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Too Dumb To Live / Comic Books

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Yes, sure, trespass into the testing grounds of a Gamma Bomb because of a dare. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?


  • Batman:
    • A security guard in Arkham Asylum: Madness ran head first into this trope. See, in this continuity, the Joker had a tragically dead son named Milton Napier. The guard decided taunting the insane murder clown with a plaque labeled "Milton Napier" would be a great laugh. Long story short, Arkham Asylum quickly found themselves needing a new guard.
    • Speaking of The Joker, any Gotham City mook that decides to work for him is Too Dumb to Live. What do those mooks have to look forward to? If they're lucky: almost certainly getting their asses kicked by Batman. But not only does the Joker routinely kill his own Mooks for failing him, he'll do it in order to try and kill Batman, because they have outlived their usefulness, because they might have said something that he didn't like, or because he was bored. How dumb do you have to be to work for a guy who will kill you for shits and giggles? The rest of Batman's rogue's gallery aren't much better, but the Joker takes the cake.
    • Special mention for a mook named Monty in Lee Bermejo's Joker. Even by Joker mook standards, Monty seems to be a special kind of stupid. When the Joker arrives to his club, Monty not only fails to laugh at one of his jokes, not only makes fun of Joker's gang, but worst of all, he lets Mr. J catch him ogling Harley. Joker promptly skins him alive and dumps his body on the club's stage.
    • Harley Quinn herself has a pretty big case of this. Namely, she stays with the Joker despite him abusing her constantly and straight up trying to murder her multiple times. The post New 52 comics finally Subvert this, as she manages to leave him for good.
    • Then there was Warren White in Arkham Asylum: Living Hell, at least initially. You'd be safer making a guilty plea in Gotham than an insanity plea.note 
    • Let's face it: Thomas Wayne. Instead of waiting for Alfred to show up and chauffeur them back to the mansion, the Waynes thought it'd be a good idea to take a shortcut through a back alley in an area known as CRIME ALLEY out the side door of the theater. (Yeah, its official name is Park Row, but it's hard to imagine it got its nickname for being such a safe and friendly place — although some versions have it that it only became known as Crime Alley after and due to this event) All dressed up. At night. In the rain. It's just a pity his foolishness got both himself and his wife killed, and his son traumatized along with him.
    • In Knightfall's finale, Knights End, AzBats and Batman have accidentally caused a helicopter to crash onto a bridge and the two start tangling on a maintenance bridge. Batman gets the upper hand and tosses AzBats off and into the water. As he's falling, AzBats attempts to use his flamethrower in an attempt to kill Bruce. One problem, the helicopter's been spraying diesel since crashing. AzBats erupts into flames.
    • The Siskel and Ebert expies, who criticize a movie directed by The Joker.
    • Lampshaded in Nightwing #150. One of Two-Face's mooks is standing right behind a guy Two-Face wants to shoot. Two-Face points out that this isn't a good place to be, and the guy needs it explained to him: "I can't afford to lose any red shirts." When the mook doesn't get the reference, Two-Face has had enough, declares him too dumb to live, and blows him away.
    • Then there's Lester Dent in Batman: Gotham Adventures #2. After he wins two million on a game show, Two-Face takes over the studio. A session of Calling the Old Man Out ensues on live television, but Lester keeps calling his (gun-wielding, supervillain) son a "punk" and whining that he's ruining his lucky day. When it's clear that Two-Face is going to flip the coin on whether to shoot him or not, he dares him to do it.
    • Batman: No Man's Land: When Bane arrives in No Man's Land and picks up a female sidekick, he's accosted by a gang who demand he turn over everything he has. Keep in mind this is a guy who looks like this.
    • In the second Batman/Alien crossover, the Big Bad has, through luck, become symbiotic with a Xenomorph queen. In order to make weapons capable of taking down superheroes, she has spliced the DNA of supervillains with the eggs laid by the queen in order to create Xenomorphs with the intelligence of supervillains, but not the life experiences that drove them to villainy. It actually works surprisingly well, though Batman ends up getting the better of the Xenomorphs. Emboldened by her success, she splices the DNA of Killer Croc with a Xenomorph not laid by the queen. Unfortunately, she didn't do her homework. Croc wasn't driven to villainy by his experiences; he's as instinctive as they come, and not nearly intelligent enough to place emphasis on higher thought. Add that to the fact that the Xenomorph used was not the queen's offspring, meaning the queen is unable to control it, and it should come as no surprise that Crocmorph decides she looks good enough to eat.
  • In Birds of Prey, Katrina Armstrong is the new Spy Smasher who thinks it's a great idea to blackmail Oracle and take over the Birds. This leads to her getting her ass kicked by Barabara Gordon (who, remember, is in a wheelchair). When Katrina boldly declares Oracle is fired and she "owns" all the operatives, she finds herself confronted by two dozen of the Birds' allies (even a few villains) who make it clear there is no way in hell they're listening to her. Black Canary warns Katrina if she breathes a word of Oracle's identity to anyone, they're coming after her, with Katrina realizing pissing off folks like Big Barda, Catwoman, and Lady Shiva is a bad idea.
  • Forever Evil (2013): One villain, Monocle, doesn't trust the Crime Syndicate and insults them to their face. Ultraman turns him into a smoldering mark on the ground for his troubles.
  • Infinite Crisis: The Joker comes to find out that Alexander Luthor didn't let him in because of his unpredictability. Of all the super villains Alex was gathering, he didn't let the Joker in. The Joker is understandably pissed. Jump to the final issue, with Alex planning to rebuild his power and his power base, only to be ambushed by the Joker and Lex Luthor. And as Alex is begging for mercy, Lex tells him flat out his one big mistake wasn't attacking Superman or killing Superboy or any of that. It was "not letting the Joker play."
    Lex Luthor: [as the Joker ventilates Alex's head] Now who's stupid?
  • Legion of Super-Heroes: Minor villain Charma had an unusual superpower; while in her immediate presence, male characters would fall madly, irresistibly in love with her (to the point of performing feats of willpower in her defense that, in fiction, are usually restricted to genuine loved ones), and female characters would be immediately driven into a homicidal rage directed exclusively at her. She was eventually defeated and sealed into a power-dampening rig (which in no way restricted her mobility or eyesight) and shipped off to a women's prison. It was revealed later that she deliberately broke out of the rig at the first opportunity, despite knowing full well that it would instantaneously turn every living being in that prison into her mortal enemy. To the surprise of no-one but herself, she died pretty much immediately.
  • Secret Six:
    • Though viciously mangled and missing a few limbs and eyes, a pair of skinhead thugs (The Zyklon-B Boys) managed to survive an encounter with Deadshot and Catman. However, a few weeks later one of the thugs sees Deadshot entering a club and decides it is time for revenge, following him until the rest of the gang can gather for the attack. Deadshot notices him and delivers another vicious beating, but again leaves him alive because he had made a promise not to kill anybody tonight (he was on a date). However, even though the thug has now lost a second eye, when the rest of the gang arrives they decide to still go after Deadshot. This same person has now beaten and mutilated their members on two separate occasions, and they still want to track him down. At this point they are simply asking for it, and Deadshot's date kills the lot of them, explaining that she did not make any promises that night.
    • For that matter, Yasemin. She was probably aware of Deadshot's uncompromising nature and Combat Pragmatist tendencies thanks to her underworld activities (after all, most of Deadshot's clients are crime bosses). That doesn't stop her from challenging him to a duel when she finally meets him instead of just blowing him away as soon as she got the chance. She didn't even get a chance to finish laying out the terms for the duel before Deadshot caps her, calmly notifying her that she should have taken the first shot she had as she lay dying on the ground.
    • Proving she learned nothing from the above Birds of Prey fiasco, Katrina Armstrong thinks it's a brilliant idea to try to supplant Amanda Waller as a top government black ops boss. She even tells Waller that a terrorist attack is about to occur that the U.S. wants to happen to try to trap her. Armstrong honestly thinks she can trick Waller into implicating herself for treason. Instead, Waller saw through the ruse in a second, and before she knows it, Katrina is the one framed for treason and murder and arrested with Waller smugly smiling.
  • Superman:
    • If it wasn't for Superman, Lois Lane would be dead since The '40s thanks to her fondness for snooping around way too much. Sometimes it's shown that she takes those risks because she knows she has backup; she can handle herself just fine, but lets herself get into these situations because a hostage can get the best details of what the criminals and supervillains are up to, and will always have Superman to back her up if/when she needs it.
    • Although Lex Luthor is a genius, even he has done jaw-droppingly stupid things. Everybody knows Superman is super-vulnerable to Kryptonite, right? So, why not wear a ring made of the stuff at all times, just in case? Well, as Mr. Luthor was reminded the hard way, it may not kill humans in minutes, but it is still a radioactive element, as he already knew. Turns out wearing a radioactive rock on your hand gives you terminal cancer in the long run. Public Enemies shows he didn't even appear to learn from it either. During his presidency, he began injecting himself with a steroidal cocktail mixed with liquid Kryptonite.
    • 90% of the population of Krypton were not only too dumb to heed Jor-El's warnings of Krypton going critical, but were also too arrogant.
    • The Krypton Chronicles reveals the people of Krypton were forewarned by their god Rao itself about their planet's destruction six thousand years before Superman's birth. And instead of settling in other planets as soon as their spaceships were developed enough, they forgot about it.
    • Kryptonite Nevermore provides two examples. A corrupt tycoon headbutts Superman, knocks himself out and cracks his skull. He didn't kill himself by sheer luck. Later, Lois Lane and a pilot are captured by bandits. At one point, the three bandits turn away. The pilot decides to take advantage of their distraction to capture the ringleader... and he completely ruins his surprise attack by screaming "Smelly goat! I shall vanquish you!" when he lunges.
    • It gets better. Argo City survived Krypton's destruction because Supergirl's father and Jor-El's brother Zor-El got a protective dome installed around the city. However, when he tries to convince Argo's Science Council that they must scout a new world to settle into lest the energy shields fail, the councilors dismiss his warnings. Later all Argonians except for Supergirl die because they didn't learn to listen when a member of the House of El speaks.
    • In the beginning of Red Daughter of Krypton, Lobo has just stomped a crime lord and his enforcers but decides to leave without killing them off. However the crime lord reaches for a shotgun and aims at Lobo. Lobo swiftly rips the weapon off his hands and remarks he's the dumbest crime-lord he has ever met in the galaxy before getting him killed.
    • In one arc, Steel and his niece Natasha move to Jersey City, New Jersey, and it plays a bit like the "Town Of Citysville" did for The Powerpuff Girls, only much darker and grittier, and the series has to end before they wise up and leave. In one sequence, a local gangster that Natasha has upset brutalizes, and it is implied, rapes her. He also warns her not to bring her uncle into this, or she will feel the wrath of his "peeps". He is actually murdered by Natasha's long-lost father, John Henry's brother, but let's review. This thug's "peeps" include psychos with knives and guns. Steel, no slouch himself, has peeps known as THE JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA! Among Natasha's unofficial "uncles" is this alien dude you might have heard of. Too Dumb To Live? Booster and Beetle could have taken out their whole gang while looking for a good pizza place. This thug was too dumb to leave his father's privates.
    • During Action Comics #259: "The Revenge of Luthor", Luthor sets up a trap for Superboy which preys on Superboy's stupidity. Said trap is a giant kryptonite green cage in the middle of of a park cleanly labeled "Luthor Trap to Capture Superboy! Please Enter Here." Naturally, Superboy, believing Lex wouldn't make his REAL traps this obvious, enters the cage for no real reason and ends up passing out from Kryptonite radiation. The comic's narration even calls him out on the sheer stupidity of doing this.
    • In Who is Superwoman?, Reactron's ex-girlfriend is warned that her abusive bastard of an ex-boyfriend is going to pay her a visit. So, she calls the police? No. She goes to a shelter? No. She stays with a friend, at the very least? No. She remains in her home all alone. Reactron finds her easily and there's nobody around to help her. She gets murdered, and Reactron's ally Superwoman makes her death look like an accident.
    • In The Great Phantom Peril, Steve Lombard, the resident straw misogynist, disses Faora Hu-Ul, the resident straw misandrist who also happens to be a Kryptonian criminal, where she can obviously hear him. Faora promptly decides to chop Steve in half, and the only reason she does not go through with it is that Steve -together with all humans- was sent into the Phantom Zone before her blow lands.
    • Simon Tycho attempts to capture and dissect Supergirl in Last Daughter of Krypton. As a result of the ensuing confrontation, he loses his space base and the lower half of his body. After getting his body rebuilt with synthetic parts, Simon continues to hunt down Supergirl. He goes so far he breaks into her submarine Sanctuary and tries to beat her into giving him control of her base. Instead, Supergirl orders her base's A.I. to lock him up as she figures out what to do with him. Unfortunately, her Sanctuary blows up shortly after, taking Simon Tycho with it; a fate Simon could have averted should he have not chosen to antagonize a Kryptonian doggedly.
    • In A Mind-Switch in Time, Superman blatantly states Luthor's obsession with destroying him is suicidally stupid: If Luthor had succeeded in killing him, he would have been killed by the next world-destroying entity who dropped by and could only be stopped by Superman.
    • In The Death of Luthor, when he realizes that Supergirl is chasing after their getaway car, Luthor (who is driving) turns around to shoot her as keeping one hand on the steering wheel. Inevitably, his car crashes into a guardrail, Luthor bangs his arm and shoots himself. A fate which could have been averted if he had ordered one of his underlings to shoot her as he focused on driving.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Wonder Woman (1942): Steve Trevor's secretary Lila Brown cannot stand Diana Prince. Due to this when Diana bursts into Steve's office to pull him away from the desk and yells for Ms. Brown not to pick up the pen on the desk she obstinately grabs it. As the thing was actually an experimental disintegration bomb there's not much left of her but her lower legs.
    • Judgment In Infinity: When the Horseman of Death arrives in Earth-I and begins killing indiscriminately, most people sensibly turn tail and run. However, the Mayor of Mega-City declares he will bargain with the Horseman because "he believes in the power of human reason". Death unflappably retorts he wants nothing but his life and cuts him down.
    • Wonder Woman (2011): Apollo (who is at this point the king of Olympus) refuses to execute or permanently imprison the First Born despite the prophecy stating the latter will kill the king of Olympus. Instead, he tries to torture him into obedience. The First Born escapes and quickly exacts his revenge, turning what's left of Apollo into Meat Moss.


  • Perhaps the greatest example in Marvel history comes in Original Sin. Thanks to a blast of cosmic energy, a criminal lawyer discovers a secret about a notable figure in the Marvel Universe. He tells a friend, who can't believe he's ready to march in and blackmail that person. The lawyer tells him it's fine as he's already given copies of his evidence to his wife, mistress, lawyer and bank manager. Oh, the person he's planning to blackmail? Doctor Doom. Cue the guy waiting in the embassy getting phone calls letting him know his bank has just been blown up, his lawyer has been found dead and his wife's call cuts off...just as he's told Doom is ready to see him....
  • All-New Ultimates: Ganke walks around a dangerous neighbourhood, filled of street gangs that attack and stab people to steal from them... because he wanted some Lego pieces?
  • The egregious levels of stupidity isn't just limited to the criminal side of the spectrum. Police forces, militaries, etc. the world over also seem to be quite stupid when it comes to dealing with superpowered threats. For instance, despite knowing perfectly well that Magneto's powers allow him to manipulate metal however he wishes, they keep sending soldiers with metal guns, metal missiles, metal tanks, etc. at him. Metal Master is a similar case. It isn't limited to those villains either, the rather facepalming lack of common sense when fighting supervillains by the rank and file is a continuous problem in comics in general.
  • The Incredible Hulk: The tendency for everybody in the entire Marvel Universe to go out of the way to antagonize the Hulk. Despite it being common knowledge that he is basically invincible and has unlimited strength triggered by rage everybody from dime a dozen rent a cops with pistols to the military to even a irate fruit truck driver armed with nothing more than pepper spray whose truck the Hulk just knocked over for food decides it's a good idea to attack him with everything they've got on a near constant basis. This idiocy drives Hulk into his classic rages causing easily preventable massive destruction to everything in his path over and over until he decides to just take off somewhere until the next time it happens.
    • Banner became the Hulk by rescuing Rick Jones from the gamma bomb testing site. What was he doing there? He was there on a bet and ignored his warning to leave.
    • The origin of the Abomination owes itself to this. See, Emil Blonsky was a Russian spy in General Ross's unit, when they'd just caught Banner messing with a strange machine, which unknown to them was a means of killing himself. Once everyone's gone, Blonksy decides to poke at the machine. Instead of dying horribly, he gets permanently turned into the Abomination. Many years later, Banner and Ross note that what Blonksy did should by all rights have killed him.
    • Whenever a superhero needs to put down the Hulk, they almost always resort to trying to out-punch him rather than using the powers Hulk can't as easily counter. Examples include Thor prioritizing slug fests over lightning, Iron Man's Hulkbuster armor mostly being very melee-focused, and Dr. Strange using the nearly infinite power of Zom to wrestle the Hulk. Granted, in some cases a slug fest would cause less collateral damage than a running fight through a major population center, but you know what would cause even less collateral damage? Leading the Hulk to a less densely populated area and then taking him on.
  • The Punisher:
    • In the story arc The Punisher: Welcome Back, Frank, Castle is attacked by the entire remaining army of a certain mafia boss after finding out his location. Coincidentally, he had just been on his way to finish them off. Caught in the street but with all of his ordnance at hand, he proceeds to butcher several carloads of Gnucci soldiers, only to run out of ammo when he's down to the fast few. After killing one with his bare hands, the last man does the smart thing: he shoots him from a distance. However, while his gun is powerful enough to punch through Castle's kevlar, it doesn't take him down. So what does the guy do? He keeps shooting him in the chest. When a person is in shock, more bullets to the center of mass doesn't accomplish much of anything. Yes, head shots are hard to pull off, but when the target is only a few feet away and staggering slowly towards you, even a novice gunman could pull it off. Six bullets at close range, and not one head shot. There's a reason why the Mozambique Drill technique exists in the first place, even if the technique in question was discovered by accident in Real Life.
    • In the same arc mentioned above, at one point we see a druggie frantically calling his friend and telling him about how the Punisher gunned down all the gangsters around him and told him that he'd give him one chance to get clean and that he'd be watching. He then loudly exclaims that he's sitting on enough product to set them up for the rest of their lives. Cue Castle emerging from the shadows behind him and a few panels later we see him with a snapped neck and lying in a puddle of his own blood.
    • A street thug in another issue is lightly beaten on a rooftop (with the implied threat that he would be thrown off of the roof) for information. He tells the Punisher what he needs to know, then tries to extort money out of him. When it doesn't work, he says that he has to get some money somehow tonight, and that he might even have to cut a woman up. To the Punisher, whose biggest Berserk Button is cruelty to women and kids in general. It all goes downhill for this thug from there.
    • In a textbook case, a punk that the Punisher just blackmailed into helping him get close to his drug dealing boss watches as Frank cuts down said boss, along with his entire crew. Once the shooting is done, the punk starts laughing, kicks the dead crime boss, and begins talking about how he's going to take over the business and run things because he now has all the connections and knows how the operation works. Suddenly he realizes that he's saying all this while the Punisher is holding a gun and staring at him. He then announces he's going to give up crime, get a legitimate job, and go straight.
      Frank: [pointing the gun at his head and pulling the trigger] Yeah. Well, just in case.
    • The "Up is Down, Black is White" storyline from The Punisher MAX opened with the returning Nicky Cavella digging up the skeletons of the Castle family — Frank's wife, son and daughter — and urinating on the bones, then mailing footage of this CLEARLY IDENTIFYING HIM (panning up to his smiling face) to the news, in HOPES that Frank Castle would see it. Amazingly this almost went according to plan, to so enrage the Punisher that he'd lose focus and thus be vulnerable to ambush (as even the Punisher admitted, that's what happened)... what made it Too Dumb to Live was assuming that his mooks could take advantage. This would prove his downfall once the mooks realized that they were the ones supposed to be taking on the Punisher, and let Cavella know it in no uncertain terms.
    • Another MAX-related example is Vincent Rosa in The Tyger. Needless to say, raping the sister of a US Marine is guaranteed to send you straight to the morgue.
  • Uncanny X-Men (2018) has Jamie Madrox create a bunch of duplicates as a distraction by zerg rushing some sentinels while Wolverine and Cyclops do their thing. For some inexplicable reason that's never explained, Jamie himself joins his dupes. All the dupes die, because that was the point of the strategy, and Jamie dies with them because he joined his own cannon fodder.
  • The Chalkers in X-Factor:
    • Rick Chalker replaced his hands with propeller blades so he could kill mutants. When he realized he couldn't open the door out of his lab with his new hands, he tried to slap his forehead in frustration and chopped off the top of his head.
    • Vic Chalker built a battlesuit to "avenge" Rick. He couldn't fit in the first version because he forgot to take his own measurements into account. He got stuck in the second one because he didn't give it an adequate power supply and it ran out of juice seconds after he started it. The third version wasn't waterproofed, and he fatally electrocuted himself when he walked out into the rain.
    • Dick Chalker, the dinosaur-like mutant relative whose crimes inspired hatred for mutantkind in his cousins, felt guilty and decided he needed to wipe out the rest of mutantkind to avenge them. He... forgot to look both ways before crossing the street and was run over by a truck.
  • If you're a pedophile, it's a good idea to try and keep how sick and perverted you are a secret. It's not a good idea, at a public event, to look at two young girls and mention how much you'd like to have sex with them, saying this in a normal tone of voice so anyone nearby can hear you. When the person standing next to you points out that the two girls are not even old enough to be teenagers, it's not a good idea to just shrug indifferently. It's a fatal mistake when that person next to you is Deadpool, an extremely dangerous mercenary whose very well-known Berserk Button is harming children. The speaker became a deceased Asshole Victim after Deadpool was finished with him.
  • In Ant-Man's original Tales to Astonish run, the same issue that introduces Janet Van Dyne as the Wasp also first reveals the tragedy that drove Henry Pym to learn of size-altering Pym Particles and ultimately become Ant-Man. His first wife, Maria, was from a totalitarian country (Back then a Warsaw Pact Soviet satellite) and wanted to have their honeymoon in her home country. She believed that since she and her defected scientist father were now American citizens, with her married to an American, she was safe. Agreeing to this trip despite concerns would prove to be the very first of Henry Pym's history of epic mistakes. In short order, KGB-types kidnap Maria in broad daylight while knocking Hank out. Recovering at the American embassy, Hank then learns that the spies from this nation have also killed Maria's father back in the states. While such murders have always been with us, and still are, one wonders if the Pyms' honeymoon didn't create a window of opportunity to hit her father as well. It is hard to say who in this scenario was more foolish - Maria, for thinking herself beyond harm in her corrupt homeland, or Henry, for agreeing to this at all.
  • Untold Tales of Spider-Man: Sally Avril. While she does (grudgingly) get the message that she's in way over her head trying to be a superhero when Spider-Man lets a mook punch the shit out of her before stopping him, she decides there's another way to get the action and excitement she craves, namely by running around town trying to take pictures of superhero battles and be a part of the action that way. So she bullies a friend into driving her at breakneck speed towards one such battle, hanging out the window and not wearing a seatbelt, while goading her friend so incessantly that he ignores all the rules of the road. Naturally there's a massive accident and she's killed. Spidey somehow finds a way to blame himself, and is mourning at her grave when the Human Torch shows up. Upon hearing the story, Johnny shows a surprising amount of insight and knowledge of human nature by cutting through Spidey's guilt bullshit and putting all of the blame on Sally, pointing out that her behavior proved she was an adrenaline junkie who was going to get herself killed sooner or later no matter what Spider-Man did or didn't do. Spidey realizes that Johnny is right, and both of them depart the cemetery.
  • "The Amazing Spider-Man (1963)": #180 reveals that the Green Goblin this time was not Harry Osborn, but his psychiatrist, Dr. Bart Hamilton. He and Harry fight on a conveyor belt and it looked like Harry has won; thats when Hamilton activates a bomb detonator to kill Harry, Spidey, and himself. Unfortunately for him, the conveyor belt was still moving, and Hamilton was too busy gloating to realize. He fell over the conveyor belt, and the bomb killed only himself.
    Spider-Man: ''Hamilton— Look out behind you! That conveyor belt is carrying you right over the edge!"
  • Secret Wars (2015): Doctor Doom has the power of The Beyonders, cosmic beings who both destroyed the multiverse and killed every other cosmic entity within it. Thanos attempts to beat him through sheer force of personality. Obviously, it doesn't work.
  • New X-Men: Academy X: Icarus/Jay Guthrie trusted William Stryker, the crazed fundamentalist who had previously tried to kill the X-Men, had led lynch mobs and murdered his own wife and child. This leads to not only Icarus dying, but dozens of his friends when he tells Stryker about them leaving the academy.
  • Avengers: The Children's Crusade: Emma Frost really shouldn't have gone after Wiccan and Speed. Wanda was perfectly willing to let the X-Men do whatever they wanted to her, but the second her kids were in danger, the gloves came off. Considering what happened the last time Wanda's sons were lost to her, Emma definitely should have known better. Especially when Wanda is the very person that depowered over 90% of the mutant population with just three words.


  • Black Moon Chronicles: Fratus Sinister summons Hellaynnea the succubus to have his way with her. Apparently he forgot that succubi can suck out the souls of their victims.
  • Blacksad: Ivo Statoc, the Big Bad who had the eponymous hero beat up and (though Statoc does not know it) his ex-girlfriend murdered, thinks the smartest thing to do is to call out Blacksad on his morals and taunt him that he doesn't have the guts to shoot someone in cold blood. Statoc was such an asshole about it that Blacksad shot him in anger, noting that his morals really would have stopped him from cold-blooded murder of an unarmed man under normal circumstances, but Statoc's taunts were the last straw.
  • Bone's rat creatures have shades of this at times. The most famous instance is probably when Fone managed to escape them by jumping his way to a tiny branch hanging above a cliff. He declares that even they wouldn't be stupid enough to try to follow him, since they're the size of grizzly bears and there's no possible way for the branch to support their weight. The rat creatures proceed to do exactly that.
  • The Boys is set in an Alternate Universe where Super Heroes exist, (not that you'd want to meet one) and the MegaCorp that created and controls said "heroes" is looking to infiltrate and take over the U.S. Government. The latest Vice President is a functionally retarded hand-puppet for them, and when the political arrangement is being explained to the Naïve Newcomer, it gets mentioned that the corporation had wanted to use a member of the Bush family for this role, but the latest Bush son had accidentally cut his own head off while playing with a chainsaw. Garth Ennis is rarely subtle about these things.
  • Nestor of Copperhead believes he's the smartest man in every room because all problems have obvious solutions. His solutions are always the shortest, dumbest way into a physical fight; he'd be long dead if he wasn't constantly getting protected by his brother Zolo.
  • The Dresden Files comic War Cry: As covered in the Literature folder, messing with Harry Dresden is generally this unless you're a very dangerous entity. However, that's honestly the least stupid aspect of Baron Bravosa's plan. The entire focus of the plan is for Harry Dresden to bring him a Shoggoth that is being imprisoned by the Venatori Umborum. This Shoggoth is an Outsider, and Bravosa has no plan for how to control it once he has it. Guess what kills him.
  • The Early Years: It's not clear since there is 2 versions of it but apparently talking to a clearly unhinged and armed assassin knowing she is her husband's mistress was apparently a good idea in Elise brain at some point. The worst version had her even being kind of a Jerkass about it, while the lighter one was just tactless.
  • Quite a few strips of The Far Side derive humor from the stupidity of the characters. One strip featured two guys stranded in the desert with one of them eating a bag of salty potato chips. In the desert. "Uh oh, I suddenly get the feeling I shouldn't have been munching on these things for the last half hour."
  • Johnny the Homicidal Maniac has killed some remarkably stupid people. Then he meets more of them after dying and (rightly) declares, "You're in Hell and you're too stupid to know it!"
    • Johnny himself counts too. He just finished refusing to kill himself, and answers a phone that he connected an elaborate suicide contraption to.
  • Judge Dredd: In "In the Event of My Death" part 3, during a simultaneous raid on all Mega-City One's crime families to capture as many high-ranking gangsters as possible before the mob war kicks off, Raymond Santos is not only visibly delighted to see Judge Hart was sent for him, but explains to the other Judge present that Hart is on the Santos family's payroll. Five seconds later, Hart is reporting that Santos killed his partner, so he had no choice but to take him out.
  • Lucky Luke: Rantanplan's stupidity frequently causes him to almost kill himself. If it weren't for Luke (or, in the spin-off, the prison guards, who are none too bright themselves but at least not suicidal) rescuing him, he would have drowned, starved or frozen to death by now.
  • Lupo Alberto: Back in an old story arc in 1977, Enrico had started a civil rights movement but wasn't having much success, so he went and renamed it "Bravi Ragazzi" ("Good Boys" in Italian) and gave it a symbol, a five-pointed star in a circle, that he painted on a sign with the movement's initials. He then stubbornly refused to accept there was something wrong in it in the face of Alberto (his best friend) shaking in fear when he saw it (even if he couldn't place why), all his movement running away in terror at the sight of the sign, people running away or throwing money and jewels at the sign, or, when he went to the nearest city, the police opening fire on him. As well known in Italy back in the day, Enrico had accidentally reproduced the symbol of a terrorist organization.
  • The Metabarons: The Endoguard were the greatest warriors in the Empire and are understandably jealous they've been supplanted by whoever's the current Metabaron. But they tried to avenge themselves by doing an Attempted Rape on the Metabaron, Aghora. The person who's that generations' greatest warrior in the universe and kills 20,000 violent convicts a day for childhood training. No Aghora didn't kill the would-be rapists, her pet spider-wolf did.
  • The crocodiles from Pearls Before Swine frequently end up killing themselves or fellow crocs in their idiotic attempts to kill the Zebra ("zeeba neighba"). This was even lampshaded in one strip where Charles Darwin appears and explains that the crocs are so dumb, they have to die for the good of the rest of society (survival of the fittest, and all that).
  • Nooby from Pocket God dies the most often out of all the tribe. Some of his deaths are because of dangerous pranks Ooga pulls on him.
  • Pretty much everyone in the comics based off of Plants vs. Zombies, whether human, plant, or zombie, aside from Patrice, Mr. Stubbins, and Future Nate. Present Nate cycles between this and Genius Ditz, but he does very much have his moments.
    • Possibly the worst example comes from the third issue, where a trio of otherwise surprisingly competent zombies known as the Anti-Bully Squad take over Zomboss's army. They then demote Zomboss to a regular grunt, and...choose to lead the army into battle themselves instead of hanging back and letting the other guys go first. Predictably, they get beaten up by the plants.
  • PSA comics always have one-shot characters whose entire purpose is to do what the comic preaches against and ruin their lives.
  • Rat-Man is full of stupid people (including the titular superhero), but some are this:
    • Brakko (described by the author as "Even stupider than Rat-Man, if it's even possible") proved to be the worst, and literally graduated to this, in issue #104. Previously in the issue his friend and subordinate police officer Jordan had told him that if he were ordered to arrest a friend he'd tell him to run and count to 20 before giving chase, knowing that, having trouble remembering what comes after 12, he'd give him a huge headstart. Later, we have this situation:
      Brakko: Jordan? This is my office!
      Jordan: I know, sir. I'm really sorry. RUN!
      [Brakko realizes Jordan has to arrest him and starts running]
      Jordan: One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve...
      Jordan: Twelve...
      [Brakko comes back]
      Brakko: Thirteen!
      Jordan: Oh, thank you!
      [Brakko runs away again, and Jordan continues counting]
  • Savage Dragon: Adrian “The Spoon” Weatherspoon is a classic jerk jock that considers himself as the "Alpha Male" of his High School. When Malcolm Dragon shows up, he immediately tries to provoke him for a fight. Even Malcolm tried to point out how harassing a super-powered teen was not a good idea. However, Malcolm had enough restraint to not to be baited into a fight and he was willing to ignore Adrian's bullying, because he states that he's not worth getting expelled for. He was ripped apart by an alien, because he refused to leave during a battle.
  • Subverted in an early Bongo Comics Bart Simpson's Treehouse of Horror story from The Simpsons comics. The Grim Reaper announces to the reader at the outset that Homer, on his way home from work, will do something stupid that results in his inevitable demise. In fact, Homer proceeds to do many stupid things, but makes it home alive and well, to the Reaper's complete astonishment and frustration. And then cheerfully announces he's off to make toast in the bathtub.
    • The comic later does its own version of "The Cask of Amontillado", with Homer in the role of Fortunato, who was already a case of this. Homer goes one step further by his near-stupidity doing Moe's (in Montressor's role) work for him, and remaining completely oblivious. This includes setting himself on fire and then falling down a flight of stairs.
      Moe: One more reason to hate my foe: he took all the fun out of a good revenge / murder.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics): There were enough wizards and highly advanced factions that Robotnik really shouldn't have been around for the ten odd years that he was. People that could teleport or power up characters to their super forms, some could even banish people to a pocket dimension. None of them could realize that they could trivialize out this one guy who was destroying the planet with their resources and the right plan. While Tails and Knuckles had big prophesied destinies, and Robotnik did play a part in those, neither of those specifically required Robotnik to be alive. In fact, destinies or not, a lot of innocent people died or became enslaved because these people let Robotnik/Eggman live for no adequately explained reason. Of course with the reboot, this is all moot as the factions were wiped out of existence. The real problem was that some of these nations that once contained such factions were too isolated or had their heads either in the sand or up their own asses to truly unite against Robotnik/Eggman. And they were all erased for their troubles.
  • Star Wars:
    • In the Tales of the Jedi series, Exar Kun gave a powerful and ancient Sith ship to the traitorous Aleema with instructions on how to use its star-manipulating powers. Aleema lures a Republic task force into a star cluster and uses the ship's device to tear the core out of one of the stars and throw it at the enemies. It succeeds in killing them, but apparently Aleema knew little to nothing about how stars function and didn't see any danger in catastrophically disrupting the natural order of one. It goes supernova, triggering the rest of the stars in the cluster in a titanic explosion that kills Aleema—exactly as Exar Kun and Ulic Qel-Droma wanted.
    • Esano in The Clone Wars: The Sith Hunters. His sister arrives with Darth Maul and Savage Opress and tells him they rescued her and he must pay them or they will kill her. Esano refuses, preferring to be the sole heir to the family fortune. The Sith quickly realize that the best way to acquire funds is to kill him.
    • When asked about the premise of Darth Maul: Death Sentence, the author himself said: "Someone, somewhere, is stupid enough to put a price on Darth Maul and Savage Opress' heads." It ends with the brothers capturing him and forcing him to transfer his fortune to them... then killing him anyway.
    • Blood Ties: Boba Fett Is Dead features an Imperial officer who, while training his troopers, is approached by a messenger whose message is not exactly credible and who is wearing obviously stolen armor. He describes it as "one of the stupidest things I've ever seen", then orders his men to assume an attack formation that from the intruder's point of view means "line up in front of the grenades"...
    • One of the villains in Shadows of the Empire: Evolution, Spinda Caveel, employer of the Pike Sisters, two martial arts masters. When they run into the Rebellion heroes, he orders them to kill them. They say it would be suicide and quit. He's insulted and attempts to kill them. That's right, his own hired muscle, whom he a minute earlier expected to be able to take on the people who destroyed both Death Stars. He doesn't appear to survive.
    • In the post-Endor comic Star Wars: Crimson Empire, Carnor Jax grows increasingly disgusted with his incompetent right-hand, General Wessel. Whether or not Wessel was actually too dumb to live, Jax said as much to one of his more competent underlings and left Wessel to be killed by a trap that Jax had foreseen.
    • In the third issue of the Star Wars Vader Dark Visions series from the Marvel continuity, an Imperial nurse develops a serious but decidedly one-sided crush on Darth Vader, eventually leading her to enter his chambers in order to try for a Love Confession to him, ignoring or unaware of the fact that 1.) entering Vader's chambers unauthorized is a good way to die, 2.) seeing Vader without his helmet on (something only reserved for personal physicians) is a good way to die, and 3.) Vader possesses Single-Target Sexuality reserved only for his late wife, and is so deeply embedded in the Dark Side that he is incapable of loving anyone or anything except his son Luke. Sure enough, the nurse gets sabered right through the chest as soon as Vader figures out just what this lovesick loony is about.
  • Stuck Rubber Baby: Sammy, extremely drunk and somewhat depressed at being turned down by Toland, gets Toland to drive him over to the headquarters of the Dixie Patriot, the local racist newspaper which had featured him on the front page describing him as a "Nigger Loving Queer," so he can ask for copies of the picture. It doesn't go well...
  • Most villains of Tex Willer could be considered this by virtue of not surrendering when they hear the title character, a trigger-happy Texas Ranger who is also a One-Man Army and the Fastest Gun in the West, has three equally dangerous companions that sometime help him in his adventures, and in a pinch could summon the entire Navajo Nation for his battles (he is, after all, their chief), and so those who go on and provoke him while knowing who he is, but Bob Braddock takes the cake: after barely getting acquitted at his trial for murder thanks to his brother providing him a very good lawyer and bribing two witnesses, he's told by lawmen that a witness has identified him as responsible for burning down a town, and he reacts it's impossible because he was wearing a sack on his head before Tex Willer and judge "Hang'em Higher" Fielsen. His brother, who was there and had planned to send him to Alaska to keep him out of trouble, promptly throws him to Tex and the judge (literally).
  • Inverted in The Tick comic book. After several bullets bounce off the Tick and he falls off a balcony, one of his would-be-assassins remarks "Incredible. This jerk is too stupid to stop living."
  • The Transformers (Marvel): Ratbat. See, there's this ancient Artifact of Doom called the Underbase that can massively increase the power of any Transformer who comes near it. It can also completely destroy all life on a planet. Naturally, the Decepticons want it, but Starscream tricks the two Decepticon factions into fighting each other and the Autobots while he goes and swipes the Underbase for himself. Realizing they've been duped, the two Decepticon leaders, Ratbat and Scorponok, agree to team up with Optimus Prime to stop a super-powered Starscream. Then Ratbat ditches the battle to sneak back to the Autobot ship, and announces his intention to gain the Underbase's power for himself. Problem is, he did this right in front of Scorponok, who's A) about 40 times his size (no, that is not a typo, Ratbat is a cassette and among the smallest of Decepticons while Scorponok was one of the biggest) and B) covered in guns. Scorponok didn't even let him finish his Evil Gloating before annihilating him.
  • While The Walking Dead comics are chock full of it, one very special example goes out to a family consisting of a trucker dad, fat hippie mom, and bully son. Said son and his friend bully a quiet nerdy kid who Sophia rescues by kicking their asses. Later, when Sophia is hanging out with Carl, they hit him with a brick and basically threaten to assault and rape Sophia causing Carl to run off, get a shovel, and come back, beating them near to death. Then their parents team up with Gregory to try and poison Maggie and fail. The parents are let off with a warning, then after the wife's head is piked the dad tries to murder Rick on the way home causing Rick to rip his throat out. And then when Rick goes to offer sympathy to their son the son decides to attack Rick and nearly get choked to death, but ultimately left with a warning: one more fuckup and Rick would put a bullet into his dumb ass. Aaaaaand that kid decides to free Negan in an insane plan to "make the Whisperers and Rick kill each other." Apparently by means of making Rick's group think Negan is with the Whisperers or something. Oh, and he antagonizes and complains to Negan the whole time. Negan himself realizes how terrible that plan is and puts the kid out of his misery.
  • The Wizard of Id: The strip seen here shows Rodney and the King looking at a guy who took a rather ill-conceived selfie.
  • The Swedish comic Hälge features the moose Rubbade Runar (closest translation something like "Crazy Runar"), whose stupidity and lack of self-preservation instincts keeps the other moose wondering how he hasn't been killed in a moose hunt yet (he's been known to walk up to the hunters while they're on a hunt to greet them). One strip suggests it is extreme enough to work in his favour: the hunters conclude from his behavior that he must have some kind of disease, and therefore isn't worth shooting.