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Too Dumb To Live / Western Animation

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Get your toast out with a fork? It’s not a good idea there, Donald.

  • Æon Flux: Aeon Flux is a literal case. Every time she's killed in the original shorts, it's either the direct result of her own stupid mistakes or because of some Necro Non Sequitur. (Of course, the fact that she's killed so often is a satire of the invincible hero in more typical action fiction.)
  • Adventure Time:
    • In the episode "The Limit", we meet the Hot Dog Knights, who are described by their own princess as being slow. When two of them (along with our heroes) are granted wishes:
      Finn: Okay, so you guys should wish to get your buddies back right?
      Hot Dog Knight 1: I wish for a box! [a cardboard box appears] Sweeeet!
      Hot Dog Knight 2: I wish to blow up! ...I mean get big! *BOOM!*
      Finn: Wow, you guys are really stupid.
      Hot Dog Knight 1: What do you mean?
    • In the episode "All Your Fault", Lemongrab and his clone have turned all of the food that Princess Bubblegum has supplied them into living beings, then when Finn and Jake give them seeds to regrow their crops, they bring those to life as well, so they continue to blame PB for their suffering and send their largest creation to attack the Candy Kingdom. Had PB not erased the life-bringing formula from their brains at the end of the episode, the Lemon Kingdom's population would be wiped out and the Candy Kingdom would be in rubble.
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    • In "From Bad to Worse", the candy people are turned into zombies and eventually infect Jake. Jake then seals himself in a "sciency shower" to prevent himself from infecting Finn and Lady Rainicorn. Finn and Jake both tell Rainicorn not to let him out of the shower. Care to take a guess what she does?
    • "Hot to the Touch" demonstrates that, while Flame Princess is very powerful, she is not a very smart combatant. At one point, she ambushes Finn and Jake... and literally announces out loud "I am ambushing you!" If Finn actually wanted her dead (which he didn't), she most likely would be at that point. In fact, Flame Princess' strategy often involves being a Leeroy Jenkins, as demonstrated in "Vault of Bones", as she finds strategizing boring.
  • In Aladdin: The Series Jasmine is this in the episode "When Chaos Comes Calling" where she orders Chaos, a god-like being shown to be more powerful than Mirage (who herself is a powerful evil elemental capable of wiping Agrabah easily off the map without the heroes saving the day) to stop causing madness around the palace during a royal guest meeting. Although Chaos looks like a harmless silly blue cat with wings, Genie had explicitly warned her not to make him mad as he had "more power in his whisker than a palace full of Genies" and could grant his own wishes. To no-one's surprise, Chaos does not take being ordered around well and shrinks her to the size of an ant right under Aladdin's feet, who unknowingly endangers her life. Fortunately, she is brought back to full size due to Chaos' love for unpredictability. Jasmine should really have known better than to order around a trickster deity.
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  • All Hail King Julien features the title character in addition to practically his entire kingdom. An evil ex-king is able to trick Julien into holding an election, and even when he admits to being evil, he is still able to convince the kingdom to vote for him with meaningless platitudes.
  • On American Dad!, Klaus claims to have invented the high-five, contrary to the belief that it was invented by Glenn Burke and Dusty Baker. As it turns out, Baker took the credit as revenge against Klaus and now seeks to take what little Klaus has left that he doesn't, which includes his German accent, the fact that he's a fish, which Baker achieves by wearing a fish costume in a giant fishbowl, and his ability to breathe underwater. He goes underwater with no diving equipment and drowns immediately.
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force:
    • While most of the cast qualifies for the Idiot Ball in some form, no one exemplifies Too Dumb to Live as well as Master Shake. Indeed, Shake repeatedly dies in many episodes (continuity is non-existent on the show), usually by his own stupidity. He has sliced himself in half with a katana, eaten a sandwich that he knew would send him to a hell dimension where an axe-wielding cyclops awaited to slice his head open, and has gone as far as committing suicide to ruin Meatwad's Ouija video game.
    • Another sterling example of Too Dumb to Live is an episode where the Mooninites (usually actually fairly competent by the show's standards) are menaced by a monster that wants to eradicate them, and instead of doing anything to stop this, use it as the basis for a pyramid scheme. At the same time as The Reveal that the monster was real, one of them gets a Karmic Death for his stupidity and Jerkassness when it squashes him, while he's trying to enroll it into the pyramid scheme. Truly epic instance of the Idiot Ball.
    • Shake once accidentally killed himself by eating a scorpion. He did so because Meatwad told Shake "I'll eat it. If you eat it." This was after Shake had stuck his hand into a beehive, with the intention of the bee's venom making his hands larger, enabling him to play guitar better.
  • Archer:
    • Cheryl Tunt nearly kills herself in "The Double Deuce" because Pam suggested it and only stops because dying would keep her from cashing in on the tontine. In "Crossing Over", she hooks up with Barry and asks him to strangle her.
    • Later, Pam eats tofu shellfish while at an all-you-can-eat buffet, despite the fact that she is fatally allergic to it. When told that she should stop eating, she keeps doing it. Later, she tries to con the Yakuza into buying counterfeit money for amphetamines. Instead of trying to sell the drugs, she just eats them.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: The (stunningly naïve) Earth King: fresh from having his Evil Chancellor exposed as having deceived and manipulated him for years, he happily explains to the newly-arrived Kyoshi Warriors about the Day of the Black Sun invasion plan. Yes, they had a glowing endorsement from the Gaang, but even if the Warriors weren't actually Azula and her sidekicks in disguise, The Earth King just openly blabbed about a major, secret military operation to a group of warriors he'd met literally seconds ago. And yes, this bites the good guys in the ass in a big way, later. Especially as the King clearly didn't bother telling them that the enemy knew because of him.
  • The Backyardigans: Uniqua in the episode "Monster Detectives". The plot of the whole episode is Uniqua keeps breaking most of Detective Tyrone's rules while they look for the soccer monster. Despite Tyrone trying to get Uniqua to be serious and trying to be quiet so the Soccer Monster doesn't find it, she eventually is too curious to even bother looking for the Soccer Monster. For example, Uniqua saw and looked at the 4 trophies and eventually another trophy with Pablo on it, causing Tyrone to firmly snap at her, "Don't touch ANYTHING". This can prove that Uniqua, being the Cheerful Child she is, may be a ditz sometimes, but mostly, it's all in good pleasure. It is justified, being that Uniqua is, 1: a curious little kid, 2: this IS a kid show, and 3: she doesn't know better. Poor Uniqua though..... And also, she gets turned into a Soccer Monster along with Tyrone himself. This happens to be a rare occurrence in a preschool show.
  • Beavis and Butt-Head :
    • Beavis in the case of an It's a Wonderful Life pastiche, in which Beavis evidently turns out to be reasonably normal without Butt-Head's presence. (He finds Butt-Head's description of the real-world Beavis hilarious though.)
      Beavis: What's a bunghole?
      Butt-Head: You're a bunghole, bunghole!
    • There's even one episode where they forget how to pee.
    • In a wood shop class, Beavis cut his finger off with a table saw. It wasn't by accident when he and Butt-Head decided to slice up random things from around the classroom with the saw, it was because he just felt like touching the saw. And when it reattached, he picks his nose with it and it falls off again.
    • Butt-head once got stuck after crawling inside a pipe. After taking the entire episode to get him unstuck (eventually having to resort to a rescue crew), Beavis went and got himself stuck in the same pipe.
    • In one of the revival episodes, Beavis tries to photocopy his butt, only to break the screen and get stuck. After eventually being freed, Butt-Head suggests he photocopy his butt so they can see the damage done. Beavis immediately does and it gets stuck again.
    • If they weren't Made of Iron, they would be dead.
  • Ben 10:
  • Batman: The Animated Series:
    • In "Mad as a Hatter", the Mad Hatter takes his secretary out on the town after a breakup. Somehow she fails to notice that everyone serving them has an extremely conspicuous card reading "In This Style 10/6" on their heads (the Hatter's mind-control device), and fails to pick up on Tetch's crush on her until it's too late.
    • In "Holiday Knights", the crowd of New Year's Day revelers don't see any danger in hanging around while the Joker works on something in plain sight right on center stage. They even put on the Joker-face masks he distributed, unconcerned that they might be poisoned or booby-trapped. Maybe they were just that drunk. This being several hours after he threatened to kill as many people as he could before the New Year. Alcohol or not, being anywhere near a man who has recently broadcast a terrorist threat against an entire city is just dumb.
  • The Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Chill of the Night!", retells the story of Batman confronting Joe Chill over the fact that Chill killed his parents. Like in the original story, Chill runs out to get some criminals to help him — and reveals his role in the creation of Batman while doing so. Unlike the original story, though, where it was just goons, the criminals he tells this to are members of Batman's rogues gallery, including the Joker — and in both stories, the people Chill tells this to don't take too kindly to Chill being the reason Batman exists, and while it's implied the Spectre killed him, the rogues still tried to kill Chill first.
  • Castlevania: After being warned by a giant Dracula head made out of flames that they were to leave the country within one year for killing his wife, the people not only ignore it, they actually host a celebration for the day she was killed. Dracula's coming sounds as angered as he is annoyed at the villagers sheer stupidity as he releases an army of demons in the town. Driving the point home, after it has become publicly knowledge that demonic forces intend to kill every living being left in Wallachia, people go on their daily lives normally instead of running like there's no tomorrow or organizing any form of defense against them.
  • The eponymous character in Chowder. Not only does he usually drive the plot along by either destroying something in stupidity or just by being incredibly stupid, but, well, apparently he's literally Too Dumb to Live without someone directing him. This is a guy who once thought the proper way to put away a spoon was to shove it in an electrical outlet after all (and judging from the marks it happened more than once).
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog. Muriel and Eustace.
    • Muriel is always fooled by the bad guys no matter how bizarre or obvious their disguises, even if said villain has menaced them before. There's one episode where she eats an explosive cyborg carrot missile... twice. Though she does have her moments of clarity (ex. "Family Business").
    • Eustace can be very stupidly stubborn in the face of danger. Like Muriel, he often blissfully gets in harm's way. Sometimes, Eustace is too stubborn to get out of harm's way.
  • In an episode of Dan Vs., Dan cooks up a poisonous meatloaf to feed to the animals at the animal shelter because he can't sleep during the night. His friend Chris comes around and ends up eating the meatloaf even after Dan has told him about his plan. Chris would end up exactly as what you'd expect.
  • Dexter's Laboratory: Dee Dee subverts this. Despite being the one who touches buttons, she does occasionally fix the problem, and it's NOT a good idea to make her mad by messing with her little brother.
  • Dogstar: Zeke, a malfunctioning robot who thinks he is a human, often strays into this territory. In "Rockin' in the Flea World", he chooses to ignore an alarm telling him that the Dogstar is flying into a black hole on the grounds that machines sometimes make mistakes.
  • Also qualifies for Daffy in his portrayal of the title character from Duck Dodgers, which has many a glaring example. One especially prominent one is when Dodgers decides he doesn't want to wait for the cadet to prepare blowfish and prepares it by slapping it around for a bit before taking a big bite out of the raw, unprepared blowfish with a 100% guarantee of it still being fatally poisonous. Don't worry, he only goes trippy for a while, if it were any other show he'd be dead already.
  • Family Guy:
    • Peter Griffin is a particularly extreme example, as demonstrated throughout the show's run. Gets a lampshade in an early episode where Brian tries putting out a fire, only to discover that the extinguisher is a prank item that sprays plastic snakes — which promptly explode, exacerbating the fire. When the family comes back, Brian angrily demands to know Who Would Be Stupid Enough? to do such a thing; Peter responds "A man who cares enough about prop comedy to put his family at severe risk, that's who!" Justified in that the episode "Petarded" revealed that Peter has mental retardation.
    • Brian's now-infamous temporary death is the result of standing in the middle of the street. In the episode "Our Idiot Brian", Brian discovers he has lost his intelligence, and he realises he is happier that way. Of course, he goes on to engage in life-endangering activities such as breathing car fumes with Peter. Stewie, concerned for his safety, manipulates Brian into getting his intelligence back.
    • Stewie of all people in the episode "Space Cadet". Near the end, Chris takes the family on a tour of a real working space shuttle at his space camp. After explaining that one red button launches the shuttle, Stewie runs in and presses it "Ooh! Big red button!" launching the shuttle, coming very close to getting himself and his entire family killed. Later he even starts pressing other buttons without having a clue what he's doing and outright "killing" Meg. What makes this example even more ridiculous is Stewie is the mad genius of the group and has been shown flying numerous aircraft and using various complicated high tech devices, and thus the one person in the family who should know perfectly well that you do not to press buttons on a vehicle you don't know the purpose of.
  • Futurama:
    • Subverted by Fry. Fry is so dumb that he lacks a certain brain function that even inanimate objects are said to have; ironically, it is the exact lack of this brain function that serves as a highly effective defense mechanism against extremely dangerous threats (i.e. threats that seek to destroy the entire universe) that are capable of reading minds, rendering him entirely invisible and mostly undetectable to them. It often falls to Fry as the only person in the universe who can save it, because his unique ability to survive against these threats derives directly from his being Too Dumb to Live. However, it's later revealed that he lacks this brain function (delta brain waves) thanks to having sex with the woman who turned out to be his own grandmother, as he so eloquently puts it.
    • Zapp Brannigan is another odd case. He meets all the requirements except that his stupidity rarely hurts him personally. Even though the danger would be as likely to kill him as would anyone else in all but a few of the situations he causes through his epic stupidity/incompetence he always survives through dumb luck and/or heroically leading a retrograde advance while everyone around him (aside from the rest of the main cast... usually) dies.
    • And let's not forget "That Guy", who, during the 1980s, suffered from a terminal illness called Boneitis. A drug company was about to come up with a cure, and what did he do? He arranged a hostile takeover and sold the assets. He ended up freezing himself until there was a cure, but when he was unfrozen, he forgot to cure it and died during a major business deal.
    • In "Murder on the Planet Express", Dan McMasters' idea of a teamwork exercise was to pick up a hitchhiker and do a trust fall with him, which causes him to be eaten by the hitchhiker who was actually a shapeshifter. However it's revealed that the events of the episode were staged and the shapeshifter was, in fact, part of the teamwork exercise, but he is killed by Fry and Bender after failing to convince them that he faked his death and that there was a pizza party in a secluded room, which is not really something you want to say to panicked and frenzied survivors who have had their trust towards others completely destroyed.
    • Amy Wong is easily tricked into doing stupid or downright harmful things (such as releasing Dr. Zoidberg from his restraints multiple times and not learning from her mistake; Bender even calls her a moron).
    • Bender himself due to extremely low impulse control. As an example, he once, in short order: crashed a Robot Mafia wedding, hit on The Don's wife and both his daughters (one of whom was the bride), slept with his youngest daughter on the property, duplicated his meatball recipe, and then, though fearing for his life after witnessing a mafia crime, tipped off the police because he was offered fifty dollars. He had to go into Witness Protection over this.
      Robot Devil: Bender, would you like to make a deal?
      Bender: I'm not stupid! So yes, absolutely. [signs contract] What have I agreed to?
  • On Goof Troop, Goofy is this way several times, most obviously in the episode "Goof Fellas", where he mistakes The Mafia killing someone with a cement suit for tailors and starts talking to them, which ends up not only putting his own life in danger but also Pete's.
  • From The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Billy makes very poor choices thanks to his incredibly low intellect, sometimes his stupidity leads to his own demise. In one episode, after Billy turns his entire body into chocolate (to the point where he eats himself, leaving him as a head), he's then taken to place where he can restore himself, but only if he can guess out of four objects of which one to eat with the last one that's clearly labeled Antidote right in front of him. Billy's decision? To eat all four objects at once, which results in him blowing up.
  • In the Disney short "How to Have an Accident in the Home", Donald Duck is the accident-prone protagonist showing off all kinds of ways to get himself hurt by being reckless around the house. This includes jabbing a knife into the still-connected and operating toaster while complaining "confounded infernal contraption", immediately before the inevitable ZAP and electric fireworks. Donald also appeared in "How to Have an Accident at Work", pointing out accidents caused in the workplace due to carelessness. Both episodes are observed by the embodiment of Fate, who points out that despite all the accidents being their own fault, they choose to blame him instead.
  • Invader Zim:
    • It is amazing how long the eponymous character of has managed to survive, considering how often his idiocy has made things literally blow up in his face.
    • GIR is a more extreme example, although being a robot, he's easily repaired.
    • As a matter of fact, the same could be told about the humans in this series in general. Seriously, a kid with green skin, no ears, a weird uniform and megalomaniac tics and mannerisms, yet they don't suspect a thing. The only one to notice anything is Dib, and everyone just think he's talking nonsense. Dib's sister Gaz seems to know about the aliens, and has used their technology or helped save the world (grudgingly) before, but the thing is though she knows the truth, she just doesn't care. In fact, in one episode she outright states she doesn't give a damn what Zim is doing because he's way too incompetent to do any damage. ("He's so bad at it!")
  • At the climax of the two-part G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero episode "There's No Place Like Springfield", Shipwreck steals a chemical the villains are working on (in their town base, called Springfield) that turns water into an explosive, and with Destro and a few mooks in hot pursuit, pours it down the drain of a lab sink. When Destro and the mooks break in, he holds a match over the drain, explaining that the chemical would likely blow up the entire base now that he's poured it into the plumbing system. Destro has a good laugh at this, and tells him a match isn't enough, and it would need something like laser-fire to ignite it; Shipwreck think's he lying and drops the match. Destro isn't lying. Oh, Crap!. But then, the two mooks completely forget what he said, open fire on Shipwreck with their laser rifles, missing, hitting the sink, and... Well, suffice to say now there really is no place like Springfield.
  • The titular Inspector Gadget. Why else is Penny (and Gadget's dog Brain) having to help him from behind the scenes?...
  • Jackie Chan Adventures: Finn, Ratso and Crow can be prone to this. Despite being elite enforcers of the Crime Syndicate, the Dark Hand, they can be overconfident, incompetent, and are often crushed in any fight involving the Chan Family. They even get themselves "killed" repeatedly in Season Three after Daolon Wong transforms them into Dark Chi Warriors. After those defeats however, Daolon repeatedly resurrects them. It can be said that they're easily defeated as much as they are in this season so often because they're enslaved to do Daolon Wong's bidding, and are practically disposable.
    [attacking Jade, who has grown to the size of a kaiju]
    Finn: You're going down, Queen Kong!
    Ratso: The bigger they are, the harder they[all three are crushed by Jade's foot]
    Valmont: They didn't see that coming?! Honestly, why did I ever want them back?!
  • Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Captain Hook frequently endangers himself and his crew in his blind pursuit of whatever treasure he's after for that episode. He also seems to never listen to reason, has no concept of compromise and brushes off Jake's attempts to convince him that something isn't what it appears to be as Jake simply trying to deceive him; in one episode, Jake and Hook's crews come across an ancient city that appears to be made of gold, but only looks like it because of light through a crystal making it appear that way. When Jake tells Hook the city's not really made of gold, he tries to dismantle it anyway.
  • Justice League:
    • Batman of all people has a Too Dumb to Live moment. In "Injustice For All", Luthor and his gang of supervillains brought in to fight the League do so once and escape; unbeknownst to them Batman has stuck a tracer on Luthor. Batman then for some reason decides to head straight to the bad guys' new hideout and infiltrate it without calling for backup from the League or anyone else or even telling anyone where he's going. The result? He tries sneaking up on the villains playing cards only to get knocked out with a bag of rocks by Joker. It turns out they found the tracer and had been expecting him the entire time. If it weren't for the Bond Villain Stupidity of these villains Batman would have easily ended up dead. Doubles as a What an Idiot! moment in that Batman had no real reason not to at least tell the rest of the League where the hideout was if nothing else. Though it could be a bit of a subversion — while there he causes the team to turn on each other and reveals he could have escaped any time. Also the fact this was still early into the Justice League's creation and Batman was still known for preferring to do things on his own. Then, unlike most who have lived through this trope, he actually learned from this experience. The next time he is walking into a set up he does call for backup.
      • In Batman's defense, Joker wasn't originally part of the group and invited himself after Batman tagged Luthor. None of the other villains had noticed the tracker, but Joker knew to look for one out of his experience in dealing with Batman.
    • In the same episode, similar to his comic book counterpart, Luthor is discovered to be suffering from terminal cancer due to carrying Kryptonite on him for years in an attempt to keep Superman at bay. Had he taken the time to analyze it, like Batman had upon first coming across it, he would have realized that it was emitting low levels of radiation which, over time, would eventually be fatal to not just Kryptonians, but humans as well. Instead, he was so excited to have an edge over Supes, he didn't look any further into it. Naturally, upon finding out about his illness, he blames it all on Superman.
  • Kaeloo:
    • Stumpy the squirrel has done all sorts of stupid things and wound up getting killed (only to be brought Back from the Dead), such as biting a live wire and shooting his own head off with a bazooka.
    • If Quack Quack wasn't indestructible, he would have certainly died. For example, in one episode, Kaeloo, Stumpy and Quack Quack are playing "Red Light, Green Light" with the Ax-Crazy Villain Protagonist Mr. Cat. When Mr. Cat turns around, he fires a missile from a bazooka at the others. Kaeloo and Stumpy run away to escape. Quack Quack, on the other hand, stands in the path of the missile because the rules of the game say that he shouldn't move until Mr. Cat turns around again.
  • Buckley from King of the Hill is a literal example of this. After ignoring Hank's advice on how to handle propane tanks (despite the fact that Hank has had years of experience), Buckley manages to blow up himself and the Mega-Lo-Mart.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • There's something Daffy Duck doesn't know that Bugs Bunny does in the Duck Season-Rabbit Season trilogy of cartoons. All Bugs has to do is manipulate a little of Daffy's syntax and Daffy's demand to get blasted in the face with Elmer's rifle will be granted. He virtually pleads for it at the near end of "Duck! Rabbit! Duck!":
      Daffy: Shoot me again! I love the smell of burnt feathers... and gunpowder... and cordite! I'm an elk! Shoot me! It's elk season! I'm a fiddler crab! Why don'cha shoot me? It's fiddler crab season!
    • In "Bewitched Bunny", Bugs wanders into the story of Hansel and Gretel, where the title kids are found gleefully stuffing their faces with ice cream while sitting in a lidded roasting pan.
  • The Magic School Bus: Arnold removes his helmet while the class is in the planet Pluto, thus freezing his entire face. Even if it's to prove a point to his cousin, removing your space helmet while you're on the surface of any planet not named Earth is a very stupid decision. Had this been reality, Arnold would've suffocated to death.
  • This. That's right, Mega Man just took a bullet for a statue. Said statue was that of Abraham Lincoln.
  • Motorcity: Tooley can't tell the difference between a "surprise party" and a Zombie Apocalypse. Also when he tries to pet a hunter killer robot.
  • My Little Pony 'n Friends: In "Crunch the Rockdog, Part 1", Danny decides to deal with the titular villain by walking up to the giant murderous dog that can turn anyone to stone with a touch and telling him to heel like a disobedient puppy. Quite literally the only thing that saves him is that Crunch is too busy rolling around in laughter before Megan runs in and drags Danny off.
  • They don't call Dum-Dum on The Perils of Penelope Pitstop that for nothing. In one episode he's in a hot air balloon with a binoculars case and he looks in the case. He says he can't see anything, so Clyde tells him to try taking the binoculars out first. Dum-Dum does that and still looks in the case saying it still doesn't work. Cue Clyde face-palming. (He was certainly the luckiest of the Ant Hill Mob—Penelope kissed him twice for coming through on her behalf.)
  • The Powerpuff Girls' Mayor of Townsville. This even gets a Lampshade Hanging in an episode where the girls get sick of "saving the day" which as revealed turned out to be mostly mundane tasks like screwing in a lightbulb, at which point they decide to take a vacation. But they can't get a break, having to walk the town through defeating a monster.
  • Rabbids Invasion: If the Rabbids weren’t Nigh-Invulnerable, their entire species would have quickly died.
  • Rigby in one episode of Regular Show tried to eat eggs in order to win a hat, despite the fact that he is highly allergic to eggs. You can guess where that landed him in.
  • Robot Chicken:
    • The show parodied The Hills and The Hills Have Eyes (1977) by putting three of the dumbest celebrities together. One of them drove the car off the road when he complained things were "too hard" and claimed the tires were flat. The other complained to the main dumb idiot that she was just jealous that she got Aaron the dumb driver and that things were also "too hard." Both idiots left in a huff. Finally, the third idiot couldn't get back into the car, and realized either the dumb blonde or the dumb driver had the car keys. Instead of going after them, she decided to go the completely OPPOSITE way.
    • Another one is a Fraggle Rock parody, reenacting Watership Down. The Fraggles are so stupid, they think moving cars aren't a threat, they don't recognize obvious traps, and ultimately are killed off since they made their new home under an oil well.
  • Rocket Power: In one episode, Otto decides that since he wants to go surfing but there aren't any waves that day, that he should instead surf in the local shipping lanes. Unsurprisingly, this turns out to be a bad idea; he's lucky to survive.
  • Rocko's Modern Life: In one episode, Rocko gets a piece of spinach stuck in between his teeth, which doesn't come out even after brushing and flossing. Finally, he uses a jackhammer and winds up in the hospital.
  • Rugrats: While it is justified since the gang are only toddlers, they always end up running into stuff that surely would have killed them in real life. Again, this is also justified by the fact that the adults never keep a close eye on them and leave them unattended even in public. It's amazing that the Rugrats hadn't been sent to foster homes by now.
  • While neither Scooby-Doo nor Shaggy was known for his intelligence, and the inches-tall Scrappy tried to fight the monsters with his extremely tiny fists, none of them have anything on Scooby-Dum, Scooby-Doo's inbred hillbilly cousin. Scooby-Dum was literally too dumb to either run or hide, mostly having to be literally dragged by Scooby-Doo and the others away from danger.
  • Sealab 2021 has characters who, if not meeting this trope individually, meet it as a team. Many episodes end in the destruction of the Sealab (continuity means nothing). To say that the Sealab crew being this is an understatement; they're Too Dumb to Save the World, as evidenced in the episode "ASHDTV" where they get a combination asteroid smasher and HDTV intended for Spacelab, and despite warnings of a giant meteor heading towards Earth, ignore the TV's asteroid-destroying abilities and keep on watching TV. The episode ends with predictable results.
    Space Quinn: "What a bunch of freakin' idiots. Now they're all dead."
  • Shimmer and Shine: Zeta flies around in a motorcycle that runs out of fuel without giving her enough time for a safe landing.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Homer Simpson. Citing one example, the scene in "Homer Goes to College" where he sets his high school diploma on fire and sings about how smart he thinks he is while not noticing that the flames are spreading all over his house.
    • Homer can (and will) be as stupid as he likes for the purpose of the Halloween episodes. Many other characters also tend to suffer a bit of a drop.
      • IV has Bart barely escape from a group of vampires, reach the top of the stairs, and then look at the lever that triggers the Surprise Slide Staircase (which he already pulled) and decide to pull it again, just for fun.
      • In XIII, Homer finds a hammock that can clone him and ends up making many who are dumber than him. With the threat of Homer clones overtaking the USA, Lisa, in front of the real Homer, suggests the military lure all the clones over a cliff with giant donuts. It works. And when Marge is about to relax in the end, she learns her Homer is a clone. The real one was the first over the cliff.
    • In the episode with Stampy the elephant, Homer got stuck in a tar pit. He first tried to pull out his legs with each arm, getting his arms and legs stuck. Then he tried to use his head to pull out his arms. Stampy was the only reason Homer survived.
    • In "Homie the Clown" Krusty bet against the Harlem Globetrotters, which results in multiple assassination attempts on Krusty by the Springfield mob due to the resulting debt.note 
      • In the same episode, mobsters are trying to shoot Homer while he's buying a car and are such bad shots they shoot the car he's looking at instead of him, but instead of Homer or the salesman taking cover they just stand there while the car is shot dozens of times. Later on a similar thing happens while Flanders is talking to Homer and thus he gets shot instead, twice. Both times instead of taking cover Flanders simply stands up and explains that he had an item over his heart that saved him before finally deciding to get out of there.
    • Frank Grimes in "Homer's Enemy" ends up this way, ironically after driving himself crazy trying to prove how stupid and incompetent Homer is.
  • South Park:
    • Most of the adult cast qualifies but Randy Marsh takes the cake. Drives drunk with his kid and friends, purposely gets into drunken fights in little league games, gets Finland nuked off the face of the planet, is responsible for the death of his daughter's boyfriend.... His stupidity risks himself and pretty much anybody caught in the line of his scheme. He also gives himself cancer just so he can get medical marijuana.
    • At times, Eric Cartman as well (He shifts between being too dumb to live, and an Evil Genius). One notable moment had him filling his TiVo with stuff from the History Channel on the founding fathers, and building a device that drops him and the TiVo into a water-filled kiddy pool and electrocuting himself so he can have a flashback. Somehow it worked.
  • In The Spectacular Spider Man when Spidey apparently walks right into an ambush and gets pounded, Shocker uses these exact words to describe him. He's wrong though.
  • Spy Groove has a minor Girl of the Week named Bunny von Schneckle, a receptionist at a health spa. She leaves warnings for the agents about the episode's villain, the Contessa. That would be fine, but she not only leaves them where the Contessa can find them, but she signs her name at the bottom. No wonder she gets caught.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: SpongeBob and Patrick.
    • Once, they were lost in the wilderness with nothing but a food supply, water, and a shelter. Patrick starts a fire... with the food supply! SpongeBob tries to put it out... with the shelter, which then Is destroyed. SpongeBob finally succeeds in putting out the fire... with the entire water supply. So, they've wasted their food, water, and shelter when they're in the middle of nowhere.
    • Patrick once ate a Krabby Patty that had raw sewage in it, and SpongeBob once ate a rotten Krabby Patty complete with maggots and fungi.
    • In "A Life in a Day," SpongeBob and Patrick did lots of stupid stuff. Among them: Patrick riding through a car crusher and SpongeBob making Patrick (and Larry the Lobster) fly into Ripper's Reef, a very spiky and deadly rock formation.
    • In fact, most of the characters can qualify for this. Squidward once drove a vehicle off a cliff, Mr. Krabs sold his soul to many ghosts (and SpongeBob), and Sandy did lots of stupid stuff in "Pre-Hibernation Week" and "Squirrel Record" (like juggling a ton of chainsaws then throwing them everywhere).
    • In "Imitation Krabs," Plankton put a one-cent self-destruct slot on the robot he was inside. He sums it up perfectly: "Not one of my better ideas."
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars:
    • The Trandoshan scavenger Gha Nachkt. You'd think the guy would be smart enough to not be rude to a psychotic, eight-foot-tall, cyborg who could use four lightsabers at once, like General Grievous, but apparently, he was not.
    • ARC trooper Echo is this in the season three episode "Counterattack". He charges right to the shuttle they were supposed to protect, while a Commando Droid fires a turret at him and he takes cover under the shuttle, only to be blown to smithereens, taking away the group's one way ticket out.
  • In Street Sharks, the protagonists suffer this in a big way. A prime example would be in the first episode, when they hear from secondhand sources that their father wants them to meet him at an abandoned power plant. No reason is given for this, he just wants them to, apparently. They predictably get kidnapped and, one bout of Playing with Syringes and seeming death later, wake up in a river. From there, they decide to get lunch, instead of seeing the police about the guy with the dangerous mutants who kidnapped and experimented on them and heavily implied he did something equally nasty to their dad. Or, you know, go to the hospital and get checked up in regards to the unknown substances injected into their bodies. This trope seems to be genetic. The first episode also has their dad confront the Big Bad in a remote location at night, without telling anyone where he was going or bringing any means of defense. To the surprise of no one, this sets up for a perfect He Knows Too Much scenario, and leads to him being missing in action for the rest of the show's run.
  • The Super Friends episode, "Volcano", had the captain of an alien ship that crashes lands into an active volcano. Despite the fact the ship and crew is in dire peril sinking into the magma, he refuses to accept the help of native superheroes because they may be "dangerous".
  • Lois Lane in Superman: The Animated Series. She's put herself in danger multiple times, but at least usually she didn't know how dangerous it was or at least tried to take some kind of precaution. But in “Target”, she's being targeted for murder. She knows how dangerous her unknown enemy is and she's actually under police protection. During a phone conversation with Clark she suddenly realizes who the attempted murderer is. What does she do? She sneaks off to confront them face to face. While Clark and everyone else still thinks she's under police protection. If it hadn't been for Luthor just happening to call Clark to give him a vital piece of information she would have been dead by the end of the episode.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
    • April O'Neil in the 1987 TMNT series. From season 2 onward, Shredder et al. know where she lives. Yet, despite being kidnapped constantly, she never moves.
    • In the 2012 series, Timothy, a.k.a. "The Pulveriser", who refuses to listen to the turtles when they warn him that exposing himself to the Kraang mutagen is a seriously bad idea. So he deliberately mutates himself... and becomes Mutagen Man.
    • The 2012 version of Michelangelo plants him firmly in this territory for the same reason. Similar to Timothy, he exposes himself to a can of mutagen on purpose, which causes his already mutated cells to start breaking down and eventually run the risk of killing him, forcing his brothers to look for a cure. Donatello had even planted warnings on the can that it was too dangerous to use, but Mikey had only looked on one side of the can that didn't have any labels.
  • Teen Titans:
    • Robin has just had a fight with a shapeshifter who can impersonate anyone. And then she pops up and is like, "Hi, I'm totally Hotspot." He gives her his communicator without questioning whether it's really his friend. This nearly leads to all of the Teen Titans being frozen (Never Say "Die").
    • In "For Real", Control Freak sets up five disasters to "test" the Titans East, confident that they can't do as well as the "real Titans". But they pass the tests with flying colors and save the city, so much that they become heroes in the eyes of the populace, and Control Freak can't help but teleport himself right in front of them to congratulate them... At which point they quickly arrest him. (Speedy says it best: "I can't believe the bad guy just zapped himself in front of us.")
  • Thundarr the Barbarian: Many of the wizards Thundarr battles contribute to their own demises, but Vashtar, the villain of the episode "Prophecy of Peril", is the absolute worst. When Vashtar learns of a prophesy that three specific women will join forces to defeat him, he tries to stop them. One of the women is a fashion model from the 20th century, thousands of years before Vashtarr's time. First he time travels to the past to kidnap her; if he hadn't she would have died centuries before he was even born. Then, once he has captured her, instead of killing her he locks her in a cell that she escapes easily despite having no powers or relevant skills. Afterwards, she meets the other two women and strips him of his powers, but if had either left her alone in her own time or either killed or properly secured her when he had the chance he never would have been defeated.
  • Transformers: Prime:
    • Starscream tries to assert his authority over an Insecticon which was big enough and strong enough to snap him in half, and smacks it to obeying him. The Insecticon does not oblige and would have ripped Starscream apart if not for Airachnid's arrival.
    • Earlier Starscream managed to let slip that he was the one who killed Arcee's partner Cliffjumper while as her prisoner. He JUST managed to limp away with his head intact.
    • Tops himself in the last season when he is put in charge of training Predaking. His idea of "training" consists of whacking the incredibly powerful robot dragon's face with a metal rod. At one point Predaking makes him into a literal chew toy, which Starscream only survives because he is wearing the Apex Armor. When Predaking reveals his robot mode (right after Starscream hit him with the rod again), the first thing he does is to warn Starscream that he will bury that rod in Starscream's spark the next time he hits him. At the end of Predacons Rising, Predaking eventually makes good on his threats to pay back Starscream for all of the beatings and humiliations he endured.
  • Hank and Dean from The Venture Bros. In fact, they truly are Too Dumb to Live: the show reveals that they have both died 14 times, mostly due to their own incredible stupidity. Describing them as "death-prone", their father keeps a few clones growing in the lab as a precaution.


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