Literature 
  • Animorphs: Two human-Controllers transporting steer to a slaughterhouse find a pair of bulls in the midst of the herd. One of them suspects the "Andalite bandits", but the other is skeptical, claiming that the Andalites couldn't be stupid enough to infiltrate a slaughterhouse as the soon-to-be slaughtered. This is exactly what the Animorphs are doing, mind you.
  • In Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception, Opal seals Artemis and Holly in a Death Trap that involves them being ripped apart by a pack of bloodthirsty trolls, and Holly has flashbacks to an anti-troll training course she once had to attend. Unfortunately, the training only covered how to deal with a troll one-on-one, since no-one, the instructor reasoned, could possibly be stupid enough to put themselves in a situation in which they were dealing with multiple trolls at once...
  • Discworld:
    • Somewhat lampshaded in Thief of Time:
      "No one would be that stu—"
      Susan stopped. Of course someone would be that stupid. Some humans would do anything to see if it was possible do it. If you put a switch in a cave somewhere, with a sign on it saying "End-of-the-World switch. PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH", the paint wouldn't even have time to dry.
    • Shows up a lot in Discworld, in fact. In The Last Continent:
      Any true wizard, faced with a sign like "Do not open this door. Really. We mean it. We're not kidding. Opening this door will mean the end of the universe," would automatically open the door in order to see what all the fuss was about.
    • Mustrum Ridcully (normally quite sensible and level-headed, for a wizard) does precisely this in Hogfather and finds... a bathroom. Designed by Bloody Stupid Johnson.
  • In Dragon Bones, Ward has been Obfuscating Stupidity for seven years. Which is why some people are very surprised to learn that he's on a mission to become a war hero. When questioned whether he isn't too stupid to do this, he points out that one has to be quite stupid to intentionally go into a warring region. Which is why his doing so makes perfect sense.
  • The Dresden Files: Harry gets a beautiful one by proxy when Ebenezer McCoy figures out Harry's plan in Turn Coat. In summary the plan is calling out the worlds strongest Wizards to fight, then call in the Vampires saying he has what they want, and then getting them to work together against a common enemy, who Harry also invited to this location.
    "Wile E. Coyote. Suuuuuper genius."
  • The Footprint of Mussolini: In this alternate history story, Mussolini becomes magnanimous toward Jews. During the Second World War, Horthy disobeys Hitler's orders to deport Jews to death camps, instead choosing to send them to Italian soil, thinking he couldn't possibly get upset over that. Hitler not only proceeds to invade Hungary and topple Horthy, he starts ANOTHER war with Italy, all to kill the Hungarian Jewish refugees.
  • In Harrow the Ninth, the Emperor God tells Harrow that he sealed his worst enemy behind a blood ward that could only be opened by him (or a biological relative of his, as a "blood ward" is more accurately a "gene ward", but he has no such relatives). A few chapters later, we get a flashback to Harrow sealing some important letters, and dismissing the idea of a using blood ward instead of writing them in code, because it would be stupid to assume she won't bleed for the foreseeable future. Turns out Harrow was right. Some of the Emperor's elite super-necromancers turned on him, stole his sperm during a threesome, and handed it over to his enemies to make a baby who could be used as a key.
  • Harry Potter:
    • In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Ron wonders what teacher would be dumb enough to fall for the trio's planned deception about why they want a potions book in the Restricted Section of the library, having apparently temporarily forgotten that Lockhart is their Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher that year.
    • In Order of the Phoenix, Arthur Weasley (recovering in hospital after a snakebite from a magical snake) mentions that he's become interested in a branch of muggle medicine called "Stitches" as a possible cure. Mrs. Weasley scoffs at the idea, saying it sounds like he wants to sew his skin back together and not even he's stupid enough to try that... Harry hears her screech "WHAT DO YOU MEAN, THAT'S THE GENERAL IDEA?!" from the corridor outside the ward. Which is stupid in another way in that stitches are not usually used for puncture wounds. That's what happens when you don't give wizards any non-magical education after they turn eleven, and think of any Muggle methods as worthless (case in point — Ron's description of doctors as "Muggle nutters who cut people up").
  • Honor Harrington: In Storm from the Shadows, Admiral Byng says something to this effect, thinking that Michelle Henke and the Manticorans will not actually make good on their warnings to punish the Solarian aggression. It doesn't end well for him. Ironic in that Admiral Byng is himself so dense that his skull practically generates its own independent gravity well.
  • In Norman Spinrad's Alternate History novel The Iron Dream, the author analyzing the work of metafiction around which Spinrad's story is framed notes that some fans may yearn for a decisive and iron-willed leader like the one depicted in the work of metafiction to save them from Soviet domination, but concludes that no rational person would ever stand such a clearly delusional, bloodthirsty tyrant. Considering that the in-universe author of the work of metafiction is Adolf Hitler, well, I think you see Spinrad's point.
  • Michael gets hit with this a couple times in the Knight and Rogue Series. On one occasion his reason for being at the scene of a murder (following orders to meet someone in an unaddressed letter) isn't believed because the law enforcement can't believe anyone, especially someone without legal rights who knows something shifty is going on, would be stupid enough to get framed with such an obvious trick.
  • McAuslan: After the titular character is demoted, Lt. MacNeill takes him aside and comforts him with the fact that at least McAuslan didn't lose a guardroom. McAuslan blurts out this trope, whereupon MacNeill wisely doesn't mention that the soldier who fell asleep in a guardroom tent and woke up to find it gone was him.
  • Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold by Stephen Fry contains a very self-aware example of this; after Cronos dethrones his father Ouranos and has him imprisoned in Tartarus, Ouranos condenses his divine fury into the rock of the earth. Fortunately, the narration muses, Ouranos' power is so destructive and terrifying that "surely, the race has not yet been born that would be foolish enough to harness the power of uranium?"
  • RWBY: After the Fall: A flashback to Team CFVY's initiation shows Coco and Fox finding a cave whose entrance is decorated with cave art depicting with a people fighting a giant scorpion. Fox, who is blind, doesn't need the cave art to realise it's a Death Stalker den. It's so obvious that he notes "only an idiot" would go inside. This is a Mythology Gag; in the original show, Volume 1's initiation sees an oblivious Jaune lead Pyrrha into the cave, hoping to find the relic he's been tasked by the teachers to bring back to base. It's an early clue that Jaune comes from a different background to most Beacon students.
  • In Septimus Heap: Syren Septimus says that not even Milo would be stupid enough to acquire five thousand warrior jinn without knowing the Codes to control them. Turns out that Tertius Fume deceived him into doing so by promising to give the Codes later.
  • Star Wars Legends: Shadows of the Empire:
    • Several of the good guys' common-sense violating tactics are cited to work because the opposition wouldn't expect anyone to try them in the first place. Lando eventually lampshades this.
      Lando: [on the subject of infiltrating Xizor's palace] Let me get this straight; you want us to wade through sewage to get into this place?
      Dash Rendar: Exactly what the guards would think. Who'd be that stupid?
      Lando: Us. Who else?
    • Later he does it again.
      Lando: That's the problem with our opposition — they keep thinking nobody could possibly be as stupid as we are. Fools 'em every time.
    • At one point, the Empire tries this method themselves. The ship transporting intel on the second Death Star is being moved on a cargo freighter which is loaded with fertilizer specifically to leak the intelligence and lure the Rebels in the trap of Return of the Jedi:
      "A freighter full of fertilizer. That is devious. Who'd wanna hijack that?"
  • The War Gods: In Wind Rider's Oath, Baroness Hanatha catches her daughter Leeana returning from a dangerous horseback ride. Hanatha asks Leeana if she'd tried to cross the ford. Leeana insists that she's not doing things that risky, no one would be stupid enough to try the ford with the river twenty yards out of the bank. At this point, Hanatha admits that she and Leeana's father had been that stupid back when they were first married — though in her defense the river had only been fifteen yards out of its bank at the time.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Arrow:
    • In "The Return", Oliver Queen and his sister Thea are training on Lian Yu. After she's nearly killed by a swinging log Booby Trap with Spikes of Doom, Thea demands to know what psycho would set one up on the trail only for her brother to reply, "Me."
    • In "Monument Point", Felicity Smoak wonders who in their right mind would think something like Rubicon—a device designed to seize total control over every nuclear weapon on Earth—would be an idea worth pursuing. To nobody's surprise, it turns out that it was Amanda Waller, the notoriously sociopathic and inept ex-director of ARGUS.
  • Used and conversed in The A-Team episode, "Blood, Sweat, and Cheers".
    Girl of the Week: Uncle John, do you really thing Ludwig would come here? I mean, to our own garage, in the middle of the day?
    Hannibal: Never put a stupid move past a stupid man. That's a rule of survival, Dana.
  • Austin & Ally: The gang is trying to catch a thief who is robbing every store in the mall, so they prepare to catch him when he breaks into Sonic Boom. Dez sets up a giant life-sized flypaper with a slice of pizza glued to the edge as "bait". Trish tells him that nobody is dumb enough to fall for something so obvious. Dez then foolishly gets caught in his own trap and Trish says, "I was wrong. Someone is dumb enough"
  • Used sometimes in Blackadder, and the answer to the question is usually "Baldrick". In The Cavalier Years, the royalist Blackadder has found out King Charles is to be executed, and Cromwell has (against Blackadder's predictions) found someone willing to do it.
    Blackadder: I just don't understand it— where could they find a man so low and degraded, so utterly without heart and soul, as to actually kill. The king. Of England. [looks at the camera, and slowly turns around and asks Baldrick about the "little job" he mentioned getting]
  • Occurs in the first Christmas Episode of The Brittas Empire:
    Brittas: No one is going anywhere. There's a force eight blizzard blowing out there, a windchill factor of minus thirty and some of those drifts are over twenty feet deep. Only a lunatic would go out in conditions like that!
    Helen: (outside, on top of the thick snow) Hello, Gordon? Can you let me in?
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Spike gets this all the damn time. In Season 3's "Lovers Walk", Cordelia asks: "What kind of moron would want to come back here?" Enter our drunken moron. In Season 4's "The Harsh Light of Day", when he becomes a series regular, Buffy herself foreshadows the next three seasons: "A guy dating Harmony dead. Must be, like, the most tolerant guy in the world." Enter the most tolerant guy in the world.
    • One of the worst (as it had an unintended "casualty") was when Xander mocks Spike by saying that only a nutcase or a complete loser would sleep with him... in the presence of Buffy who had done so just that the night before.
  • In the 2004 series of The Chaser Decides, Chas calls up Australia's top radio commentators and passes himself off as a Liberal Party stooge posing as a concerned citizen by reading a campaign ad verbatim. John Laws sees through it and cuts "Tony" off in the middle of the first sentence ("Listen, Tony, mate, I'm not that stupid."). Back in the studio, Craig asks, "What kind of credible broadcaster would let you get away with reading the whole ad?" Chris replies, "Well, there might be one." Cut to "Tony" getting Alan Jones to do exactly that.
  • In the Cheers episode "Tan N' Wash", when someone asks who's stupid enough to get a dark tan at Norm's new company, in comes Woody.
  • A Different World. Dwayne gets lost during a camping trip. While organizing a search party, the supervisor dismisses the idea of looking through the mountains, name-dropping this trope.
    Walter: Colonel, we're talking about Dwayne Wayne here.
    Colonel Taylor: [to search party] Comb the mountains.
  • Doctor Who:
    • In "The Invasion", the Big Bad tests a weapon on a Cyberman that drives it insane, then callously abandons it to roam the sewers. When his Mook Lieutenant protests that the Cyberman will kill anyone it comes across, he just says that anyone stupid enough to roam the sewers deserves everything they get. There's an immediate Description Cut to a character who's just decided that she'll go down to the sewer and get an exclusive photograph of a Cyberman for the newspapers...
    • In "City of Death":
      Countess Scarlioni: My dear, I don't think [The Doctor's] as stupid as he seems.
      Scaroth: My dear, nobody could be as stupid as he seems.
    • In "World War Three", after Joseph Green (a disguised alien infiltrator) delivers a speech about an alien threat with "massive weapons of destruction", the following exchange occurs:
      The Doctor: He's making it up. There's no weapons up there, there's no threat. He just invented it.
      Harriet Jones: Do you think they'll believe him?
      Rose: They did last time.
    The Russian dub replaced the last line with "Well, you did believe." Translated from Russian here, of course.
    • "The Name of the Doctor" shows a clip from the Doctor's initial escape from Gallifrey, and one of the guys monitoring the repair shop remarks, "Who would be stupid enough to steal a faulty TARDIS?" It's shown that Clara, as a Time Lady echo, recommended it, but only after the Great Intelligence did something nasty.
    • In "Robot of Sherwood", after learning that the Sheriff of Nottingham is allied with robots from the future, the Doctor assumes Robin Hood to be just another robot, designed as a form of false hope to keep the slaves working longer. When he confronts the Sheriff with his theory, the Sheriff finds it ridiculous, even asking what kind of fool would create an enemy to make their plans more difficult.
  • On Family Law, Rex is asked by a crook client to help his son out of a jam as "he'll never survive prison." Rex looks in the lobby to see the kid thinking he can stuff a ten-pound statue under his coat with no one noticing. The kid is accused of robbing a liquor store with a paper bag "disguise," which he kept lifting up to suck on a helium balloon to "alter" his voice and fled in his own car with a vanity license plate which he had reported stolen from himself. Rex is able to get the kid an acquittal by successfully convincing the jury that there's no way anyone could actually be this stupid when he knows this is the best plan this moron could come up with.
  • Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. In "Siege at Naxos", Hercules and Iolaus hide out from barbarians in a castle after capturing their leader. Since the soldiers of the castle have long died, leaving the duo on their own (along with a woman named Elora and her elderly father), they put up dummies at night to fool the barbarians into thinking the castle is armed.
    Hercules: Hopefully, we can keep up the illusion in daylight.
    Elora: Why wouldn't they attack at night?
    Iolaus: It's dark. They don't know what they're up against. No one would be stupid enough to attack at night.
    (A flaming arrow is fired at the castle)
    Hercules: Of course, barbarians aren't really known for their brains.
  • In It Takes a Thief (2005), The Heart makes fun of her fellow thieves who got conned into buying useless stuff off of infomercials... and then immediately hides her useless bracelet.
  • Mexican Sitcom La familia P. Luche has the main character, Ludovico, insulting a manager for his size and getting called depraved when his attempts at apologizing went south. He then needs to retrieve a photocopy of a butt (not even his) that was sent by mistake. When the boss asks to see the photocopy and see what's the big deal, Ludovico asks what would happen if, hypothetically, it was a picture of buttcheeks.
    Mr. Cortillo: I don't think you could be that stupid.
    Ludovico: Don't underestimate me.
  • One episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit starts with Benson and Tucker drinking in a bar when a cheesy reality shownote  comes on the TV behind the bar. Benson snarkily wonders who would watch this garbage, and Tucker suggests throwing away the TV altogether. Cut to two of the detectives under Benson's command watching at home, and one of them tearfully declaring herself to be "Team Melanie".
  • In the Married... with Children episode "The Joke's on Al", one of the practical jokes Al plays during the prank war with Jefferson is to put superglue on his toilet seat. Bud asks what kind of moron would fall for that old gag. Cue Jefferson entering, with the toilet seat stuck to his butt.
    • Another episode saw Al and Peggy rejoice to discover that they have won the "Weenie-Tot" sweepstakes, but swiftly despair when they realize that they are ineligible because their daughter Kelly is a Weenie-Tot employee. The Bundys then realize that they can circumvent this technicality by having someone claim the prize in their stead.
    Al: What we need- is a dupe. Someone dishonest enough to cash this ticket for us, yet honest enough not to run off with the money...
    Peggy: In other words, someone mighty stupid!
    [Cue Gilligan Cut to Jefferson and Marcy Darcy listening to Al pitch his fraudulent plot]
  • In an episode of The Nanny, a sleazy supermarket tabloid publishes a slanderous story about Fran and Maxwell sleeping with each other while Maxwell's wife was still alive, during his honeymoon. Fran is upset, but Maxwell tells her not to be worried:
    Maxwell: Why do you care about the rest of the world? Nobody but a mindless nutcase would buy into this junk.
    [Fran's mother storms in]
    Sylvia: You were having an affair with Mr. Sheffield on his honeymoon? And you're still getting six bucks an hour??
  • Person of Interest:
    • Reese is informed that the Victim of the Week's number has come up before. He asks who'd be stupid enough to risk their life a second time. Cue embezzler Leon Tao flying out the window and landing at his feet, having pissed off yet another gang of thugs with big bank accounts.
    • He shows up a third time, getting roughed up by the guys behind the Nigerian scam e-mails ("You guys are actually Nigerian?"), who he scammed. Once he realizes that they're planning to kill him, he stops negotiating and just tells them they need to start running. Reese kicks down the door and fights them all off with an annoyed expression on his face.
      Reese: Next time you get in trouble, I'm gonna be on vacation.
  • "Alex Trebek" (Will Ferrell) says something similar in one of the Saturday Night Live "Celebrity Jeopardy" skits when he tells the contestants that for "Final Jeopardy", they just have to ask their own question and then answer it.
    Trebek: [while Think Music plays] There is no way you can mess this up, because you're asking the questions. Ask yourself anything at all and then answer it. You'd have to be the dumbest people in the world to mess this up. [music ends] And now let's see how you've managed to mess it up...
  • She-Hulk: Attorney at Law: Jen's old co-worker, Bukowski, got scammed by a light elf from New Asgard using her shapeshifting to pretend to be Megan Thee Stallion. The elf's defense is "he had to know it was just fun roleplay, no one could be so stupid to actually believe Megan Thee Stallion would date this guy." Pug, Bukowski's lawyer, uses Jen as a character witness to declare "yes, he really is that stupid."
    Jen: He once claimed that he was a "New York ten, and an LA eleven."
    [entire court chuckles; Bukowski looks put out]
  • In the "Fans vs. Favorites" season of Survivor, the Black Widow Brigade (Natalie, Amanda, Cirie, and Parvati) run into a problem when the last remaining outsider, Erik, wins immunity which will force them to vote one of their allies out. Cirie suggests to Natalie that she try to get Erik to give the immunity necklace to her by telling him that he's annoyed them so much that he won't be able to get enough votes to win unless he makes some grand gesture to the jury, to which Natalie replies, "No one would fall for that. I mean, who would be that gullible?" Still, she doesn't have much of a choice, so she goes along with the plan. And it works.
  • In one episode of The Thundermans, Phoebe tries to sneak into the school's auditorium but gets caught by the principal. Frustrated, she tells her best friend: "Now the only way inside there left is the air shaft and only an idiot would try that!" Cut to her brother Max crawling through the air shaft and crashing through the ceiling in the process.
  • Top Gear:
    • While Richard Hammond and Jeremy Clarkson are discussing a car which (theoretically) generates enough down force to drive upside-down (on the ceiling of a tunnel) at speed, Hammond mentions that the car's manufacturers have found the right tunnel and the right speed but they can't find a driver. Clarkson immediately volunteers Hammond to do it.
    • In one of the news segments, Jeremy noted that if you're losing the "I have never" game, you can always go for "I have never used a tampon." Then James notes he HAS used a tampon.
  • Rose of Two and a Half Men is a Stalker with a Crush who goes to many extreme measures to stalk Charlie and/or get him to fall in love with her. Her plans have included staging a marriage to a a groom who doesn't exist, and moving to England while still returning to Malibu to observe Charlie in disguise. Such plans will be dismissed by both Charlie and the other characters because no one would be stupid enough to go to all that trouble (or, more accurately, no one would be crazy enough; but of course, Rose really is obsessive enough to go to all that trouble).
  • Anytime someone on World's Dumbest... asks this of a featured stunt, there's a fair chance that Danny Bonaduce will immediately try it. Especially if it involves alcohol.

    Radio 
  • Any use of this type of question on The Goon Show is invariably a cue for Eccles and/or Bluebottle to show up. The audience will often start giggling in anticipation before the question can even be finished.
    Seagoon: Who would be idiot enough... Who would be idiot enough! To be dressed up as a German Admiral, and thrown overboard from a submarine?
    Lew: Don't worry! Look, I got an idiot in this box here who's been specially drowned for the job!
    [box is opened]
    Eccles: 'ello folks!

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Warhammer 40,000, the answer to this question is usually "Orks."
    • Ciaphas Cain has noted that with greenskins, it's safest to assume nothing, lest the Orks succeed in crossing seemingly impassible terrain to outflank their enemy, or try a tactic that a sane commander would write off as suicidal. Even during the Third War for Armageddon, when the Imperium was led by the legendary Commissar Yarrick, and the world was already experienced fighting Orks from the Second War for Armageddon, they were still caught off-guard when the Orks bypassed coastal hive cities' land and space defenses by means of an amphibious assault (using giant submarines).
    • Imotekh the Stormlord, Phaeron of the Sautekh Dynasty, is one of the most brilliant strategists in the galaxy, capable of outwitting everyone from human generals to the Tyranid Hive Mind to even the notoriously scheming Eldar. But Orks prove to be so catastrophically stupid and reckless, their plans so hilariously unorthodox, that he can't actually plan against them. This is represented in-game with a special rule that allows the player controlling him a 50% chance to go first even if you didn't win the seize initiative roll-off, but can never go first if the opponent has an Ork army.

    Theatre 
  • In The Music Man, the salesmen's discussion of Harold Hill and his scams on the train concludes with Charlie saying that at least there's no business for him here in Iowa: "Even the great Professor Hill wouldn't try to sell them neck-bowed Hawkeyes out here." The stranger who has been quietly playing cards with them then speaks up, telling them that they've convinced him to give Iowa a try. As he alights the departing train, he flashes his briefcase, which has "Prof. Harold Hill" written in big letters on its side.

    Video Games 
  • One town in Breath of Fire IV is filled with traps designed to scare away intruders. Fall for one particular trap and you'll be told by an amused villager that "not even the animals are dumb enough to fall for that one!"
  • In Chrono Trigger, one of the earlier bosses is described as "basically invincible, as long as no crazed idiot gets the bright idea to run up and hack at the head with a sword." Guess how you beat it. Go on, guess. Although you don't need to hit the head at all. It's just that in the first play through you can't do enough damage to overcome its Healing Factor. You can also shoot it in the face with a pistol.
  • In one path of Henry Stickmin Series: Completing the Mission, Henry overhears Icepick discuss the plan of launching the Toppat Orbital Station into space. When asked if anyone can hear him, he replies that nobody in their right mind would try to hijack the station. Henry, being Henry, proceeds to do exactly that.
    Icepick: You really think someone would steal an entire rocket? You must be mental.
  • In Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, when Monokuma orders the students to head to the island park for an announcement, he offers free curry to whoever arrives first. Hajime dismisses the notion wondering how anyone could be baited by a obvious trick, to quickly find some of the others waiting for the curry.
  • Deadly Rooms of Death combines this with But Thou Must! in the secondnote  game, where the only way to progress is to get caught in an obvious trap, while the people who set the trap debate whether you'll fall for it.
  • In Final Fantasy VII, when the player is told by a conniving thief to pull one of two levers. It obviously makes no difference which is pulled, as the party is captured and the materia not returned either way. But Thou Must!...
  • In Final Fantasy XIII, the other characters poke fun at Fang for giving into Orphan's nonsense about miracles coming out of misery.
    Sazh: Miracles out of misery. You gotta be kidding me.
    Hope: Yeah, Fang. Who'd be dumb enough to swallow that crock?
  • Endless Frontier has this exchange.
    Haken: You don't get it, Aschen. This kind of stuff is what gets you a lady's heart! Hell, they might even take the reward to the Zeit Krokodil for us, just for the chance to meet me again.
    Suzuka: You're an idiot, Haken. No woman would fall for that stupid attempt at manipulation.
    Kaguya: Haaakeeeennnn! Eeeeeee!
  • The copy protection material (a joke newspaper) for Space Quest V: The Next Mutation has an advertisement that clearly invokes this trope: "Are you a complete moron? Do you anything people tell you to? That's great! Send a copy of all your banking information to..."
  • Lampshaded and parodied when Elaine gives Guybrush her wedding ring in Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 2: The Siege of Spinner Cay:
    Guybrush: Aw, come on. Who's absent-minded enough to lose TWO wedding rings?
    Pyrite Parrot: *Squawk* It's me, Guybrush Threepwood, Mighty Pirate!
    Guybrush: Shut up, you!
  • Portal 2:
  • Sandor's campaign in Might and Magic: Heroes VI has an example of this trope, when Sandor and Kraal are trying to rescue Irina from a hunting lodge in the Wolf Duchy's territory. Sandor notes that the hunting lodge is not as well defended as he expected it to be, and Kraal responds that no-one is crazy enough to lead an army this far into Wolf territory. In the next cutscene, The guard outside Irina's cell tells her that no-one is crazy enough to try and rescue her; within seconds Sandor's army have stormed the hunting lodge and the guard has an arrow from Kraal's bow sticking out of his chest.
  • In Lunar: Silver Star Story, Alex and co are travelling through the woods when they find some traps to which one of them comments "Who would be dumb enough to fall for that?" Cue Nash calling out for help after being stuck in the aforementioned trap.
  • Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People: In "8-Bit Is Enough", Strong Sad outright says that only "some type of idiot" would take on Strong Bad's Trogdor-possessed arcade cabinet alone. When Strong Bad has trouble getting close to the cabinet, he thinks on these words. Homestar dutifully appears right on cue.
  • In Pikmin 2, Olimar's Piklopedia entry for the Bumbling Snitchbug (which, rather than snatching up Pikmin like its cousin the Swooping Snitchbug, moves instead to abduct and drop the captains) asserts with confidence that only a reckless moron would ever be snatched up by one, even if it ever happened to the player.
    Olimar: This is a variety of snitchbug. Its most interesting characteristic is that it likes to snitch leaders. Yet barring wanton carelessness or incompetence, leaders are not easily captured. Any leader caught by this creature is clearly an idiot, which is why this creature is also known as the exposing snitchbug.
  • In MapleStory, a detachment of Damien's forces discusses whether their enemies could be hiding in the snow amidst Rien's unforgiving blizzards. The commander of said detachment dismisses the thought, as only a fool would do that. As soon as they walk away, Evan pops out of the snow, teeth chattering.
  • NEO: The World Ends with You: In Another Day, Kanon is selling an overpriced encyclopedia set — so overpriced that Rindo remarks that only a moron would buy it. Immediately after he says this, Fret agrees to buy the thing.
  • Pirate101: In Marleybone, you have to collect ingredients to make terrible tasting food. The merchant you go to for one of the ingredients, Sky Gar Fins, tells you that he can't sell them because they're rationed, but he also mentions that someone could theoritecally retrieve them from the Sky Gar who roam the Skyway. After that, however, he also mentions that with the war going on against Valencia and the Armada also roaming the Skyway, only a group of loonies would try something like that.
    Gracie Conrad: Loonies. He must be talking about us.
    Bonnie Anne: You learn quick sister.
  • Super Robot Wars 30: Swaile Qujappat uses his Geass to make Sayoko and Kallen look like copies of him to confuse them into attacking one another. When he does this to Van though, Van's reaction is to try and cut down all the Qujappats in front of him. Qujappat is stunned at how Van's crazy stupidity derailed his plan in no time flat.
    Qujappat: "It can't be– is he just a massive idiot?!"

    Web Animation 
  • Homestar Runner:
  • Puffin Forest: In this video, when the dungeon masters are discussing the Obelisk Encounter, they say that it is really unlikely that anybody would try to push the obelisk over, releasing the powerful monster inside. Naturally, Ben's table ends up being the one to do it.

    Webcomics 
  • Girl Genius: Violeta wonders aloud who on earth would be crazy enough to hijack one of Albia's ships single-handedly, Wooster starts to reminisce about a time when Gil did something similar... then freezes in horror when he realizes the implication that Gilgamesh Wulfenbach, whose empire is on what could best be described as an uneasy detente with England, probably is involved.
  • Goblins gives us the Treasure Plants.
    Kin: They were first created long ago by a wizard who hated trespassers. Now they grow wild in some areas. They're only a danger to the dumbest of individuals.
    [Kin and Forgath share a look]
    Kin & Forgath: MINMAX!
    Minmax: [both legs sticking out of the carnivorous plant] MM! MMHMM! MMM!
  • In Mob Psycho 100, a group of delinquents wanting revenge against another delinquent group lures Mob to them with a fake love letter that has extremely terrible handwriting and written with "I'm a girl" in it. Some of the members find the plan pretty terrible and believe no one would believe such an obvious lie, yet Mob still went to see if a girl will show up.
  • Here in Narbonic. Technically, Helen is insane... in any case yes, she is the sort of a person who cuts off her own escape route.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • "Stuck in the Sand Trap":
      Roy: This desert is so unbelievably large that anyone with more than two brain cells would know better than to try searching the whole thing.
      [a few panels later]
      Elan: OK, so how do we search the rest of the desert?
      Roy: Elan, I just said that anyone with more than two—... Elan, the desert is too big to search the whole thing.
    • Inside Draketooth's complex, Varsuuvius falls into a trapdoor while distraught over the fact that they were responsible for the death of the entire Draketooth clan. Every so often someone asks about them and we get a cutaway panel to them unconscious at the bottom of the pit. At one point they start discussing how since all the illusions are dispelled, all the traps are trivially easy to spot...
      Belkar: Yeah, but what kind of a moron would fall into one now?
      [beat panel]
      Roy: Huh. I really felt there was going to be a cutaway panel there.
  • In a strip of Penny Arcade, Tycho's niece Annarchy wonders what sort of "pea-brained monkey man" conventions like E3 are supposed to appeal to. Apparently, Gabe is one of those pea-brained monkey men.
  • In Sluggy Freelance, Torg and Riff visit a space station in the Star Trek dimension, where Riff is warned that they must be discreet in this dangerous world. Riff replies that, "Discretion is our middle name." Cut to Torg shouting at a Klingon wielding the traditional blade, "No, YOU have no honor!"
  • In Rusty and Co., Yuan-Tiffany asks who would be fool enough to come to a vampires' castle without an amulet to protect from being spotted by the undead. Cut to Madeline, who took INT as her dump stat. (Though, to be just, neither she nor the three intrepid adventurers with her knew it was vampires behind it all.)
  • In Commander Kitty, after firing a pair of warning shots to no effect, the Triple-I decide to let escaped convict Nin Wah go (due to budget constraints) as long as the ship she's on doesn't try anything stupid. Cue CK loading up the torpedoes to return fire.
  • At one point in Sequential Art, Art, Kat and Pip are captured by aliens and trapped on a reality show. Kat suggests they just call for help because, y'know, TV, but Pip points out that the aliens can just edit the footage to make sure only what they want is aired. Art doesn't think the audience would be helpful anyway as, "You have to be a special kind of retard to enjoy this crap." Cut to Scarlet and her sisters eagerly watching.
  • In the Team Fortress 2 comic "Catch-Up", Saxton Hale says that "only a moron would live" in the area of New Mexico where most of the story takes place. The next panel features the Mann family, who settled the area, with Hale narrating with "Here's some morons who decided to live here."
  • Exploitation Now: Early in the strip, Jordan has just lost the only tenants to her building and began wondering who would be stupid enough to rent out her dump of a building. With a narration box line of "What are the chances, indeed...", we see Bimbo and Ralph still in need of a new place to live.
  • Freefall: Florence discovers that there's a program going out that will completely lobotomize the colony's robot work force; in addition to the fact that it's horrific genocide because the robots became sentient when the humans weren't looking, this would render the entire work force non-functional and doom the colony. Most of the authority figures who Florence speaks to assume she must be exaggerating or misunderstanding the problem, because there's no way the terraforming company would be stupid enough to destroy billions of credits worth of their own machinery. Except there's one executive who is stupid enough, and due to temporarily holding a higher position for someone competent, he has the authority to make it happen, because he thinks it will make him rich.

    Web Original 
  • This Not Always Learning tidbit. Submitter wonders how long it'll be before someone opens the door with a huge sign saying "DO NOT OPEN: SILENT ALARM". Friend retorts nobody's that dumb. Cut to a year and a half later...
  • SCP-682 of the SCP Foundation isn't called the "Hard To Destroy Reptile" for nothing. Able to shrug off any attempt to kill it. Which is why the suggestion of "Drop him from a high place" didn't amuse the head researcher.
    Notes: Seriously? I mean... seriously? Drop it from an Aircraft and let it fall... who in the [DATA EXPUNGED]

    Web Videos 

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Trixie Wall

Crocker devises a scheme to lure Timmy into a trap by painting Trixie on a wall.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

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Main / PaintedTunnelRealTrain

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