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Too Dumb To Live / Live-Action TV

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  • The 10th Kingdom:
    • Everything Virginia's father does makes him Too Dumb to Live. Starting with the idiotic use of wishes. This is, however, part of the point of his character. There's a reason the Gypsy fortuneteller draws The Fool for him. Also the Buffoon and the Village Idiot.
    • Subverted when he "foolishly" throws the frog through the door rather than think through the puzzle.
  • 24:
    • Kim Bauer is a character who seems to be a deliberate attempt by the writers to create a character so frustratingly dumb that it becomes almost impossible to enjoy the rest of the show. There's a reason she was once the Trope Namer for Damsel Scrappy.
    • In Season 1, she gets kidnapped by boys she doesn't know but trusts enough to make-out with. She has various chances to escape, tries, and always fails until she is saved.
    • In Season 2, Kim Bauer gets into a series of avoidable, ridiculous scenarios.
      • In every situation, (with a merciful exception in a later episode) Kim could avoid the entire ordeal by stating the truth plainly, instead of getting defensive or just standing there for an awkward amount of time with a dumb look on her face. She gets accused of kidnapping, child abuse, and murder because of this.
    • She gets better in later seasons
    • Also the stupidity of the one man who could put even Kim Bauer to shame; Chinese Consul Koo Yin from Day 4. Let's see, if your men are shooting at people who have kidnapped someone from your consulate, what's your best course of action? Walk out in front of your men, allowing yourself to get killed in friendly fire.
  • 666 Park Avenue: Annie, literally. You have the power to write obituaries that magically come true. There's a scary hitman after you. And you don't even think about trying to write the scary hitman's obituary?
  • About half the calls on 9-1-1 involve people who have done absolutely stupid things and get into trouble for them.
    • A man pelts a tiger at a zoo with acorns so his nephews can get photos of him...and the tiger jumps out of its enclosure to start chasing him.
    • A homeless man decides to sleep the night in a dumpster... on garbage day.
    • When her daughter nearly commits suicide because of bullying, her cop mother Athena storms the house where the tormentor is hosting a party. Told what's happened, how does the girl respond? By saying she's happy it happened and insulting a girl who nearly killed herself, to the girl's mother who is also a police officer in full uniform. And then she's actually shocked when Athena arrests her for obvious drug possession.
    • A militant racist refuses medical aid from any of the members of the multiracial responders team even as he's close to death.
    • A bank manager thinks the best way to smuggle $6 million in diamonds during a robbery is to swallow them all. It never occurs to him how damaging nearly 30 stones inside a body can be as proven when he collapses and dies of severe stomach cramps later that evening.
    • A teacher is on a trip at a chocolate factory and becomes so addicted to their rich chocolate that he climbs over a huge vat and leans down to scoop more into a cup. Naturally, he sinks into it.
  • Basically the whole point of 1000 Ways to Die:
    • The guy who broke the cardinal safety rule when working with a woodchipper (i.e., "Don't stick a body part in the machine unless you want it to come out the other end ground into bits").
    • The two frog lickers who licked a poison dart frog.
    • A biker who tried to drink gasoline from his motorcycle's gas tank as a substitute for real booze note  and puked on his campfire.
    • The "braintrust" who tried to rob a jewelry store, but went into a gun shop — where everyone (including a sweet old lady) was legally armed and acting in self-defense when they shot his ass.
    • The two college kids who locked themselves in a helium-filled basketball court. With absolutely no oxygen. Predictably, they suffocated.
    • One paint huffer who covered himself with highly flammable industrial grade solvent to get high from the stronger fumes. When they got rid of his body heat, he asked for a lighter to get warm. Do the math: A man covered in highly flammable solvent + flame. What does that equal?
    • The two stoners who ran out of pot and tried smoking anything they could get their hands on. What did they get their hands on? Poison sumac.
    • A guy tries to impress a girl by serving live escargot. Except the snails came from his garden. And were covered in BRAIN-EATING PARASITES. Also contains a surprise twist: on their deathbed, the man confesses that he's a homosexual. The woman confesses that she never liked him.
    • The guy who pissed on an electric fence. Though MythBusters' experiments indicate that this story is bogus. When they first tested it on the electrified "third rail" of a train track, they found that urine streams tend to be too broken for an electric current to pass through. A second experiment, on an actual electrified fence (at close range, to ensure a laminar flow), gave Adam a minor shock, but it was only a fraction of the ampage that he would have received by, say, touching said fence, and even that would not have been lethal.
    • Two Ozzy Osbourne fans heard a story about how Ozzy snorted ants to prove how "hardcore" he was; they decided to do the same because they wanted to be "hardcore" like their idol. Pretty damn sure that Ozzy was smart enough to not use fire ants.
    • A chef working at a black market restaurant that served endangered animals tried to recapture a king cobra, by hand. While getting his face near the giant venomous snake.
    • A Nazi spy thought he was caught, so he swallowed a cyanide pill; it turns out it was just a man returning his notebook.
    • The Loony Fan who went to a football game drunk off his rear, half-naked and covered in blue with white-stripes paint-like covering on his upper body, while it was freezing out. By the time he realized he was suffering from hypothermia, he was slowly turning into a Human Popsicle that other people didn't notice because of his blue/white paint job.
    • Two crack addict serial killers apparently didn't notice the abandoned building they were in was scheduled for demolition. Any smarter person would have gone away the instant they saw a construction worker. But they hid off to another room and got high. No points for guessing what happened to them.
    • Two mininum wage kitchen aides, Carl and Lenny, "happy-go-lucky idiots", thought it was funny to continuously pelt each other with cocoa powder... until the cocoa-infused air completely blocked up any oxygen intake for them, causing them to suffocate to death. The death is even labeled "Choke-A-Lot" to boot.

  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Victoria Hand's decision to let one of the Big Bad's former proteges escort him to prison, right after discovering that a large part of their organization had actually been loyal to Hydra, is pushing it. Her further decision to hand that protege a gun and order him to kill his mentor, without taking any precautions against the protege being Hydra, earns her two bullets.
  • And Then There Were None (2015): When the party has dwindled to four, said quartet decide to have a booze-and-cocaine party. What better time to screw up your perception, judgment, and ability to respond to threats than when you're stuck on an island, with six murdered bodies already around the house, and for all you know one of your remaining three companions is the cause for those six corpses?
  • Andromeda: In "Immaculate Perception", Tyr says sending the DNA of Tamerlane Anasazi for comparison with Drago Museveni's could not be kept a secret. He says that he is leaving with his son and wife while the rest of the pride can perish from its stupidity.
  • Angel: In "Quickening", a vampire cult confronts Angel, Darla, Fred, Gunn, and Wesley while Darla (a vampire) is pregnant. Since the vampires say they will protect Darla's child, she decides to sit out the fight. Then the cult leader tells her how they plan to dismember her after she gives birth. She changes her mind.
  • Animal Face Off: Animals in the virtual fights tend to act extremely dumb simply for the fight to turn out a certain way. The biggest example is with the hippo vs. bull shark episode. The bull shark bites the hippo but fails to inflict any major damage (they tested a model shark mouth molded off a real one, and it couldn't open wide enough to bite a kayak, that's where it not being able to damage the hippo came from). The shark's response is to keep trying, and it achieves no success. The hippo, being surprisingly inactive at first, has enough and goes under to face the shark, which stupidly rushes right in the hippo's mouth and gets its skull crushed.

  • Babylon 5: In a tragic example, the entire Markab race, which was wiped out by a plague in episode 18 of Season 2. Instead of going through their own quarantine procedures, they routinely sent out people carrying the plague to different planets, eventually infecting all of their known colonies. Know the reason? For the dark age belief that the disease only targets the 'immoral' and the immoral people are getting divine retribution. Many of the first outbreaks were covered up due to this dark age belief. Were humans the only race in this show to go through an Age of Enlightenment and an Age of Reason? Even Doctor Franklin lampshades this through the episode. In the end, all 5000 Markabs on the station were dead, two billion on their homeworld were dead, and millions more throughout their colonies were dead. Too. Dumb. To. Live.
  • A famous early episode of Bar Rescue has John Taffer visiting a failing pirates-themed bar in Maryland. Taffer goes out of his way to point out to the owner that the kitschy pirate's theme does not fit the local customer base, the staff can't handle their jobs, and fires the chef (who cooks what Taffer openly calls "some of the worst food I've ever tasted"). Taffer goes out of his way to completely revamp the bar into a fun corporate setting with a terrific opening night of youthful customers praising the new look. On a "Back to the Bar" update episode, Taffer learns that within three days of his leaving, the owner threw out all his hard work (literally setting the new bar sign on fire in a ceremony), hired back the old chef and his terrible menu and not only went back to the pirate theme but spent several thousand dollars making the bar look just as it was when John arrived. The result of going back to the same business model that had been failing for five years? The place was out of business literally a week after the episode aired. Unlike other failed owners, Taffer has no sympathy for someone stupid enough to insist on repeating their old mistakes.
  • El barco: The entire crew of the Estrella Polar. Nothing makes this clearer than the fact that the solution to their problems usually comes from Burbuja, the only crew member who is mentally retarded in the medical sense of the word, yet he is usually still smarter than the others on the ship. Considering that the crew members are actually fighting for their survival and the survival of humanity as a whole, the situation doesn't look promising.
  • Being Human: A particularly stupid example: Mitchell's ex-girlfriend sends him a DVD of what is essentially vampire porn (a recording of a man having sex with and then being murdered by a female vampire) and, in a moment of weakness, he decides to actually keep it for God-knows-what reason. The moment when he gets really stupid though is when he opts to hide the DVD in the box for a Laurel and Hardy movie. And then tells a young boy he's befriending to go ahead and borrow any Laurel and Hardy movie he wants. Cue the Pædo Hunt. George is rightly angry at this all, asking Mitchel "What else have you got up there, some German scat inside Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?"
  • Being Human (US): A similar story is used in the American remake, with the DVD being amongst The Three Stooges.
  • Blackadder: Practically everyone who isn't Eddie. One of Baldrick's somewhat less than brilliant "cunning plans" to escape a life-threatening situation involves waiting until they've all had their heads cut off before they spring into action. The first George is so stupid that he can't work out how to put a pair of trousers on — and tries putting them over his head. Percy fails to recognize Baldrick in drag and hits on him, despite Baldrick having his normal rich odor ("What an original perfume!") and normal appearance — including a beard.
    • Only in Season One, it's everyone who isn't Baldrick.
    • The best example came in Season Four when Edmund calls himself stupid for not thinking of an idea he just had, George and Baldrick remind him that they're the stupid ones by standing up in the middle of No-Man's Land, shouting just that.
    • Narrowly avoided by Percy in the second season finale. The Queen asks him if he'd prefer to shut up or have his head cut off; it takes Percy several seconds of painful consideration to realise the correct answer is to shut up.
  • Black Hole High: Marshall Wheeler, who never seemed to realize that taking old technology made by a company known for suspicious dealings from the basement of a school that has a wormhole in it might not be the safest idea.
  • On Blood & Treasure, a scientist hired to create a deadly poison tries to hold up Farouk, the most wanted terrorist on the planet who's killed scores of people, up for more money. As Farouk promises, the man "never has to worry about money again."
  • Blue Bloods: Dick Reed, a serial rapist in the episode "Re-Do", attacks Erin Reagan, the DA who convicted him only to have it thrown out on a technicality. Erin is not only a DA, but a woman who has not one, not two, not three, but four cops in her immediate family. Why Reed thought this would end well for him is anyone's guess.
  • Boardwalk Empire:
    • An office bully piles on several months of mistreatment by yelling abusive taunts at George Mueller aka Agent Van Allen in front of the whole office, until he inadvertently hits on Mueller's Berserk Button by bringing up his wife. This earns him a scalded face with a hot iron that Mueller is holding in response. While taunting an increasingly angry and slightly-crazed looking man holding a hot iron is perhaps not the smartest move ever made, the bully probably wasn't anticipating this reaction given months of Mueller's passive acceptance of his mistreatment. This trope really starts to kick in, however, when the bully tracks George down months later with a couple of friends and tries to get even, beating the guy up despite Mueller, recognizing that he's about to snap, pleading with him to stop. Despite having evidence literally burned into his face that this man is unpredictable and capable of very sudden acts of brutality and violence, the bully and his friends continue to beat up on him. They probably shouldn't have have been too surprised, then, when George once again snaps, produces a gun, and shoots all three of them dead.
    • In the first season, a pair of criminal brothers who have been attempting kill or bring down Nucky Thompson and their young accomplice, (some kid named Meyer Lansky) are captured and held by Nucky's subordinate, Chalky. Smart moves in such a situation might include attempting to negotiate your way out, (especially since a gang made up of yet more brothers is still free) or keeping your mouth shut and looking for a chance to escape while Nucky and his subordinates debate what to do with you. Instead, one of the brothers, (who is kind of The Runt at the End and tends to overcompensate for it) goes out of his way to insult his captors even though he is tied up and helpless and Nucky's mob has enough reasons to want to kill them already. It doesn't take long before he annoys Nucky's chief enforcer Jimmy enough for Jimmy to shoot him in response.
      Lucien: [Under his breath to his brother Matteo] Huh, tough talk when he ain't in the room, right?
      Jimmy: [To Lucien] What'd you say?
      Lucien: Oh, I'm sorry, I thought you heard me. What I said was that you, Mr. Thompson, and this coon here could all go fuck each other.
      Jimmy: [Gives him a Death Glare, begins taking out his gun]
      Lucien: Oh, a fuckin' tough guy. You gonna shoot me for mouthing off?
      Jimmy: I wasn't going to, but you kinda talked me into it. [Boom, Headshot!]
  • Boy Meets World: Eric in the slasher-themed episode, where it is Played for Laughs. He agrees to stand out in the hallway by himself when he knows there is a killer running around the school. However, this is not what actually kills him.
  • Breaking Bad: As these Series is one big Deconstruction of Damn, It Feels Good to Be a Gangster! and Evil Genius, Breaking Bad provides some very realistic outcomes of what will happen if you stupidly try to live out this 'dream'. Also, the life expectancy of dealers tend to be short as well, as they deal with Ax-Crazy bosses, pragmatic cartel owners, or just straight up ambitious people.
    • No Doze, Tuco's 'lieutenant'. Really, correcting your Ax-Crazy boss, and trying to assert his position and power to two wannabe partners, within his earshot? Viewers kinda predicted how he will go.
    • Genzo, Tuco's Only Sane Man. Well, not so sane really. After all, who in the right mind will remove a body from beneath tonnes of cars? As if the cars will perfectly help him by remaining stable.
    • Tuco himself, not long after. So, Tuco, you are around your safehouse, and two wannabe partners shot you and left you for dead, what will you do? Certainly not confronting a DEA Officer, with a loaded gun, wildly charging in yourself... That's what he did, and got rewarded for his efforts.
    • Spooge, Jesse's mugger. He made the mistake of bullying his wife, calling her a skank, repeatedly, even if the wife shouted at him not to. He got his head squashed for his troubles. Well, frankly, both of them were as high as hell, and wouldn't have cared either way.
    • Combo. Even though you are helping your friends make money, you really should know better than to deal in enemy territory.
    • The driver who brought the Cousins into the United States. After the Cousins were found out as cartel members, the rest of the immigrants were swiftly executed by them. Meanwhile, as the driver was shot, instead of lying there dead, he made the frantic mistake of trying to get away from them. The Cousins didn't have to look straight to shoot him.
    • The Cousins themselves. Instead of dispatching Hank swiftly, as they were told to do, they Zerg Rush him while he started his car. This leads Hank driving his car right over Leonel, which cripples him, and when Hank's tire was shot at, and Hank himself was at their mercy, Marco had a clean aim to Hank. But, as the Cartel tend to go off showy, Marco spares him (for a little time) in order to bring an ax, to execute Hank 'properly'. Hank took this precious time, fitted the bullet, and killed Marco with his own bullet. It was only because Marco himself allowed him some time. Moreover, the Cousins were also stupid not to realize that the DEA was off-limits from such assassinations, and Gus (who hired them), had no beliefs that they will live. Even though they were lucky (Hank was suspended due to an earlier infraction regarding Jesse, needing to submit his gun, which Gus didn't count on), they still squandered their opportunity. Also, they didn't think they will live to tell the tale, as Gus had no intention of letting some loose ends flourish. This trope must be In the Blood of the Salamanca family.
    • Victor. Meanwhile, where he was staunchly loyal to Gus, even as far as going to replicate Walt's own cooking method, he made the mistake of getting himself implicated at the crime scene of Gale's death, without even having a proper story. This leads to Gus to ruthlessly kill Victor.
    • Jesse himself came close to this trope. While Tomas was shot by the dealers, Jesse took it upon himself to avenge Tomas (and Combo, mentioned above), by charging into the area of the dealers, even when Gus himself warned Jesse not to. It was only due to Walt's timely intervention that Jesse survived the exchange.
    • Gale. Who in the right mind keeps notes of cooking Blue Sky right in his living room?
    • Mike. So you trust a man whom you tried to kill twice, outright declared him a loose cannon, got in his way more than many times, and so on? And after he gave you money for safe transit, what do you do? Seriously not blow the Loose Cannon off, incidentally also the man who killed your boss with nothing more than a death threat and a slight contact, on exactly how stupid he is in the crime world, and rubbing his Pride till it goes colorless? And not giving the Loose Cannon what he wants? Mike, you shouldn't have done that. To Mike's credit though, Walt himself realized how stupid he was to blindly confront Mike while he had safer alternatives.
    • Walt himself flirts with this trope. Seriously, Walt would have been caught MUCH earlier, had he not underestimated each and every person around him, and they could have quite easily picked up the pieces (like what Skyler did eventually in Season 3). The reason Skyler didn't turn Walt over, is that their children are his Morality Pet, and even then it got too late for Skyler. If Hank ever suspected Walt for even one minute, the series will have been over earlier. Kind of what happens when Hank finally realizes who Heisenberg is. Also Walt has the tendency to bully his partners (like Jesse, Tuco (THAT Tuco), Gus), for starters. The latter two nearly ended for him with a bullet in his brain. When Jesse finds out about Walt's even darker secrets, Jesse came this close to finally killing him.
      • Walt, again. Seriously, who leaves the only clue tying you and the one you murdered half a year earlier, on the privy? This is the moment when Hank realizes how much they both fucked up. Seriously, for a benchmark of Evil Genius, Walt should have known better than to leave the book just lying around.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • The residents of the town are hilariously aware and in denial of the presence of vampires and other demons.
    • Given a Lampshade Hanging in "Anne" where Larry gleefully predicts that if there aren't as many mysterious deaths on the football team this year, they're going to rule!
    • Consider Deputy Mayor Alan Finch in "Bad Girls": this is a guy who knows all too well about the dark creepies in Sunnydale, and he's got some important information about the Mayor he needs to share with the Slayers. So what does he do? He decides to approach them in a dark alley in the middle of the night while they are being attacked by vampires. Guess what happens. Faith mistakes him for a vampire and stakes him, only realizing she's killed a human when he bleeds instead of puffing into dust.
    • And then there's Dawn, who is way too eager to get out of the house at night-time either alone or with strangers, despite knowing perfectly well what lurks outside. For her defense, she's a teenager, a species not known for its rationality. There may also be other reasons.
    • In "Graduation Day Part 2", Principal Snyder nearly succeeds in this nomination when he attempts to leave a safe room besieged by vampires and then succeeds with flying colors when he attempts to tell a 100-feet long serpentine demon that its behavior is "unacceptable".
    • Spike does a lot of crazy things because he's a little psychologically unbalanced and (from series four onwards) vaguely suicidal, but he gets special props here for constantly setting himself on fire by going out in daylight. He also gets bored and pulls a Leeroy Jenkins on his own scheme ("I had a plan. A good plan. But then I got bored") and he dated Harmony and invites her along on his schemes, despite how she messes up everything. Harmony holds the Idiot Ball every time the two work together. Also, it's revealed in the Angel episode "Why We Fight" that he was once captured by the Gestapo because they invited him to a free virgin blood party. He tells Angel never to go to one of those parties later because "it's probably a trap". When he tries to stake himself, he goes about it in such a stupid fashion that it obviously won't work, so he might also be Too Stupid To Die. At other times, he's pretty perceptive and comes up with decent schemes, so his shenanigans might have something to do with boredom and his suicidal tendencies rather than terminal idiocy. Harmony should get special mention, too, in "Real Me" for trying to kill Buffy by using nothing but three vampire mooks, long after much larger groups of vampires had ceased to be a serious threat.
    • Lampshaded in "Once More With Feeling" when Xander reads a newspaper with the headline "Mayhem Caused: Monsters certainly not involved, officials say."
    • And that's not counting the countless vampires who decide they'll be the ones to kill the Slayer. You know, the one being on Earth made specifically to kill them.
    • Special mention goes to the one who attacked her on her way home from working at the Doublemeat Palace in "As You Were". Buffy was caught in such a Heroic BSoD at the time, she didn't even struggle, but the guy let go of her in disgust because she stunk from working all day. After turning his back to her he was in the middle of saying he'd come back to eat her later when a pissed-off Buffy staked him.
    • Billy Ford from Season 2. Want to cure your cancer? All you have to do is ask some nice vampires to turn you into a vampire in exchange for giving them the Slayer. Nothing wrong with this plan AT ALL. Somewhat justified in that he was dying anyway and had nothing to lose, but his plan was flawed and ultimately he ended up staked.
    • Buffy herself is not immune to this. Although there are several examples throughout the series the most obvious one is in "Chosen". When she understood that she is facing an army of thousands of Turok Han her plan involved to fight them head-on with her friends and a few dozen girls who would hopefully become Slayers. Even though as we saw in the past she can easily contact the US army and simply have them bomb the entire Turok Han into nothing as soon as they are out
  • Bullets of Justice: Let's say the military developed a species of sadistic, man-eating monsters to act as Super Soldiers in a war. Already kind of dumb, but not quite suicidality so yet. Let's say some of those monsters break out of captivity and start attacking civilians. Really should have predicted this, but there's still time to fix things. Let's say instead of stopping the monsters, the military decided to kill the witnesses. Okay, we have now officially reached terminal idiocy. You only have yourselves to blame for humanity being conquered, guys.
  • Burn Notice: How dumb is Jason Bly in the 6th season finale? Dumb enough to divulge the fact that he is a police officer on a sting operation to a random security guard working for the bad guys. He becomes Ludicrous Gibs almost immediately.

  • Canada's Worst Driver: True to its title, this show depicts some SHOCKINGLY clueless drivers. Some of them are lucky to be alive.
  • Caprica: In the series finale epilogue, Clarice Willow. She may have genuinely believed that it was God's will to convert the "differently sentient" (Cylon robots) to monotheism, but when she outright encourages a robot rebellion and declares that there will be "a day of reckoning" for humanity during her prophecy, she can be described as misguided at best and suicidal at worst. Or she just forgot what species she belonged to.
  • Carrusel: Cirilo had neither book smarts nor common sense. He did poorly in school and did not always make the best decisions in his daily life.
  • Cheers: Classic moment:
    Rebecca: Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute you guys. Let's not jump to any wild conclusions here. Let's just look at the facts. Now, all we really know is that Robin is using my secret password to break into my corporation's confidential files, and from the date on these, well, it looks like he's been doing it since, well, since the day after we first slept together. So all I think we can conclude by this is... I AM TOO STUPID TO LIVE!
    Sam: Hey, now, Rebecca. It's not like he ever tried to screw us over — no, wait, he did that to me once. Well, it's not like he ever cheated on you, no, he did do that. Hey, maybe this is the last scummy thing he'll ever do.
    Rebecca: (hopefully) Do you think so?
    Norm: You're right, Rebecca, you are too stupid to live!
  • In the TV miniseries Chiefs we have Sonny Butts. Butts is a violent, racist cop who beats a black man (played by Danny Glover) to death in jail and, ultimately gets away with it. He then follows that up by delivering a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on a carnival worker at a carnival in front of virtually the entire town. However, as he's about to be (likely) fired for the second incident, he gets a report on a missing person...a missing person he saw being picked up by the resident Serial Killer, Foxy Funderberke (played by Keith Carradine). So this genius decides to confront him alone, despite suspecting (at the very least) that he's a Serial Killer. As if that weren't bad enough, after he manages to get the drop on Foxy, he decides to gloat to Foxy about catching him, telling him that he (Sonny) will be a hero. Foxy manages to get the drop on him, knock him into a hole he had dug with a shovel, and empty his own gun into him, before burying him and his motorcycle and going right on killing...for a total of 40 years, altogether (from the 1920s, through to the 1940s (where this segment is set) and into the 1960s).
  • Chuck: Happens with disturbing frequency in the 3rd season. Even if the CIA Agent about whom you've BEEN BRIEFED has convinced you that he's harmless, he's still a CIA Agent... perhaps you shouldn't uncuff him before you kill him?
  • Copper:
    • A dentist tries to poison his wife's lover by poisoning a cake and making the lover think that it was a gift from the wife. However, the lover does not like that type of cake, so he gives it to his landlord. The landlord then gives the cake to his dentist, the same guy who poisoned the cake in the first place. The dentist fails to recognize that this is the same cake he poured half a can of rat poison into, eats it, and dies in a gruesome way.
    • The stupidity is compounded by the police officer who comes to investigate the death. He is extremely lazy and corrupt, so he simply orders the wife arrested and does not bother checking the body, which shows tell-tale signs of poisoning. Instead, he starts stealing all the valuables in the dead man's apartment and tops it off by eating some of that delicious-looking cake that is sitting on the table. Cue another gruesome death by arsenic poisoning. The detectives who come to investigate his death find the entire affair hilarious and use it as an object lesson for new coppers as to the dangers of being sloppy in the performance of their duties.
    • In season 2, Orrin Lansing is a business rival of Corrupt Politician and former Four-Star Badass Brendan Donovan. Donovan makes it clear that he would like for Lansing to withdraw his bid to build the new aqueduct, but Lansing refuses. Donovan sends his hatchetman to give Lansing An Offer You Can't Refuse, which the man executes by dousing Lansing in alcohol and threatening to set him on fire. A sensible person would have either acceded to Donovan's demands or used his fortune to hire bodyguards to protect him from future attacks. Instead, Lansing personally breaks into Donovan's office, kills his assistant, and steals some documents from the safe. He then fails to enact any of the usual blackmail tropes that would safeguard him from Donovan's retribution. By the end of the episode, Donovan has recovered his files and Lansing is Buried Alive.
  • Criminal Minds: When the victims in the episode "Roadkill" decided to run straight down a highway to get away from a truck trying to run them over, they were Too Dumb to Live.
  • CSI:
    • In the episode "Boom" from season 1, the team is investigating a bombing and receives offers of help from a guy who says he's a real amateur bomb enthusiast. Said guy is, of course, the primary suspect. The guy ends up blowing himself up by going to retrieve a bomb the real bomber placed in a high school.
    • Taking the cake is the deer hunter from "73 Seconds" who tried to clean out a wound with a high-power air hose after getting gored by a Not Quite Dead deer, inflating himself to death. For further impact, look at Catherine's face as she tries to comprehend this utter stupidity.
  • CSI NY: In the episode "Vacation Getaway", we have the horrendously Genre Blind uniform officer who lets himself get goaded into approaching the Serial Killer Shane Casey. There's a reason unis fulfill the function of Red Shirt in Crime and Punishment Series.

  • Desperate Housewives: Susan Mayer is way Too Dumb to Live. Add her uncanny ability to misinterpret absolutely everything about everyone with her ungodly clumsiness and you just ask yourself how did she manage to live up to be twelve (let alone thirty... something). Oh, the characters of the series also ask themselves the very same thing.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Daleks have an unfortunate habit of becoming this, particularly when their "VISION IS IMPAIRED!!!" Naturally, as they are unable to see, they will begin shooting wildly, in one case causing the Dalek to destroy itself when in a hall of mirrors in "The Five Doctors", and making for very annoying gameplay in the 2010 Adventure Game, City of the Daleks. Apparently, their vision isn't the only thing that is impaired when they are damaged... Lampshaded in "The Stolen Earth". A Dalek's "eye" is blinded, but the Dalek remedies it and says "My vision is not impaired."
    • Then there are the Cybermen who in "Attack of the Cybermen", locked the Doctor up in an explosives storage closet.. without searching him for items that could be used as a detonator. Guess how he got the door open?
    • Every so often, the Doctor's pacifism sends him into this territory. While his desire to avoid death is understandable, any time he tries to save long-time enemies such as the Daleks, Sontarans, and Cyberman just make people want to slap him. He himself admits that they are bred to do nothing but hate and kill, yet he keeps walking up to them and yelling "Let me save you!", often while they're pointing a gun, laser, etc. at his head, usually risking himself, his companion, and the world in the process. Worse still, if you decide that maybe you don't want to do it this way, the Doctor will see fit to punish you.
      • Shooting a fleeing ship can be seen as a thuggish, medieval scare tactic (comparable to decorating city walls with the severed heads of your enemies, to be honest) and is quite different from killing someone in self-defense (although it still counts as Too Dumb to Live in an Honor Before Reason way — meddling with beneficial established events simply for the sake of principles). For example, he's somewhat disappointed when Agatha Cristie and Donna kill the Vespiform but doesn't blame them for doing it. And when UNIT tries to mow down an attacking Sontaran army, his main concern is that the UNIT troops will die because they won't listen to his insistence that Sontarans can render bullets useless, even though he had been bitching about guns and violence earlier. He also isn't angry at Lucy for killing the Master in retribution, despite being utterly grief-stricken over the prospect of... uh... not having to deal with the Master being a complete psychotic for the rest of his life. So he's mainly just too stupid for himself to live.
      • Once, when the Doctor is carrying out the typical "go towards something you should probably be going away from" version, River Song tells one of her crew to go with him and "pull him out when he's too stupid to live".
    • "The Parting of the Ways": The people onboard the Gamestation, a satellite in the business of deadly reality shows, attempt to warn Earth that a massive Dalek fleet is approaching. The Earth authorities don't listen and simply cancel their licence because they stopped transmitting.
    • "Rise of the Cybermen": The scientist in The Teaser. He's helped commit a horrific experiment on a living person that involves welding their brain to a metal exoskeleton, something implied to be illegal on most of their planet, and it's only then that he starts to bring up ethical concerns to his boss. Unsurprisingly, the next step for him is "electrocution by Cyberman".
    • "42": Erina Lessak gripes about being ordered to fetch tools from a storage locker to fix the spaceship she's on while it's falling into a sun because of instrument and engine failures.
    • "The Sound of Drums": President Winters, who's already something of the President Buffoon, turns into a blithering, outclassed idiot when the Toclafane show up. Then the Master has them kill him.
    • Elsewhere in the Whoniverse, in The Sarah Jane Adventures, Sarah Jane has a habit of marching into villains' offices, etc. and telling them she knows what they're up to. Somehow this never goes well, though she always gets away in the end.
    • "Planet of the Dead": The bus driver, in a side-effect of Real Life Writes the Plot (the bus prop was damaged in transit). In the original script, the bus wasn't supposed to be damaged when it went through the wormhole, making the driver's assumption that it was safe to walk through by himself reasonable. In the episode as aired, where the bus was severely damaged with the upper deck ripped open, his surprise when his flesh is suddenly seared from his bones is a lot less unexpected.
    • "Flesh and Stone": The Weeping Angels end up retgoning themselves by falling into a crack in time... after having drained all of the power from the crashed Byzantium, including that of the Artificial Gravity preventing them from falling into the crack.
    • "Resolution" has a subversion: Archaeologist Lin seems to be this when she takes the usual Red Shirt action of wandering off and investigating the strange alien tentacled thing she sees on a wall... only to turn up later, alive but shocked. And then it turns out that the alien thing is using her as a Meat Puppet… Ultimately, she turns out to be an Action Survivor.
    • "Fugitive of the Judoon": Yes, Allan, go ahead and shove the cantankerous, heavily-armed alien rhino cop for breaking a few mugs, What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
  • One episode of Dragnet has Friday and Smith investigating a case where a robber beat a father and daughter, the father fatally. While interrogating the killer...
    Smith: His daughter saw you.
    Suspect: She's lying. The lights were out.

  • An incredibly egregious moment in one episode of Earth: Final Conflict. Three monks sit in prayer and an Atavus walks in. She [[Vampiric Draining feeds]] on one monk, and the other two, sitting right next to him, do not notice. The Atavus feeds on the second monk, and the third doesn't notice anything even as his friend dies screaming.
  • ER: In one episode of the hospital drama, a couple is brought in suffering extreme hypothermia ... from driving into a freezing Lake Michigan. In their defense, their GPS directions said it was the shortest route to Canada. In spite of Lake Michigan being the only Great Lake that doesn't border Canada AT ALL.

  • Fatal Attractions: The American Midwest and Canada can be a boring place, with huge stretches of open land where one can go miles without seeing anybody. There's little to do, and winters can be brutal. There is, however, an advantage, in that the residents don't have to worry about being eaten by tigers or bitten by vipers. This show is a documentary show about people who have solved that "problem", who build their own private zoos and then get eaten by their own lions.
  • Flash Gordon: Joe Wylee, the police detective, attempts to expose Mongo's existence without reliable evidence and is surprised when he is suspended. Later, he steals a rift key to gather evidence and nearly dies on Mongo, never considering that his evidence will be viewed as a forgery. However, after traveling to Mongo, he does say that he would not have believed the truth about the rift portals if he had not experienced it.

  • Game of Thrones:
    • Eddard Stark has become emblematic of this. What do you do when you find out the queen's been shtupping her twin brother? Tell her, of course! Littlefinger tells you not to trust him? Trust him completely! He also really should have listened to Renly's suggestion about raiding the castle and taking Joffrey hostage after Robert dies in order to stop the Lannisters. No wonder his head ended up on a pike. This is also Too Cool to Live. Eddard may be the only character on the show to behave honorably at all times. His big mistake is he assumes others will do the same. In Eddard's defense, not giving the queen advance warning will result in the king killing her or ordering her killed... which would touch off a massive civil war anyway, given who her father is. Add in that giving her sufficient warning to get out of dodge also avoids the execution of her children, two of whom were actually innocent, and Eddard is not quite a total idiot for combining pragmatism and compassion here. He is still quite careless in not realizing that the queen is not as powerless as he estimates she is and has options other than 'using the advance warning time to flee before the hammer comes down'.
    • Viserys counts for this trope. Maybe he shouldn't have spent most of his time in the company of the Dothraki wigging out at them every few minutes and openly insulting their traditions. Later, he strides up to a Dothraki warlord, demands that he invade Westeros to "give him his crown", and threatens to kill his wife (who happens to be Viserys's sister also and is carrying the unborn son of said warlord) if he doesn't. Viserys gets his crown all right; it just also happens to be one of molten gold. His visible intoxication during his final scene doesn't improve his chances of living.
    • In Season 2, Pyatt Pree and Xaro Xhoan Daxos also count, but especially the former. After abducting three baby dragons, he has the presence of mind to magically bind their limbs, but forgets to also bind their mouths shut - in spite of the well-known fact that dragons breathe fire. The outcome is precisely what one would expect.
    • Season 3 Robb Stark like his father he ends up making quite a few bonehead mistakes that lead to his death from breaking his promise to Walder Frey to beheading Rickard Karstark and in turn losing the Karstark family's support which was a good chunk of his army, to blindly believing Walder Frey's truce even though Walder clearly could not be trusted.
    • Tywin really drops the ball when calling Shae a whore when his son at crosspoint clearly told him not to.
    • Janos Slynt makes a grievous error in refusing Jon Snow's orders, in front of everybody, basically giving Snow no choice but to immediately order his execution. Not only did he underestimate Jon's readiness to exert his authority, but he also likely expected support from his most important ally Allister Thorne, forgetting that Allister had just been graciously given a key command position from Jon. Jon even gives Janos several opportunities to take back his comments, but Janos refuses the offer.
    • Season 6 Roose Bolton, for as cunning as he is, should have known not to hug his clearly psychotic son Ramsay after he kept talking down to him and also kept reminding Ramsay that the newborn baby could become the heir of warden to the north over him.
    • Later in Season 6 Arya refuses to carry out an assassination for the Faceless Men. She knows it makes her a target herself, so she retrieves Needle, books a passage to Westeros... then proceeds to stroll through the city, unarmed and oblivious to the surroundings. Within five minutes, she is stabbed by the Waif.
      • Ther after defeating the Waif through a trick, she walks to the Faceless Men' temple and reveals that she is alive and heading home to Winterfell. Just so that if the Faceless Men decide to finish the job, they know where to find her.
    • Later in Season 6 some mooks are forced to attempt to fight The Mountain, an incredibly large and powerful man wearing heavy plate armor. Their best shot involves hitting him square in the breastplate where the armor is strongest, which ends about as well as might be expected.
    • Brandon Stark. Charging to King's Landing and insulting the Prince in earshot of the Pyromaniac Mad King after Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna Stark was probably not a good idea. The highly biased opinion of Petyr Baelish in the History and Lore videos of his unfortunate rival:
      Baelish: Who's the greater fool? The Mad King or the man who reasons with him?
    • Rorge is seemingly too stupid to not run away the second the Hound kills Biter with barely any effort. Arya then says she can't kill him because she doesn't know his name, at which point he helpfully tells her his name.
  • General Hospital: Damian Spinelli, with his Rain Man-esque computer skills, has to compensate somewhere... and it appears to be his common sense. For instance, he became trapped in a utility room in the eponymous hospital while it was on fire... because he was searching for a better Internet connection.
  • Get Smart: Maxwell Smart, despite being The Ditz, is usually not this trope. However, he does have some individual moments of this, the most egregious of which was probably the time he decided to paint his apartment with paint confiscated from KAOS agents who specialized in explosive paintings, believing all of the explosive paint had already been identified. He was incredibly lucky he wasn't in the apartment when it exploded.
  • The 2010 Sky One adaptation of Going Postal has the title dropped by Reacher Gilt to Horsefry, after he discovers that Horsefry has been faithfully and painstakingly diarizing and accounting for every one of Gilt's criminal activities over the years, and was happy to show Gilt the fruits of his labor.
  • Jason on The Good Place lives and dies this trope. He died attempting to rob a Mexican restaurant by hiding in a safe which didn't have airholes, convinced a snorkel would magically provide him with air...and, for bonus points, he was doing whippets inside the safe. Even before that, his complete lack of impulse control landed him in the dock so often he thought he'd been nicknamed "The Defendant".
    I'm just a dope who died in a safe with a snorkel... who's only now realizing why that didn't work!

  • Heroes:
    • Mohinder Suresh. For someone who's supposed to be so intelligent, he manages to be pretty darn stupid. Perhaps the best example is how in the third season premiere, he decided to inject himself with a serum thaƒt he just randomly created without ANY regard to possible side effects. Too Dumb To Live indeed.
    • The worst HAS to be Peter Petrelli in the 2nd season. Not only does he end up with the villain of the season, but he repeatedly encounters trusted individuals straight up telling him that Adam is evil, including several of the people who worked with him to save New York earlier. Not to MENTION the fact that he watches as Adam casually and calmly BLOWS SOMEONE AWAY without any kind of comment on Peter's part. Only at the very end does he put two and two together and realize he is about to assist in genocide.
      • Peter also has the ability to read minds, so he could verify the claims of anyone in a couple of seconds.
    • The runner-up is everyone's reactions to Sylar. The guy is/was provably evil. He should be dead by now. They've had more chances to off that sadistic bastard than they've had hot dinners. And yet everyone lets him live or keeps him alive. Surely — surely — they could forego vivisection in favor of dissection? Just once?
    • Joseph Sullivan. When confronted by his unbalanced and highly-dangerous Earthbending brother Samuel, he not only admits to lying to Samuel all his life by keeping him in the dark about the potential of his power and betraying him by calling in a government official to bring Samuel in, he does this IN THE MIDDLE OF A DIRT FIELD IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT, far, far away from anybody else, and without having alerted anyone to where they were going. Naturally, Samuel kills him and blames the government official.
    • Good Thing You Can Heal, Claire. Good thing, indeed...
    • Hiro and Ando. Cheating at Poker in Las Vegas by switching your cards with those of your opponent at the last possible moment? How on earth is that not a plan to end up in a shallow grave somewhere in the desert?
  • Dottie from The Huntress was once kidnapped by a white supremacist couple who give her a task they say will grant her freedom. She's to make a drug exchange at city hall around noontime. However, the suitcase full of drugs actually contains a bomb which is set to go off then. Unfortunately for them, Dottie sees right through the deception. The very nature of the task makes her realize something's off ("They wanted me to deliver a package to a government building in the middle of the day. What else could it be but a bomb?") and she sees them exchange the drug and bomb suitcases in the reflection of a mirror. All she does is switch them back while the couple isn't looking and make the exchange as planned. The couple doesn't discover what she's done until the bomb's about to go off. Tellingly, the wife's last words (to her husband) are "You idiot!"

  • iCarly: Sam's mom drove her car after getting eyedrops that distorted her vision, causing her to crash through a wall. This action was a nod to Drake & Josh, where Josh's boss, Helen, does the same thing. Sam and Melanie were born on a bus because she took one while having labor pains instead of calling a cab.
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Mac and Charlie teaching kids to defend their schools... by arming them and telling them to go to town on each other. Cue Gilligan Cut to the two barely escaping from the building with their lives, expressing amazement at how quickly the situation spiraled out of control.
  • The IT Crowd: Douglas randomly discovers his grandfather's old service revolver in his desk and remarks, "I wonder if it's loaded!" In order to find out, he puts the gun in his mouth and pulls the trigger five times. Granted he's The Ditz, but damn. Just for even more failure at gun safety, once he determines it's not loaded, he puts some bullets in and promptly shoots himself in the leg. How is this man still alive?

  • El Juego De La Vida: A Mexican telenovela (the title translated to "The Game of Life"), dealing mostly with young love and occasionally a girls soccer team, and it might as well be the epitome of this trope when it comes to telenovelas. About 90% of the characters are Too Dumb to Live, to the extreme. The whole series is filled with fights and arguments between friends and couples, all of them caused for petty and/or dumb reasons, tons of contrived coincidences, and because most of the time, characters either refused to speak to each other about things or simply do not talk the moment they should, often times simply getting interrupted and decide to just stop talking afterward for whatever reason. The varied villains (with this particular telenovela seeming to try breaking a record, as there are well over 15 villains in it) get away with their schemes for the longest time because the other characters are too dumb to notice the villainous things they are doing, even when it happens right in front of their faces and after it has been shown that these people they are dealing with are not good people and are willing to lie, scheme and backstab anyone to get their way, yet the characters fall for their tricks time and again, ignoring blatant warning signs for the longest time.

  • Kenan & Kel:
    • Honestly, it's surprising that Kel survived to the end of the series. He should have died 10 times over.
    • Kenan isn't exactly bright as well; his crazy schemes which get him and Kel into trouble always go awry. All of which could have been avoided if he had listened to Kel and not done it.
  • Kings: Princess Michelle Benjamin. A bunch of armed religious fanatics holed up in a warehouse, what does she do? Walk in sans bodyguard or wire to negotiate with them. What do they do? Take her hostage. Then in another episode, she goes to comfort a quarantined plague victim without any protective gear! However, the dumbest thing she's ever done was taking naked pictures of herself on her phone. While this is stupid in any case (note to all women in the audience — do not advertise yourself to potential rapists), Michelle Benjamin's father is the King, and he has been known to fly into a murderous rage over pettier things. So, when he finds out, the results are not pretty. The capper? Michelle knew that her father would probably be driven into a murderous rage by that act, and did it anyways.
  • Knightmare: Many many many teams lost because of abject stupidity, like responding to an attacker by turning off the lights or seemingly taking great care to walk their dungeoneer off a cliff. Especially in the corridor of saws: "Right! No, left! No, right!" Ooh, naasty

  • Lassie: Timmy. While he never actually fell down a well, he got himself into a LOT of situations (many of which were much worse than falling down a well) to the point where you wonder why he's allowed to go even a few minutes without adult supervision.
  • Legends of Tomorrow: At one point Legends visit Kasnian Konglomerate in 2147. Kasnia has flying robots which kill on the spot anyone who breaks the law... as demonstrated when some guy stole a purse from a random woman in broad daylight.
  • Leverage: Several of the marks, after the team gets through with them. But especially the judge who, after disarming a pair of bank robbers, held everyone in the bank at gunpoint.
  • London's Burning: A lot of examples. In one episode, a commuter at a tube station climbs down onto the track to retrieve the contents of his briefcase. Guess what happens next.
  • Lost: In the pilot, some of the survivors find the cockpit of the crashed plane complete with pilot, who is still alive. Suddenly, they hear something that is obviously a very, very large animal crashing around outside, roaring and generally acting seriously pissed off. So what does the pilot do? He sticks his head and upper body out through the broken cockpit window to see what it is. Seriously, is anyone REALLY surprised when he gets dragged out through the cockpit window to his death? This may not be entirely fair though as no one knew a supernatural thing like the Smoke Monster existed and carnivorous beasts typically do not rip fully grown men out of windows from 15 feet in the air.

  • MacGyver (1985):
    • A fair number of antagonists are undone by their own stupidity: in the very second episode ("The Golden Triangle"), a dictator dies when he lunges at Mac with a sword, trips, falls down, and impales himself. In "Partners", Murdoc, who would become a recurring nemesis, is undone because when Mac throws a rock at him, Murdoc, one of the world's most notorious assassins, panics and drops a lit stick of dynamite. In "Kill Zone", a risk-taking scientist cavalierly waves around a container of mutated super-virus while insisting that nothing could possibly go wrong until her dog (for some reason, it's "Bring Your Dog To Work Day" at the xenovirology lab) concludes she wants to play fetch. It gets bad enough that in the Clip Show episode "Friends", Mac actually has a 10-Minute Retirement when he realizes that the only reason he's still alive is through an unlikely string of luck and the stupidity of others. And that's not even considering Locking MacGyver in the Store Cupboard.
    • There was also the female antagonist in "Phoenix Under Siege", who throws a flying kick at Mac, misses entirely, and catapults herself right out of a high rise window.
    • Murdoc, supposedly a master assassin, lives and breathes this trope thanks to his chronic inability to just shoot MacGyver (and, well, you know). So, Mac's standing two feet in front of a sheer drop? Great time to run him over with a car, Murdoc!
  • Malcolm in the Middle:
    • Season 1, each of the four brothers does something incredibly moronic:
    • Reese pounds a nail into a spray can.
    • Francis flips a knife high up into the air and extends his hand out to catch it.
    • Malcolm hangs his head over an open pair of scissors while Reese stands behind him, about to pop a balloon.
    • While one of the brothers cranks the pedal of an overturned bicycle, Dewey takes a bite out of the spinning wheel.
    • All of these are from one episode in a montage showing why the brothers are well known to the hospital emergency ward staff.
  • Married... with Children: The episode "Hi, I.Q." had a subplot of Al assembling a workbench with Jefferson's aid. They are attempting to light a blowtorch with the nozzle aimed in Al's face.
    Peg: Wow. Can't you just hear the Looney Tunes theme?
And the reason they were using a blowtorch? The instructions for the workbench called for using several L-shaped pieces of metal, but all they could find were 7-shaped pieces.note  So they decided to use the blowtorch to make them into L-shaped pieces.
  • Merlin:
    • Uther, to the point that you start to wonder how he and Arthur managed to stay alive until Merlin arrived.
    • Nimueh. Granted, Merlin can't seem like much of a threat. But she decided that, rather than avoid angering Merlin by choosing a victim he would not know, she would go for his mother, which she knows is a Berserk Button of his. And then she lures him to the Isle of the Blessed for a face-off. And when he gets up unscathed from a fireball to the chest, she just smirks at him patronizingly. The worst part? Unlike most villains, she actually knew she was fighting the greatest wizard of all time, and it doesn't even occur to her that this might be a really bad idea. Merlin proceeds to show the audience just why this was a bad idea: by exploding her with lightning in what some fans consider the best Crowning Moment of Awesome in the entire show.
  • Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers:
    • Even most children know enough not to drink from a strange bottle without a label, but that's exactly what Squatt and Baboo, Rita's two bumbling lickspittles did in the episode "Dark Warrior" when she sent them to steal Trini's uncle's invisibility formula. (You really couldn't blame her for chewing them out this time. Fortunately for them, it only made them sick.)
    • Not that the Rangers themselves don't fall into this occasionally. In the second Halloween Episode, Zordon specifically tells them what the rotted pumpkins are capable of face-hugging, yet all of them except Trini get too close when examining them, pretty much doing what he warned them not to. Fortunately for them, when it did happen, Trini had been smart enough to stay away.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus: Parodied in the "Upper-Class Twit of the Year" sketch.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000:
    • In one episode, the guys spoof a road safety movie from the 1950s. In the end, the protagonist's brother dies because he and his girlfriend are too distracted looking over his shoulder and waving to notice the oncoming train. You can imagine the jokes made at his expense.
      Tom Servo: The cop never said anything about doing intensely stupid things!
    • Also mocked in the song "Danger To Ourself and Others".
    • And then there's Professor Bobo, who combined a total lack of impulse control, a willingness to interact with literally anything in the world by eating it, a galaxy-sized ignorance of any word not related to food, and the forward planning skills of a small end table. The first of Mike's three planet kills came about because Bobo enthusiastically agreed to help weird cultists fix their nuke.
      Bobo: (Strapped to an Operating Table) Could we get on with this dissection? It's almost mealtimes!
      Pearl: ...Bobo's very stupid.

  • NCIS: Sure thing, Rick Azari, taunt the Marine whose buddies you killed, tell him that he doesn't have the guts to shoot you. Remind him that you've never been convicted before. Good plan.

  • Odd Squad:
    • Ohlm is a subverted example. He is initially shown to be, by far, the dumbest agent in Odd Squad history, at one point needing reminders from Oprah to breathe and, at another point, eventually losing the ability to walk when she is forced to temporarily move to the bullpen while her office is being repaired. However, it's revealed in the Season 2 finale that this idiocy was merely a facade, and he was Obfuscating Stupidity in order to take over Odd Squad and destroy everyone as revenge for one of the professors at the Odd Squad Academy not making him the Big O immediately upon graduating.
    • Arctic Mr. O plays the trope straight. While not to the extent of Ohlm, he is very incompetent at his job in every sense of the word. In one of the Flashbacks in "The B Team", he ends up pushing the Mobile Unit van's self-destruct button on accident due to not having read the van manual correctly. The last thing we see is Oswald freaking out and running away as well as Orla and Arctic Mr. O being too shocked to even think of doing the same thing, before Opal, Omar, Oswald and Orla all rip off their What-It-Would-Have-Been-Like-inator helmets.
  • Once Upon a Time:
    • Rumpelstiltskin, now the most powerful being in Fairy Tale Land, confronts his ex-wife Milah, who abandoned him, and asks how she could abandon their son. She insists she regrets it, and she let her misery get the better of her. He looks at her and says "Why were you so miserable?" in a tone that suggests pissing him off even further is a VERY bad idea! She looks him right in the eye and says "Because I never loved you!", so he rips out her heart and crushes it, killing her.
    • The centuries-old Genie of Agrabah that allows himself to get talked into murdering the King using an Agraban Death Viper, never once stopping to think that suspicion might fall on him being the only guy from Agrabah in the castle.
    • When King George and his wife can't conceive a child, he makes a deal with Rumpelstiltskin for a son. How does Rumpelstiltskin provide this son? He goes to some peasants and offers to pay all of their debts in exchange for their new-born son, which he then gives to King George (who knows full well the child is not his own) and exacts whatever terrible price he wanted. What makes this so stupid is that if a random peasant's child was an acceptable solution for George, then as King he had the power to make the same deal with the peasants that Rumpelstiltskin did, and could thus have avoided indebting himself to a demon.
    • When Emma asks Rumple what Hades' weakness is so they can defeat him, he asks "why should I tell you". He doesn't think that maybe he should tell her because Hades will kill him, his wife and his child and there's absolutely nothing he could do to stop him. This makes him appear incredibly stupid.

  • Leon Tao on Person of Interest has his number come up (meaning his life is in imminent danger) three times; all three have been for stealing from people who like to kill people who steal from them. Guy just can't seem to learn his lesson.
  • Power Rangers Dino Thunder: It was already established that the original team of Rangers were all massively protective of the people they protected, especially kids. Then Tommy Oliver became a teacher for the next generation of Rangers...who bad guys repeatedly tried to hurt. Small wonder Tommy eventually went Papa Wolf on their sorry rears.
  • Power Rangers RPM:
    • In the final episode, Venjix. After Gem and Gemma destroy the Control Tower's supports, it takes about 45 seconds for it to fall from the roof of the dome to the ground. He just stands directly under the tower, preparing for his demise, when all he needed to do was survive it was to simply move out of the way. It's rather unbelievable that this was the being that destroyed the Earth, yet he can't even see danger coming from a mile away.
    • Of course, this ends up being a Subverted Trope in the end, as Dr. K shuts the briefcase containing the Ranger Series morphers... with a familiar red glow emitting from Ranger Series Red's morpher, and with the Venjix leitmotif playing softly in the background.
    • Dr. K, a supposed child genius, painstakingly created a sentient computer program that she knew was capable of taking over large parts of cyber-space. Through various flashbacks, we see that she programmed it to hack the most sophisticated security in the world. When she unleashes this weapon in order to escape the government facility holding her, she doesn't put the safeguards necessary to keep it from spreading beyond her target until after the virus is already up and running (although this was partly due to her being interrupted). The resulting collateral damage, billions dead and a planet destroyed, are the result of her not having the foresight to take basic safety precautions or exercise common sense.
  • Pretty Little Liars:
    • Basically every decision they make dealing with A. Let's not tell the police about being stalked. Oh, look, they now have a video that could be evidence in a murder case, let's not make copies when they know A's been breaking into their homes and stealing their stuff.
    • All of them have taken another level in season 3, but Hanna has to take the cake. She's already a suspect in Maya's death. Naturally, she then proceeds to cut herself with Maya's knife and get her blood all over a bag of Maya's things.
  • Primeval: For a group of "scientists", the main cast are pretty confident they can go searching for potentially dangerous creatures with no military backup or weapons of their own.
  • Primeval: New World: There are a few minor characters who signed their own death warrant, but the cameraman from "Babes in the Woods" is the biggest example. When he finds an Ornitholestes, he doesn't alert anyone, call the cops, run away, or do anything else seemingly rational. He takes a picture of it. With the flash on. The Ornitholestes immediately disembowels him.
  • Prison Break: Veronica Donovan spends the first season being too dumb to live, culminating in walking alone straight into the house where the Vice President's secretly-alive brother is being held captive and ignoring him when he warns her not to use her cell phone. This doesn't end well.
  • The Punisher (2017): A ton of people know Frank Castle, what he is capable of, and they still think going after him or threaten him is a good idea. This may be justified if you are skilled assasin such as John Pilgrim, but if you're random mook, you're just asking for a quick death. Special mention goes to Anderson Schultz, who threatens Frank even after the latter killed all the man he threw at him during second series and therefore should well know how skilled Frank must be, but also his threats are actually recorded by Frank, which later allow him to blackmail Anderson with Engineered Public Confession, leading him to suicide.

  • The Red Green Show: Most of the cast suffers from this trope to some extent, but by far the best example is Bill. Whether it's pouring gasoline into a go-cart while the engine is still running, using his finger to test the sharpness of an axe, carrying chainsaws around in his coveralls, attempting to pole-vault off the roof of a moving vehicle, or sitting on a beanbag chair filled with propane and using a lit match to blow himself into the air to catch something that had drifted off into the sky, it's a miracle that Bill is not only still alive, but has all his limbs still intact.
  • Reno 911!: When Sheriff Chechekevitch is seemingly poisoned, the sheriff's department is investigating his death, chasing possible suspects. After an autopsy, the coroner informs everyone that he died from consuming peanuts (he was allergic). After some further investigation they found some surveillance of him buying a chocolate bar visibly loaded with peanuts from the vending machine.
    Junior: Okay, new theory. Sheriff Chechekevitch is a fucking idiot.
    Dangle: We kinda already knew that.
  • Rescue 911:
    • Sealant overdose. A kid huffs butane and scotch guard.
    • Three inexperienced cave divers explore a cave without training. Two survive.
  • Revolution:
    • In "No Quarter", the "well-trained" militia has just stepped out of a fatal battle where they got their ass handed to them by a lone sniper and tripwires and they proceed to walk right up to a choke point (a bridge) in a two-column formation with no scouting party, rear guard, or dedicated prisoner guard. Naturally, they get waylaid by a tripwire right next to the exploding bridge and lose the prisoner.
    • In "The Love Boat", Mr. Austin falls victim to this. After Grace Beaumont gets the Tower's elevator working again, he decides to handcuff her to a chair and go straight down to level 12, where he'll turn the power back on behind his boss Randall Flynn's back. He's going down the floors when it suddenly stops halfway. He thinks Grace is messing with him, and then the camera on the elevator mysteriously shuts down, and his death screams are heard. After a pause, the elevator goes right back up to the first floor and opens. The camera is angled so that we see the elevator walls coated with blood, but not who or what killed him.
  • Robin Hood: Kate. She abandons the outlaws in order to try and rescue her brother on her own. She tries to cut a deal with Guy of Gisborne. She blunders into fights without a weapon. She mouths-off at a tax collector. She refuses to follow Robin's (perfectly reasonable) orders. When an entire room full of outlaws, nobles, and castle guards are searching for Prince John's crown, she grabs it and begins waving it above her head, yelling: "I've got it! I've got it!" She interrupts a peaceful protest in order to scream abuse at the soldiers and dare them to kill her. She joins the outlaws despite having no useful skills whatsoever and doesn't show much interest in acquiring such skills either. (Like learning self-defense, or at least some medicine.) She wears an ankle-length dress in a forest. She's the only female character to survive the show! Gah!!
  • Rose Red: Joyce. She knew from the start that the house had killed nearly two dozen people before everyone learned to stay away from it. She, unlike the others, knew that it wasn't dead but simply sleeping. She deliberately brought along multiple psychics for the express purpose of waking it up. Really, what happened to her in the house wasn't so much murder as much as assisted suicide.

  • One of the most famous skits from the first season of Saturday Night Live was a routine called "landshark", a parody of the movie Jaws. In the skit, a walking land-based shark convinces women to let him into their apartments so he can eat them by telling a series of Blatant Lies, such as claiming to be a plumber or flower deliveryman. Whenever one of these claims is insufficient to convince the intended victim to open the door, the landshark simply switches to a different lie until eventually he finds one the woman considers acceptable and allows entry. One time, he convinced a woman to let him in by claiming to be a dolphin. Another time, in the middle of a radio news broadcast warning about the dangers of the landshark, he eats the newscaster and finishes the broadcast himself, claiming the best thing to do when a landshark shows up is to simply let him in the door and "make him feel at home". Naturally the woman listening to the broadcast complies with this advice.
  • Scrubs:
    • A sub-plot in the episode "My Big Mouth" has a patient named Mr. Hogan, who just keeps eating meat after J.D. and Carla repeatedly warn him that doing so will potentially kill him, and ends up hospitalized at Sacred Heart no less than four times over the course of the episode. After the fourth time, Carla is just about ready to give up on him and let nature take its course.
  • The Seinfeld cast all have their moments, but Elaine takes the cake in "The Frogger" when she follows up a memorable I Ate WHAT?! moment—sneaking a bite of cake out of her boss J. Peterman's fridge only to find out that what she tasted was a $29,000 slice of royal wedding cake from the 1930s—by finishing off the rest of the slice when she goes back to hide the evidence. She spends the rest of the episode trying to cover for the loss of the expensive item, but as Peterman points out, that's probably the least of her problems:
    Peterman: ...Do you know what happens to a butter-based frosting after six decades in a poorly-ventilated English basement?
    Elaine: ...Uh...I—I guess I hadn't...
    Peterman: Well, I have a feeling what you are about to go through is punishment enough. (Oh, Crap! look from Elaine.) Dismissed!
  • Sherlock:
  • The Shield: Shane Vendrell. He put his and his entire corrupt team's necks on the line due to his attempts to work the system like his mentor, Vic Mackey. Never mind that twice, those schemes have cost innocent lives and given the worse guys reams of blackmail material. Oh, and he killed teammate Lem because he was afraid Lem was going to rat them out to the Feds. Never mind that they were making plans to sneak Lem to Mexico.
  • Smallville:
    • Basically everyone at one point or another, but especially Lana Lang. (Honestly; going swimming, after dark, in the school pool, in Smallville?) One of Robert Anson Heinlein's sayings by way of his longest-lived character fits her perfectly: "Live and Learn. Or you won't live long." (The interested can look it up in The Notebooks of Lazarus Long.
    • Jimmy as well.
  • The Sopranos: After Vito gets brutally murdered by Phil Leotardo for being gay, one of Phil's men, Fat Dom, goes to visit Silvio and Carlo, who were Vito's crew members, to apparently show sympathy for the death... only to start making crude jokes that imply they were involved in gay sex with him. Guess what happens.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • Senator Kinsey in the first season is an interesting case. At first in his episode, he looks like a Living Lampshade, pointing every trope the series uses against the Stargate Program, then he suddenly becomes Too Dumb to Live when he openly states that even if the Goa'uld do get to Earth, God will not let anything happen to America.
    • The Goa'uld themselves epitomize being Too Dumb to Live. With a minimal amount of coordination and planning, they could've pounded the Earth to dust in 36.4 seconds, but instead for the early part of the series they apparently decided to condescendingly believe the Tau'ri were simply no threat them... no matter how many times SG-1 personally served them their asses. When it did finally dawn on them that maybe, just maybe, these feeble humans and their reverse-engineering capabilities, nuclear weapons, and special forces training might actually be a threat... the Asgard stepped in and made them sign a Protected Planets Treaty — which is actually a big bluff, as the Asgard are too tied up fighting the Replicators to enforce it — which ended any hope of a direct assault against Earth, and gave Earth time to start building better weapons, discover the Ancients' base in Antarctica, and build actual starships. Dumbasses for sure.
    • SG-1 and the Stargate program get passed the Idiot Ball a fair bit too. Perfect example is with Big Bad Adria — they had an episode where she had lost her powers and they were standing at the top of a really tall cliff. So what does Daniel do? He lectures her and then does exactly what she wants. One episode they had her and Ba'al in the same body. Shoot them? Nah! We'll try and take over Adria's body too until she gains back her powers and... well, Hilarity does not Ensue. Ba'al's request that SG-1 find all his clones and gather them in the same room is another example of Too Dumb to Live — big surprise, Ba'al was only out to help himself like the last million times.
    • And anyone who doesn't guard their stargate. Which most people don't. You don't need a fancy Taur'i-style iris. A few ordinary soldiers will do. Even a child with a loud voice could have foiled SG-1's plans many times if he'd just been in the gateroom. It's not like the owners of these stargates don't know an enemy could step through at any time. Or like they don't have soldiers to spare.
    • And the time that a beautiful, strangely-dressed woman turned up at the entrance to the secret base, talking weird. Despite all obvious evidence shrieking at them, they failed to notice she was a Go'auld and arranged for the top brass of the base to meet with her alone, then were surprised when she drugged them into doing her bidding.
  • Stargate Universe: Chloe Armstrong seems to be taking up this mantle. Frankly, if you hear a noise, investigate it, see the ceiling above you (mind you, this is on a spaceship) being cut through with a laser, and don't even have the common sense to run, you deserve what happens next. Abducted by aliens, in case you were wondering.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series:
    • One Girl of the Week had a guy obviously in love with her who was Too Dumb to Live. Given that said girl had to spend four years on Vulcan to retain her sanity, I'm sure trying to make her feel strong emotions is a wonderful idea! Oh, and what better way to get a girl to like you than by ruining her career by murdering the ambassador she's accompanying? The ambassador is an Eldritch Abomination the mere sight of which can make humans go mad. Just walk up, look it straight in the whatever-seeing-organs-it-possesses, and kill it. What could possibly go wrong?
    • Almost every Red Shirt on Star Trek: The Original Series seems Too Dumb to Live in a way. (Except in the cases where their deaths were the direct result of the orders or actions of a superior officer.) To expand on the example, let's examine just how well Starfleet Landing Parties/Away Teams are designed to kill the men and women assigned to them: They carry no protective gear of any kind (helmet, armour, gas mask, etc), no emergency food or drink, no misc survival equipment such as a knife or stove, no emergency shelter, no storage capability beyond a small belt, refuse to change out of their thin brightly coloured uniforms into anything resembling camouflaged and/or practical wear, and they never ever carry a back-up communicator/combadge despite it constantly being broken or lost.
    • Special mention to the redshirt in "Friday's Child", who opens negotiations with the native people by spotting, and shouting, "A KLINGON!" and drawing a gun on the man. Even if he'd not been briefed on local customs, "don't shoot the guests" is a fairly basic rule, so the knife to the chest should not have been a surprise.
    • "Ass" in Ambassador Fox from "A Taste of Armageddon". Eminiar 7's council leader Anan has captured Kirk and his party, lies through his teeth to Scotty, and then fires on the Enterprise (and does no damage because our heroes are on the ball and have the Deflector Shields up). He then claims that it was all a misunderstanding and invites Fox down for negotiations (which is actually a trick, as he plans to destroy the Enterprise once her shields are down). Fox utterly falls for it and orders Scotty to lower the shields, refusing to consider that it might be a trick. When Scotty proves himself too sensible to be fooled, Fox and his aide beam down anyway (through the shields, somehow) and are promptly captured and taken for execution. The only reason he doesn't end up dead is that Spock shows up and saves him.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    • Tasha Yar frequently loses her temper with great potential for lethal results, including screaming at Q until he freezes her. Could be argued that her stupidity is what finally got her killed.
    • When someone is hurt, Dr. Crusher is prone to just run right up to them and start administering treatment, WITHOUT bothering to take simple precautions like scanning the area for hostiles, toxins, and so forth, or just beaming the person and herself directly to the ship right at the beginning. This tendency has gotten her kidnapped and/or nearly killed several times.
    • There was an inversion in which an alien was too dumb to die. He attempted a Thanatos Gambit by shooting himself with Riker's phaser in order to frame Riker for his murder. There were a couple of holes in his story: Riker was near death at the time of the supposed murder and Crusher could tell from the angle of the blast that the shot was self-inflicted. On top of that, his suicide attempt failed because he didn't know how the Federation's phasers worked and shot himself with the phaser set to stun.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    • Red Squad ends up on a Defiant-class ship behind enemy lines during a training mission, and the actual officers are promptly killed, leaving the cadets in command. The ranking cadet, naturally, decides they should just run the ship themselves, despite having ample opportunities to get home. While this in itself is dumb, he later decides to pull a David Versus Goliath against a new type of Dominion battleship. Never mind that even getting close enough to potentially succeed was a one-way trip, he doesn't even seem ready to give up after the plan fails. Predictably, they all die.
      • Even worse, the decision to engage the Dominion battleship goes directly against the mission's standing orders, which were to gather intelligence on the new design and return with them, rather than to confront the enemy. Jake Sisko deserves stupidity points for not using this argument when attempting to talk Acting Captain Redshirt out of the self-assigned suicide mission.note 
      • Ensign Nog (and the Red Squad "CO") gets even more Too Dumb to Live bonus points for not recognizing that an Ensign outranks a Cadet (Acting Commander) when the officer by whose authority the cadet has been acting is deceased, or otherwise removed from the chain of command. (Although to be fair, there was a whole shipload of cadets and only one of him; with the mindset they were in, would they even have listened to him?)
    • Two people were fighting in front of a group of armed, angry Klingons. The first accused the second of being a shapeshifter, with whom the Klingons were at war. The second then shapeshifted his arm to choke the first, promptly getting shot and destroyed by all the Klingons, thus spoiling a year-long undercover operation.
      • Justified in this case. Klingons take accusations very seriously, with their legal system bordering on "guilty until proven innocent." Knowing there was no way out, the changeling likely tried to take Odo with him.
    • When a couple of powerful dissidents escape Cardassia and hide out on DS9, Gul Toran is dispatched to execute them. He tries to manipulate Garak into assassinating the dissidents on his behalf. Although Garak doesn't want them to die, when Gul Toran tells him the Central Command will end his exile if he does it, he agrees. Toran was fully aware that Garak had been one of the most dangerous secret agents in the whole of Cardassia before his exile. Despite this, when Garak (reluctantly) captures the dissidents (and Quark who was helping them), Gul Toran intervenes so he can kill them and take the credit and taunts Garak to his face that Garak's exile will never end. To the surprise of no one except him, Toran's remaining life is measured in seconds.
    • Garak himself, while extremely clever in matters of espionage and deception, has a serious problem with his mouth, namely, he tends to run it in the most inadvisable circumstances. More than once, when a group of people who are clearly spoiling for a fight approach him, he puts on his most punchable smile and delivers a barbed comment. It never quite gets him killed, but it definitely gives him an interesting medical history, reaching its zenith when his Mirror Universe doppelganger mouths off to a Klingon who is currently stabbing him.
  • Star Trek: Voyager:
    • Seven of Nine's parents. A pair of scientists who plan to study the Borg by sneaking onto Borg Cubes. This could be considered TDTL all on its own, but they also bring their young daughter along with them on their expedition. The Doctor actually gives this a Lampshade Hanging by expressing his disgust over their blatant disregard for their daughter's well-being by bringing her along on such a dangerously idiotic quest, and Seven herself also blames her parents for the fact that she was "raised" by the Borg.
    • Also, the Borg themselves could arguably be considered Too Dumb to Live. Namely because of their tendency to ignore intruders on their starships until the intruders go out of their way to present an obvious threat (such as by shooting a drone). Of course, this makes it absurdly easy for Star Fleet officers to do stuff like wander right into the very heart of Borg ships, plant a bunch of high explosives, steal valuable Borg technology, and beam safely out. Especially impressive in "Unimatrix Zero", when the Borg Queen adopts the policy that when it comes to a handful of renegade drones on any given ship, she should blow up the entire ship because It's the Only Way to Be Sure.
    • And therefore, any Star Trek captain who fights Borg ship-to-ship (the Borg have repeatedly been demonstrated as invincible that way) instead of just asking nicely if they might beam over, and then setting a bomb and then beaming out.
    • Neelix has a remarkable gift for doing suicidally stupid things, then surviving because the universe hates the crew of Voyager enough to continue inflicting Neelix upon them. In "Twisted", for example, his reaction when the ship is being distorted and rearranged so that nobody has any idea where any given corridor leads, with no detectable way to escape is to bumble around the corner in complete disregard of the buddy system and disappear. While it doesn't get him killed, it does come close more than once: he nearly gets himself and Torres killed by disregarding climbing safety, and had his lungs stolen by Vidiians by wandering around a cave instead of sticking with the groups.
    • In "Live Fast and Prosper," Tom and Neelix help a trio of religious clerics onto their ship to give supplies to help orphans. The "clerics" are actually con artists who use the info from the ship to impersonate Janeway and Tuvok for various scams. Tom and Neelix are kicking themselves on how they could have fallen for such an obvious scam.
    Neelix: Orphans! That's the oldest gambit in the book!
    Tom: If it was Harry, I could understand it. He trusts everyone. But you and me?
  • Star Trek: Discovery: In the fourth episode, security chief Landry demonstrates a complete failure to understand the basic research process by scolding Burnham for studying the whole of the tardigrade monster rather than focusing on what could weaponize it, as though it has neatly-labeled parts inside its body. Then, after hearing a broadcast from a colony under attack, Landry shoves Burnham aside and attempts to sedate the creature so that she can "rip a claw off to be analyzed." She completely ignores Burnham's repeated warnings that phasers can't hurt it (which Landry has already seen for herself) and that they have no idea if the sedative will even work, but Landry releases it into the lab anyway and starts blasting. She is promptly mauled to death.
  • Supernatural:
    • Numerous victims of the week die in ways that can be considered Darwinism taking its course.
    • Perhaps the ultimate example comes in the Season 10 finale. Death, as in The Grim Reaper, is a nigh-omnipotent force who can only be killed by his scythe, which can kill anything. He wants Dean to kill his younger brother, Sam. Both Dean and Sam are humans. He could give them guns, knives, anything mundane to do such a deed or even kill Sam himself. Instead, he hands Dean his scythe and is actually surprised when Dean kills him with it, instead of his brother.
  • Survivor:
    • The entire cast of Samoa, with the exceptions of Russell Hantz, Brett, Natalie, Marisa, and Betsy. They never learned to keep an eye on the idol-hunting Russell, repeatedly changed their votes, didn't think that maybe the minority tribe might actually have a hidden immunity idol in their grasp, or that they're actually a tight-knit alliance. (Hm, we have an 8-4 majority...let's ignore them and take out our own, first!) Perhaps most egregiously, members of the Galu tribe were practically shown a map to the Hidden Immunity Idol...and they didn't look for it. Really? Russell had just played two hidden immunity idols...yes, let's just stand there! Marisa and Betsy were voted out because they weren't Too Dumb to Live (Russell Hantz said that he went after them first because he knew those two could beat him), Natalie realized what was going on and feigned stupidity and Brett merely kept his mouth shut while everyone else got themselves voted out.
    • James had two hidden Immunity Idols. At that point in the game, he had a free pass to the final five (The rules were changed after the Idol was a Game-Breaker in Cook Islands). What does he do? Not play the idol.
    • Yes, J.T - give the idol to Russell Hantz. Maybe he's on the wrong side of an Amazon Brigade. Whoops!
    • Let's see, Erik is on the wrong side of an all-female alliance. What does he do? Give up the immunity to one of them. Great move.
    • Phillip manages to actually become too honest and flat out spilled everything going on at the first tribal council. It's amazing he's still around!
      • Of note, he claims to just be Obfuscating Stupidity. Considering he's got a plan to make it into the finals. And it's working. As it hasn't killed him yet, and moreover may have actually helped him, this is more of a What an Idiot! moment.
    • And in Redemption Island, Russell Hantz comes back for the third time. He doesn't have the advantage of being a newcomer/not having any of the other players view Samoa like he did the previous times. So now everybody knows his game and has finally learned to keep an eye on him and watch out for his harem. Russell then tells them he's playing the game differently... only to assemble his usual harem and hunt for the idol without even making sure he wasn't in plain sight or being tailed by people who want his ass gone. Then he tried to ask someone to flip and vote out someone who is physically strong while making them become a third wheel in the alliance. (Oh yes, you're going to take her to the finals? When you already have two people with you, there can only be three in the finals? No Shambo here. And no Natalie W or Parvati, either.) Amazing - one of the most Manipulative Bastard types in the game who is often considered the best fitting in this category? The Galu tribe probably got a great big hoot out of that.
      • And one of his girls, Stephanie, intentionally proceeded to put a huge target on her back. She's already in the minority because almost everyone else wants Russell Hantz gone, knowing how good he is at the game (and that the producers will forget about everyone else.) So what do you do? Say that everyone else will backstab each other and that Russell wouldn't... Uh, Stephanie? Claiming a guy who wantonly bullied and betrayed his way through two seasons in a row is not going to backstab anyone? There's a reason they threw that challenge (which wasn't too bright, either).
    • The Ometepe somehow managed to outdo the cast of Samoa in terms of pure stupidity and Reality Show Genre Blindness. You're put on a show with someone who is one of the most famous players. What do you do? Only Kristina and Francesca had the insight to get him out ASAP, while everyone else shut off their brains, voted out the only people who knew Rob could win the whole thing, and practically handed Rob the million. Much to the fandom's displeasure.
    • The South Pacific season had two glaring examples:
      • Cochran and Christine are the outcasts of their respective tribes. Christine has made it perfectly clear she's ready to jump to the Savaii side to get back at the Upolu. Problem: the Savaii side has made a Butt-Monkey of the little nerd, making him wonder whether he's better off on the Upolu. Easy decision, right? If those two face off for the duel, the Savaii could wind up with the upper hand and sweep out the Upolu. The Disaster Dominoes begin when Ozzy has this insane vision and asks to be sent to the duel against Christine. The icing on the cake is the re-vote at the first merged Tribal Council, where Cochran does what Christine wouldn't have hesitated to do. Guess who gets swept out.
      • Oh, and then there's Brandon Hantz. Wins immunity with only a few players remaining. Erik Reichenbach probably got a good laugh out of what happened next.
    • Sure, Manono, hand tribal immunity over to the women! That's right: TRIBAL IMMUNITY. You know what happens next.
    • Oh sure, Spencer, blackmailing Jeremy to have be in the final three in front of the jury in Survivor: Cambodia ended working out in perfectly. Slightly subverted when he does realize what did in the Final Tribal Council but it was too late for him to do anything then.
    • From Kaoh Rong-
      • Jennifer was the swing vote at upcoming tribal council and she went out to tell everybody that at tribal council. This causes Jason and Scot to be so upset at them that they voted against her.
      • According to the exit interview Nick did in Rob Has a Podcast, Michelle told him that he was getting voted out by Joe and the girls but never ended up talking to them about it and he only talks to Jason and Scot believing it was a misunderstanding.
      • When Jason found himself at the bottom of the tribal council, he may zero effort to campaign for somebody else to go home and instead he decides to wait until somebody comes to him with a plan. And when Tai comes to him with a plan to vote out for Michele, he didn't try to convince somebody to vote her out and he didn't even write her name down as he voted for Joe out of all people.
    • From Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X
      • Taylor somehow thought it was a good idea to admit that he stole food from camp in front of eleven starving people on the island. The episode after he got voted out had people lampshade the stupidity of that.
      • Lucy ended up telling Ken and David that Jessica is going to get voted out and they should not talk to anybody else in this game. This made both of the men feel like they are on the bottom of their tribe causing David to play his idol on Jessica sending Lucy home.
      • Paul told Jessica, Sunday, and Lucy to their faces that if the men did want to stick together, he'd tell them "good luck girls, you're on your own". Jessica, Sunday, and Lucy all decided to go with David, Ken, and Cece to vote him out of the game because of that.
      • Narrowly averted with Jessica in Episode 4 and Adam in Episode 8/9 as the former could not believe that her allies wanted to blindside from the game despite her allies previously blindsiding Paul in the last vote only to be saved by David's idol play and the latter attempted to work with Taylor who told about wanting to vote out Will aka one of Taylor's allies and his reward steal advantage despite Adam previously voting out his girlfriend.

  • Teen Wolf:
    • By default, anyone who doesn't watch their step, with there being at least one serial killer throughout each season. Special mention goes to Scott and Stiles:
    • Half of Derek's conversations with them start with something like "You idiot! You could have gotten yourselves (and me) killed!".
      • Hell, Scott got the bite because he and Stiles were looking for the body of a woman that had been cut in half. They were deep in the woods before it occurred to them that the killer MIGHT still be prowling around. It is. It finds Scott...
      • And Stiles uses this very reasoning to explain why Scott should listen to him.
        Stiles: How about I’m always right, and you should never disagree with me ever, ever for the sake of your wolflihood.
    • Lydia went to the lacrosse field alone at night when there had been a multitude of 'animal attacks' in town, to the point where there even was a police-enforced curfew. Yet she goes to look for Jackson in a place where no one was likely to hear her scream for help. Little surprise that she gets attacked by Peter.
  • Time Commanders: Horse archers go in front! Do something about their horse-archers! NO, DON'T CHARGE THEM WITH HEAVY CAV!
  • True Blood: There really must be a God, and He must love these people a lot.
    • Sookie, oh Sookie... She is just a little over eager to associate with people who want to eat her, although that might just be a Death Seeker thing. How about getting the upper hand on a guy who wants to kill her by whacking him with her (unloaded) shotgun...and then, instead of loading the gun or hitting him again, running away. And tossing her only weapon into the bushes as she goes.
    • Bill fits here too. At the end of series one, when Sookie has been captured by the serial killer (Arlene's boyfriend Rene), he pulls himself out of the ground in broad daylight to go rescue her. He's a vampire- what exactly does he think will happen?
    • Marnie, a medium channeling a necromancer with power over the dead (i.e. vampires) has gotten the best of Eric Northman, a very old and strong vampire. So what does his child, Pam, do? Why, she blusters and threatens this witch, and when that goes about as you might expect, she tries a frontal attack.
    • See Roy, Marnie's toady. When Bill is poised to shoot her, Roy steps in front and declares that they'll have to go through him. They do.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959):
    • "The Jeopardy Room" features a sadistic Commissar who traps a rebel defector in a room with a hidden bomb and gives him three hours to find it - or die. The bomb is in a phone and will only go off if someone calls the line and then someone lifts the receiver. The Commissar explains this to his sharpshooter, and near the end of the three hours calls the line. The rebel thinks twice, doesn't pick up, and escapes. Then the Commissar and the idiot sharpshooter go into the same room and are discussing their "worthy adversary." The rebel calls the room and both the Commissar and the shooter are killed when the idiot shooter picks up the phone he knows has a bomb in it.
    • "The Old Man In The Cave" features a post-Apocalyptic settlement. The mayor, Mr Goldsmith, is advised by an unseen old man in a cave who analyzes the edibility and potability of their supplies. While the townspeople have food, water, and liquor, they are running desperately short on viable consumables. A group of military men, representing the remnants of the US government, show up to take control of the town, and are immediately skeptical of the old man and Goldsmith, and their pronouncements of the tainted supplies. After conflicting with the military men, and pressure from the townspeople who are tired of surviving miserably rather than "living", Goldsmith eventually, reluctantly, agrees to give up the old man, who turns out to be a computer that's been analyzing the supplies. The soldiers whip the crowd into a frenzy, and they destroy the computer, and the lead military man announces that the people are now free from the control of the computer, and leads the town in a massive celebration, ignoring the computer's analysis. By the time morning comes, the whole town is dead from radiation poisoning, except Goldsmith, who abstained.

  • V: The Original Miniseries: Robin Maxwell first wanders out of hiding, to be discovered by collaborator Daniel, which leads to the Maxwells having to move, Daniel's parents being arrested, and his grandfather being killed. Having learned nothing, she leaves hiding again, this time getting captured by the Visitors, which leads to the Resistance camp being attacked and her mother being killed. Not to mention actually falling for one of the Visitors' sweet talk — very dumb, even if it did lead to a useful Half-Human Hybrid. In the series that followed the mini-series, Robin passed this trait on to her daughter, Elizabeth.
  • The Vampire Diaries:
    • In S3, vampire Caroline has been imprisoned in a dark cell and manacled to a chair by her estranged father. And if that wasn't enough, a debilitating vervain gas has been pumped into the cell to further weaken her and she's been starved of blood. Dad asks how she is able to walk in sunlight without harm. Caroline...tells him. Honestly, is anyone surprised by what happens next? He opens a metal plate covering a window and begins torturing her with sunlight. Possibly a Justified Trope; she doesn't seem to believe yet that her beloved father might actually hurt her. There's also that time where instead of using her ya know, supernatural speed to run from a recently turned Super Vampire Alaric she decides to use her car. It's no surprise that she dropped the keys and got captured.
    • Jeremy as well, especially in 02x10. Arguably also Love Makes You Dumb.
    • Tyler's attempts to take out Klaus even tough he knows the guy is a lot stronger and more powerful than him, as well as vengeful and holds grudges like no else, can be considered as this.
    • In season 4, Rebekah drunk the supposed cure in front of a vampire who hates her guts and wouldn't waste a minute before killing her, which he tried, but luckily it was a fake.
    • The entire Gemini coven somehow decides that the members of the cover who are twins (hence the name) must use a magic ritual to merge with each other and thus kill one or the other, and whoever survives will be the leader. Not only is there no guarantee that the twins would be willing to perform said ritual or that said survivor would be competent to lead in the first place, they set this system up so that the entire coven dies if said leader does before the next batch of twins have merged.

  • The Walking Dead:
    • In a series where quite a few people have met their end through their own stupidity or inattentiveness, Andrea must take the prize. If she had just stopped talking for five seconds she would have escaped her captivity and killed the recently resurrected Milton before he ate her. That is literally all the time she needed. Instead, she just kept twittering away about stuff that was extremely irrelevant at that point in time (such as Milton's expired friendship with the Governor) or pausing to gaze reflectively into the distance whilst slowwwwwly working at her binds.
    • Lizzie in the fourth season is a kid who believes that the walkers are misunderstood and attempts to feed and "play" with them. She eventually kills her younger sister in the belief that she will come back as a friendly zombie and prove to the adults that the living and undead can live together in harmony. Carol is forced to execute her as this level of idiocy makes her a total liability. It is implied that there may be an element of mental illness to her poor decisions though.
    • Rick opts to let Carter, one of the Alexandrians, live after foiling Carter's laughably underthought plot to kill him. This, he explains darkly, was not motivated by mercy; he just figured Carter was too stupid and weak to survive much longer anyway. (He is quickly proven correct.)
    • The many many survivors who decide it's a good idea to wander off alone in a world where twisting an ankle or a moment of inattention can get you killed.
    • Rick and the Alexandrians deciding to take on the Saviours without bothering ton find out where they live or how many of them are there.
    • Walkers have a limited range for their primary weapon (biting)and their secondary weapon (clawing and scratching)so the survivors decide that the best way to handle them (since ammo is low and guns are noisy) is close contact with knives.
  • The Wire: Lots of examples, but one of the strongest examples is in Season 1. Wallace, a teenage low-level drug dealer, talks to police about the murder of Brandon. He tells the police that Stringer Bell was responsible. In exchange, he's given witness protection and relocated to his grandparents' house in another state. Stinger Bell finds out and sends Wallace's drug dealing partners and friends, Bodie and Poot, to silence him. Instead, they let him go and promise each other to tell Stringer Bell they can't find him. Stringer Bell, himself, was more concerned with other matters, so he pretty much forgets about Wallace. So what does Wallace do? Before even getting settled in his grandparents' house, he leaves and goes back to the Barksdale corners to reunite with his friends. Now afraid Stringer Bell might find out he was lied to, Bodie and Poot have no choice but to kill him, which they do in a heartbreaking scene.
  • In the final episode of Wolf Hall, Mark Smeaton is bitter after Anne Boleyn publicly puts him down, and claims to Thomas Cromwell that they've had an affair to show that lowborn guys like him can seduce queens. Admitting such a thing is treason already, but Cromwell has been looking for a way to build a case against Anne—which Smeaton doesn't realize until the doors lock behind him. By the time Cromwell and his apprentices are done terrifying him, Smeaton has named every man in court as a lover of Anne's, and Cromwell cherrypicks his enemies off the list. (It's also clear that Cromwell knows Smeaton was lying about sleeping with Anne.)
  • World's Dumbest...: TruTV's show. The comedians commenting over the stupidity of each episode's subject matter [dumbest criminals, drivers, partiers, brawlers, competitions, daredevils, hillbillies] also makes the entire series one great big Funny Moment.
  • On Wynonna Earp, residents of Purgatory are turning up dead with their brains missing. It's the work of a genie whose current owner was savvy enough to figure out a way to wish for infinite wishes. He then uses her to...make everyone in town frantic for Trivia Night so he can see who's the smartest at it and then eat their brains to increase his own intellect. As it turns out, feasting on uncooked human brains is not a healthy thing to do and the guy ends dying of several diseases.
    • Wynona lampshades the two key flaws in this plan: First, that winning a trivia contest is not proof of one's intelligence; and second, that it never occurred to the guy to use the genie to simply wish himself smarter.

  • The X-Files:
    • Agent Mulder, several times during the run. It's a miracle he only died twice in the nine years the show was on the air. In possibly the worst example, he learns that there are shapeshifters who are immune to gunshots and other conventional attacks and whose blood releases a toxic gas when exposed to air. Later in the same two-parter, he handcuffs himself to a suspect, who then changes to look like someone else. Mulder's response? He shoots him!
    • Also, anyone who tries to separate Mulder and Scully to get them to do something. Seriously, it happens at least once a season. Since "someone is always watching", shouldn't they know that it doesn't work? Do they all have a death wish?! You would think after a few times of it just inciting bloodshed rather than cooperation, they'd find another tactic.

  • The Young Ones:
    • The entire cast of the British comedy falls into this trope. The amount they don't know, and then the amount they presume to know, boggles the mind, but it's all harmless fun. Watching them try to sell a nuke to Libyan dictators was especially hilarious.
      Vyvyan: (hits bomb) Why won't it go off, Mike?
    • Luckily for them, they never permanently die. The permanence of their deaths in the series finale is debatable, though.


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