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Some animated film characters' actions can get so dumb, one might wish for the directors to re-write the script in order for the character to get it "right".


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     A-F 
  • Angry Birds tells the story of a group of birds fighting pigs over eggs. According to the movie, the reason for this is a prime case of stupidity. At the film's start, the birds are living peacefully on their own when the pigs arrive on their island in a boat. Leonard, their leader, disembarks with his assistant, and claims that it's just two of them: in fact, he has a whole army of pigs waiting to steal the birds' eggs.
    You'd Expect: The birds to quiz Leonard on the subject as much as they can. If they find out his true intentions sooner, they can send him away and everything's rosy.
    Instead: All of the birds (except Red) welcome the pigs ashore unaware of their intentions. For an extra shot of stupidity, Red is ignored over his concerns just because he's an outcast. The pigs then manage to pull their heist off by distracting most of the birds, forcing Red to unleash their anger in order to get the eggs back. It's not called 'Angry Birds' for no reason!
    • Of course the pigs can be equally stupid. While they steal the eggs from birds, they also lay ruin to the town.
      You'd expect: That they either destroy the slingshot they gave the birds or take it away.
      Instead: They leave it alone.
      As a result: The birds use it to break into the pigs' city to get the eggs back, which ultimately leaves the city in shambles.
  • The Animated Adaptation of Animal Farm: While the animals are busy fighting against the invading farmers, Jones sneaks into the windmill, fills it with explosives, and then sets it on fire.
    You'd Expect: Jones to get away from the windmill as fast as he can.
    Instead: He stops to drink a bottle of wine and the windmill explodes. We never hear from Jones again.
  • Balto
    • Balto and his fellow sled dogs are trying to deliver medicine to sick children. Unfortunately, Steele, the leader of the dogs, and Balto's rival, loses his way. Balto manages to find a surefire way to get back to Nome.
      You'd Expect: Steele to refrain from looking a gift horse in the mouth, just follow Balto back to Nome and use his Manipulative Bastard cred to downplay his involvement and still get a sizeable chunk of the glory and his reputation otherwise untarnished.
      Instead: Steele's pride and jealousy clouds his judgement to the point where he decides that if he can't deliver it to them, the medicine won't reach the kids at all. He picks a fight with Balto, but loses and gets seperated from the rest of the team. In anger, he sabotages Balto's trail markings to get the group lost, and then makes up a story about their supposed deaths. He seems not to know (or care) about the black mark that failure to get important medicine would have left on his reputation even if his plans to get the group killed had workednote .
    • Steel gets another one when trying to convince Jenna that Balto was dead.
      You'd Expect: Steele to word his story to claim that he promised Balto that he would take care of Jenna.
      Instead: Steel claims that Balto made him promise to take care of Jenna. This causes her to realize that he is not telling the truth.
  • Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker
    • In the near future, Joker returns spry as ever, while Bruce Wayne has retired and Terry McGinnis has taken over as Batman. Bruce and Barbara Gordon insist that the Joker is dead, and Terry understandably wants to know why. He also wants to know how to save Gotham.
      You'd Expect: For Bruce and Barbara to explain to Terry immediately what happened with the Joker as soon as possible: that Joker and Harley Quinn kidnapped and tortured the second Robin, Tim Drake to insanity; Tim while ordered to shoot Batman shot the Joker instead, but not before he had been forced to reveal all of Bruce's secrets. When Terry does hear the story, much later, he's shaken but able to think about it logically. He also asserts to Bruce that he's not like any of the Robins.
      Instead: Bruce makes Terry quit as Batman for fear that the Joker will kill Terry in the suit, and Barbara keeps mum while talking to a grown-up Tim Drake. Joker then proceeds to attack a defenseless Bruce in the Batcave, and send his new gang against Terry in civilian identity, because he figured it out. Terry fends them off, but his girlfriend Dana gets injured during the confrontation. Terry then barely arrives in time to save Bruce, who ends up bedridden for most of the third act.
    • Harley Quinn has retired from crime, following the terrible night where the Joker died and she assisted in torturing young Robin into becoming the Joker's "son". She went on to have children, and grandchildren who are implied to know about her past.
      You'd Expect: Her grandchildren to have learned from Harley's mistakes. Harleen Quinzel, from what we know, she is a permanent fugitive who had to live in fear of the law, and her own guilty conscience now that she knows what it's like to have the Adult Fear Batman must have felt on seeing Tim Drake broken.
      Instead: The Dee Dees become members of a Jokerz gang. A Jokerz gang that happens to belong to the actual Joker, who has seemingly returned from the dead.
      The Result: Batman has to beat up the girls several times, once in costume and once in civilian guise. They end up in jail, and Harley has to bail them. She is furious, while they in turn point out her hypocrisy.
  • Batman: Under the Red Hood
    • Jason Todd was murdered by the Joker, and then revived by a Lazarus Pit. Since then, the Red Hood's gone on a spree to control all the drug lords in Gotham, and to avenge his murder. This means he finally catches the Joker, and then beats him brutally with a crowbar, the way he was beaten. Jason wants more than that, however; he wants Batman to murder the Joker.
      You'd Expect: The Red Hood to realize that Bruce will never break his code in such a fashion. He can beat the Joker to death, or shoot or stab him, and then call out Bruce for leaving the clown alive. That means Mr. J will be in no position to come back and do his Joker Immunity thing.
      Instead: The Red Hood leaves Joker barely alive after beating him up, and calls out Bruce for sparing him. Batman points out the reason why he hasn't: much as he would want to tear the Joker apart, going down that route means it would get easier to kill criminals. What's more, he's not the judge, jury and executioner. Jason then offers Batman a sadistic choice: shoot the Joker, or shoot Jason to stop the latter from killing Mr. J.
      The Result: Batman goes Take a Third Option and uses his Batarang to disarm Jason. It also means that Joker survives to the end of the movie.
  • BIONICLE 3: Web of Shadows:
    • The Toa Metru find Metru Nui covered in webs and Whenua tells them it was done by Visorak (which are giant spiders) and there are lots of them in Metru Nui.
      You'd Expect: That Vakama use his mask power (which is invisibility) to launch a surprise attack.
      Or: Onewa to use his mask power (which is mind control) to mind control the Visorak into leaving them alone.
      Instead: Vakama just assumes they won't be a problem and continue on their path.
      Result: The Toa get captured and brought into cocoons by the Visorak.
      Then You'd Expect: Nuju (who has telekenisis) to take them out of the cocoons and leave.
      Instead: He doesn't do anything.
      Result: The Toa get mutated into Hordika (which are half-beast Toa).
  • Bon Voyage Charlie Brown (And Don't Come Back!). During the chateau fire sequence, Linus and the Baron's daughter are trapped on a window ledge. Linus throws down his blanket, telling the gang they can use it as a makeshift life net. The Baron's daughter jumps off the ledge and lands on the blanket safely.
    You'd Expect: The gang to catch Linus with the blanket.
    Instead: They take off without the blanket, leaving Linus on the ledge! Snoopy does save him by dragging a Soft Water pool underneath the ledge but still...
  • In Cats Don't Dance, Darla's Evil Plan to discredit the heroes has worked: she tricked Danny into using a soundstage to try and impress the studio head. Then she sabotaged it via floods, and just drops by to drop off the hostage again.
    You'd Think: She'd feign being angry, shouting "What the heck?! How could you disappoint me like that, after that opportunity? And you trusted the controls to a little penguin?"
    Instead: She takes the opportunity to engage in some Evil Gloating that makes it very clear she's responsible, and eventually leads to her downfall.
    • After Darla's movie plays out, Danny brings his friends to perform a show. Darla Dimple attempts to sabotage the show, but only makes it better. After the show ends, she shows up onstage angry.
      You'd Expect: That she would stay calm and maybe say "A word with you, Danny" and call him out once she's away from the audience and microphones.
      Instead: She blurts out that she flooded the stage in front of the audience (with a microphone hanging above her), thus incriminating herself and getting her demoted into being a janitor.
  • The infamously panned film, The Emoji Movie, has quite a lot of these moments that makes most of the characters unsympathetic.
    • Gene now goes on his first day of the job and prepares to make his face to be scanned by Alex, their phone user.
      You'd Expect: For Gene to just simply and calmly use his meh face since that's his designated emotion for the message.
      Instead: He freaks out for no reason whatsoever (especially considering that just one face isn't too hard) and destroys the entire work system in the process.
    • The main trio's main adventure results in several of Alex's apps acting all funny and this humiliates Alex a little bit.
      You'd Expect: For him to just check himself what's wrong with his phone and try to use some real messages or other emojis to communicate with Addie.
      Instead: Just because of "the wrong face" and his apps turning on automatically, he immediately tries to get his entire phone erased.
    • The trio need to reach to Dropbox in attempt to fix Gene's problem.
      You'd Expect: For the three characters just to walk around the apps to get to their destination since that'll just be simple enough.
      Instead: They travel through the apps, which results in Alex trying to delete the entire phone because of it.
      What Makes Matters Worse: It also brings one of the more major criticisms the movie has that includes the pointless Product Placement that literally insults their child audience by telling them that they're idiots for not using their smartphones all the time.
    • As the trio head through Just Dance, Jailbreak warns the two not to touch anything so the robots won't catch and kill them and to be able to get to Dropbox quickly.
      You'd Expect: For Hi-5 to heave Jailbreak's warning and just stay put with them until they make it to Dropbox.
      Instead: For no reason, he turns it on, resulting in the robots finding them, the app getting deleled, and Hi-5 gets taken by one of the robots, which actually leads to…
    • Feeling guilty that Hi-5 got sent to the trash, Gene and Jailbreak go to the trash so they could save him.
      You'd Expect: After they rescue Hi-5, they should also go out of their way to save the Just Dance girl, Akiko Glitter, from getting deleted permanently.
      Instead: They only save Hi-5 and don't even consider rescuing Akiko Glitter, thus leaving her to die along with the trolls.
  • FernGully 2: The Magical Rescue: While Pips and the Beetle Boys are distracted by a carnival and are invited to stay in a girl's trailer when they're supposed to be rescuing some kidnapped animals, Batty is able to locate the animals and tries to tell Pips, even screaming this right in his face at one point.
    You'd Expect: Pips and the Beetle Boys to realize that they have gotten distracted and get back to work on rescuing the animals.
    Instead: "Oh, Budgie's gonna take us on some rides later. You're welcome to join us."
  • Foodfight!: Early in the film, the representative for Brand X, Mr. Clipboard shows up at the Marketropolis Market. Despite the store's manager, Leonard clearly not knowing whether to trust a guy who's stumbling and slurring his speech as though he were severely drunk, Mr. Clipboard and his minions barge his way into the shop's aisles, then just to drive home the point that he's Obviously Evil, knocks a packet of potato chips off the aisle and crushes them underfoot.
    You'd Expect: Leonard to demand that Mr. Clipboard pay for the chips he just ruined, then leave. This is clearly a guy who you don't want to be doing business with.
    Instead: He picks up the crushed bag and actually starts mourning it, as though Mr. Clipboard had just murdered a small animal to amuse himself. And he's apparently so busy doing this that he doesn't bother to stop Mr. Clipboard and his minions packing their dubious goods onto his shelves against his wishes.
     G-L 
  • In the first segment of Heavy Metal, Harry Canyon, the titular main character gets into his taxi, only for a gangster to enter the back of his taxi. When the gangster threatens him with a knife, Harry pushes the gangster's arm aside, saying, "Oh, come on" and prepares to use the button that he presses to vaporize criminals who threaten him in his car. The gangster's boss — who caused the story's conflict — enters the backseat and says, "I wouldn't do that, if I were you."
    You'd Expect: Harry to ignore the gangsters and still press the button to vaporize both, because they would be dead before they could do anything else. The end.
    Instead: He complies and doesn't do it, though the gangster with the knife leaves and his boss makes a nonviolent proposal.
    • Later, Harry meets with the aforementioned mob boss and exchanges the Loc-Nar, the MacGuffin of the story which is shown to melt one of the workers who discovered it and is thus safely encased in a protective capsule.
      You'd Expect: The mob boss to leave it in its casing.
      Instead: He opens the case and picks up the Loc-Nar, which melts him.
  • Hoodwinked has a few case:
    • The Wolf and Twitchy manage to use the emergency brake stop their mine cart at the bottom of the drop out of the tunnel after accidentally blowing up part of the track (due to Twitchy mistaking a stick of dynamite for a candle). After this, Red's cart comes barrelling through the same tunnel and approaches the dead-ending track:
      You'd Expect: Being that she's smart enough to take care of herself and escape from the Wolf, that Red would manage to find the same emergency brake handle to stop her cart before it could reach the end of the tunnel or consider even jumping.
      Instead: She holds on for dear life, and does nothing to stop the cart as it flies off the end of the track and goes airborne.
    • Red's attack on Boingo at the tramway terminal lair:
      You'd expect: Considering that Red is a black belt in karate, she would know aim her blows at Boingo's vulnerable spots and use her reach as she was taking on a smaller opponent in body size.
      Instead: She aims all her blows at Boingo's head, and he blocks them with his prehensile ears. She is defeated, tied up and nearly gets blown up for her attempt.
  • How to Train Your Dragon
    • Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third is his father's beloved and frustrating child, on the Viking island of Berk. As a teenager, Hiccup keeps getting into trouble with his attempts to catch a dragon during a raid. Stoick relegates him to blacksmith duty, to keep his son out of danger and to keep the village safe from Hiccup. In addition, Hiccup reveals that he is a whiz at repairing weapons and inventing them, and the work gives him hidden muscle.
      You'd Expect: Hiccup would apply himself smarter, not harder, and show more self-preservation if he's going to catch a dragon. His dad is mainly concerned that Hiccup keeps running into danger more so than anything else, and Stoick has a point. Hiccup just needs to lie low during one raid to earn his father's trust, and make sure to stay away from the food supplies.
      Instead: Hiccup doesn't seem to learn about valuing his life, being as stubborn as his father. He insists on doing things impulsively, and risking his life without consequence. In the first part of the movie, he does catch a Night Fury with his weapon, while shooting it in a spot isolated from the village, but he also loses the sheep that the village needs to survive through the winter when a Monstrous Nightmare gives chase. Stoick after saving his son calls Hiccup out for his selfishness in front of the whole village, and sends him home while the other teens except Astrid and Fishlegs laugh.
    • Later on in the movie, Hiccup while riding his trained dragon Toothless with Astrid discovers the dragon nest. They also discover that a dragon queen, the Red Death, hypnotizes the dragons into stealing food for her. They have to tell Stoick, since not doing so would count as treason in Viking times, and Stoick is looking for the nest so that he can stop the raids and keep the village alive. Hiccup convinces Astrid that he'll take care of it, during the Final Exam.
      You'd Expect: What Hiccup did in a deleted scene: ride Toothless into the arena to show that dragons can be tamed and taught, and then cut a plea bargain with his dad about the nest, so that the village can attack with dragons, to stop the Red Death. Astrid points out how cool Hiccup was for being the first Viking to ride a dragon , and Stoick recognizes greatness even when it contradicts his belief.
      Instead: Hiccup, fearing for Toothless's safety, goes alone into the Kill Ring without planning to tell his dad anything. He drops his mother's helmet and his knife, announcing loudly he's not a Viking, and tries to tame the Monstrous Nightmare peacefully. Stoick, who watches with surprise and dismay, orders for the fight to stop right when Hiccup shows the Monstrous Nightmare can be trained, the latter action nearly getting Hiccup killed, captures Toothless when the latter shows up to save his human, and disowns Hiccup when the latter blurts out that you need a dragon to get to the nest. Hiccup can only watch as his dad sails off with Toothless on a Suicide Mission.
    • After being outed as a dragon trainer, Hiccup tries to warn his dad about the extreme dangers of the dragon's nest.
      You'd Expect: Stoick would, for once, listen to his son. Hiccup has tactical knowledge of the nest which would gave the invading party a huge advantage, or at least they would be better prepared for the worst.
      Instead: Stoick decides to be an Jerkass Abusive Dad and disown Hiccup for thinking outside the box. He does this while shoving Hiccup roughly to the ground. Then he proceeds to drag Toothless with him on the ship to set off for the nest. Fortunately for Stoick and the rest of the adults, Hiccup was able to come up with a rescue plan, let alone even want to rescue them after all the abuse they put him throughout the movie.
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2
    • At the beginning of the movie, Hiccup tells his father that he ran into Dragon Hunters who are working for a man named Drago Bludivist. Stoick the Vast gets an Oh, Crap! expression and orders an immediate lockdown for the island.
      You'd Expect: Stoick would quickly tell Hiccup who Drago is: a madman who nearly murdered him and a group of chiefs for laughing at the notion that a man could control dragons. This conveys the danger perfectly.
      Instead: Stoick doesn't, not at this juncture anyway. Hiccup then flies out of Berk to find the Hunters, so that he gets a chance to meet Drago and reason with him about dragons. Stoick does tell his son later, but only after "rescuing" him from the Hunters' ship and after Hiccup stubbornly clings to his idea that he has to make peace.
    • Hiccup by the time of the third act has heard three people give opinions on Drago Bludivist: his father, Dragon Hunter Eret son of Eret, and his mother Valka. They all say that Drago can't be reasoned with, that he doles out severe punishment, and that he murders and hurts dragons.
      You'd Expect: This to mean that when Drago attacks Valka's Sanctuary, that Hiccup would let Toothless shoot him after getting enough berth. Stoick and Valka are one thing, but Drago's own battered employee Eret makes it clear that you can't change Drago's mind.
      Instead: Hiccup tries to reason with Drago and stop the battle with the Bewilderbeast before more dragon and human lives are lost. While this does save his parents from getting killed via the great dragon, Drago takes the opportunity to use the Bewilderbeast to control Toothless. A brainwashed Toothless then fires at Hiccup, killing Stoick who takes the blow.
  • How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
    • A year has passed since the second movie. Hiccup has taken it upon himself to save as many dragons as possible from the remnants of Drago's army and Trappers, who have split into factions. Gobber mentions that Berk is running out of room with all the dragons rescued, and also Hiccup is inviting trouble by making Berk a target.
      You'd Expect: If Berk is getting overcrowded that they create a new base to take all the wild dragons after expanding the island to its maximum capacity. Hiccup has been mapping as much of the Archipelago as possible, and in the spin-off show Race to the Edge he's created at least one external base for dragon exploration and fighting.
      You'd Also Expect: Hiccup's missions would be more discreet considering that he doesn't want to engage in another war.
      Instead: Hiccup's friends still have no discretion despite about six years of battle. When they storm ships to raid them, Hiccup happily announces himself as not a demon to the guards he needs to fight, while the twins and Fishlegs are clumsy with their wings. Also, the latest dragon they rescue is so large that it causes Disaster Dominoes. When Gobber brings up the issue, Hiccup waves his concerns away.
      The Result: The remaining faction leaders hire a Night Fury killer named Grimmel to take down Hiccup, and steal away the Alpha of dragons. Grimmel it turns out is an expert at Kansas City Shuffle and can predict Hiccup's actions.
    • On the raid, Toothless can sense another dragon in a cage. Hiccup is calling for him, saying they have to leave.
      You'd Expect: Toothless would lead Hiccup to the cage to open it, just in case.
      Instead: He flies away.
      The Result: Grimmel frees the dragon, which turns out to be a Light Fury, and uses her as a Honey Trap for Toothless.
    • Meanwhile, Snotlout is hitting on his aunt, Hiccup's mother Valka. He's doing as well as a job as you may expect, from expressing jealousy towards Eret.
      You'd Expect: Valka would tell Snotlout upfront that she's not interested because she's still mourning her husband, who only passed the year before thanks to Drago. Also, it's weird because even if they aren't blood related, she's family. Hiccup as a child accepted that his father wasn't going to get a "new mom" because for Stoick, there was only one Valka. Snotlout is also grieving Stoick, who was kinder to him than his father Spitelout was.
      Instead: She humors him without telling him "no" upfront.
      Predictably: Snotlout gets more jealous when she defers to Eret's authority.
    • Towards the end of the movie, Hiccup attempts a raid on Grimmel's fleet. He realizes it was a trap, and in the chaos Tuffnut forgets about Ruffnut who is left behind. Hiccup is despondent because Toothless has been away for ages with Light Fury with his new prosthetic, and because he failed his tribe.
      You'd Expect: He and Astrid would go on Stormfly back to rescue Ruffnut or negotiate with Grimmel for her release. If she escaped, they could meet halfway across the ocean and make sure that she wasn't followed to their island.
      Instead: Astrid, wanting to cheer Hiccup's spirit, takes him and Stormfly to find the Hidden World, Toothless and Light Fury.
      The Result: The three nearly get killed by wild dragons, and Toothless is annoyed that his nightlong date was interrupted. Then they find out that Grimmel let Ruffnut go to follow her to the new island, and where Toothless was, which leads to the climax of the film where Grimmel nearly kills Toothless and Light Fury.
  • The Iron Giant:
    • When the Giant approaches Rockwell where the soldiers where about to open fire, they believe that the giant is innocent and seeing Hogarth unharmed. Kent Mansley tells Rogard that it is a trick and orders him to open fire, but Rogard refuses and orders all units to stand down and contacts the USS Nautilus to abort the missile. However, Kent still believes that the Giant is still a threat.
      You'd Expect: That even in his paranoia, Kent would realize that since the Giant is only 50 feet away from him, launching the missile at it would not only destroy it but the entire town as well and kill everyone inside, including Kent.
      Instead: He grabs Rogard's radio, shouting at the Nautilus to launch the missile immediately.
      You'd Also Expect: The Nautilus crew would request the identity and clearance credentials of the new voice shouting into the radio at them before firing the nuke. A select few people in the United States government have the security clearance to order a nuclear launch. If this new voice doesn't identify as being among them, the Nautilus crew would refuse the order.
      Instead: They immediately pound the red button without question and fire the missile up.
      Result: Only after a furious Rogard reminds Kent that the missile is locked to the Giant's current location does Kent realize his mistake. Thankfully, the Giant chooses to sacrifice himself to save the town from the missile.
  • Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius:
    • After all the parents in Retroville get kidnapped by aliens that Jimmy unknowingly successfully communicated with, they leave behind a "note" to every home in town telling the kids that their parents are taking a vacation in Florida.
      You'd Expect: For all the kids — Jimmy especially, considering he's, y'know, a boy genius — to pick up on all the extremely obvious hints that the note is a total ruse (such as the blatant font typeface, the fact that everyone got the exact same note with no advance notice, the fact that it's not addressed to anyone by name, etc).
      Instead: The kids don't question this completely unexplainable happening and just roll along with it, celebrating a day without parents. Okay, well, that part is understandable, as they were just wanting a taste of freedom earlier, but after the novelty of the concept wears off, it still crosses nobody's mind that they may have just been duped. It isn't until Jimmy scans the note in his lab and finds it doesn't match any of his parents' handwriting (which is pretty obvious in the first place considering it's typed) that he finally figures out it's a fake.
  • Justice League: Doom:
    • After a battle with the Royal Flush Gang, Batman gets in the Batmobile only to see Mirror Master briefly in the rear view mirror.
      You'd Expect: Given Mirror Master is an established villain in this universe that, despite seeing no one behind him when he looks, Batman would think his car is compromised and take measures to keep Mirror Master from getting into the car.
      Instead: The main plot of the movie happens because Bruce dismisses it as exhaustion and as a result, the League is almost killed by the Legion of Doom after Mirror Master steals his protocols.
    • During the final battle with the Legion of Doom, Wonder Woman is fighting Cheetah.
      You'd Expect: Diana to try to avoid smashing her archenemy into a shelf full of weapons.
      Instead: Cheetah is able to grab a gun because Diana sent her into a gun rack.
  • Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox
    • After using his Super Speed to meddle with time, Barry Allen a.k.a. the Flash has found himself in an alternate timeline. He no longer has his speed powers, most of his closest friends are about to enter a war that threatens to tear the world apart, on the run from the aforementioned, or already dead by their hand. Barry decides to turn to the one person he trusts to still be as impartial as he is in Barry's home timeline, Batman.
      You'd Think: Barry would knock on the door, use the doorbell, call ahead, do something in the way of basic courtesy. This isn't the same Batman that Barry knows, who will just let him enter the Batcave any time he pleases.
      Instead: Barry walks right through Wayne Manor and into the Batcave. He finds a very angry Batman ready to beat the complete stranger to a bloody pulp that just wandered into his lair uninvited.
    • Barry pieces together that in this timeline, it was Bruce Wayne that died; the Batman bearing down on him is Bruce's father, Thomas Wayne.
      You'd Think: That, given how sensitive his Batman was about his parents' deaths, Barry would make these observations silently to himself. That Batman was always protective of his secret identity, often known to taking extreme measures to keep it secret. There's nothing about this Batman that says he's any different.
      Instead: He works it out aloud. Batman responds by breaking one of Barry's fingers and threatening to break the rest of them unless Barry explains how he knows who Batman is.
      You'd Then Think: Barry would NOT mention Bruce by name when giving his answer, lest this far more brutal version of Batman be as sensitive to losing his son as Bruce was about losing his parents.
      Instead: While stammering out his answer, he mentions Bruce. Thomas gives him a Death Glare and breaks another finger.
    Batman: I used to be a doctor. Mention my dead son again, and I will break out my surgical instruments.
  • Kung Fu Panda:
    • The Furious Five and Shifu are angry and disappointed when Oogway chooses a random panda that fell out of the sky as the Dragon Warrior. Po, a naive kung fu fanboy, doesn't believe he's the Dragon Warrior but does want to learn about his passion. He keeps gushing to the Five about how he's a big fan, and in fact expects that Tigress was the one who was chosen.
      You'd Expect: That Tigress and Shifu would realize that Po isn't treating kung fu as a joke and it wasn't his fault Oogway pointed at him. Po is knowledgeable about the weapons used in the craft but lacks the years of discipline and training the Five received.
      Instead: Shifu does all that he can to scare Po off, by torturing him during sessions and literally tossing him out of the Jade Palace. Tigress keeps accusing Po of treating kung fu and the Dragon Warrior status as a joke. Thus, when Tai Lung escapes, Oogway ascends and Shifu has to train Po by necessity, Po freaks out and tries to run away because he knows he can't go up against Tai Lung, who has murdered needlessly. He calls out Shifu for trying to get rid of him and then suddenly changing his tune, while saying that he was hoping that Shifu would change him into someone better. This causes Shifu to have a Jerkass Realization, fortunately, and he figures out how to train Po competently. Tigress in the meantime goes off to stop Tai Lung, and nearly gets killed despite putting up a great fight with her friends' help. Po's silliness also helps him distract Tai Lung during their climactic battle, and to ultimately gain the upper hand.
  • Kung Fu Panda 2:
    • In the Action Prologue, Lord Shen when younger had heard his parents consult the Soothsayer, who had helped raise him. She predicts that a "warrior in black and white" will defeat him if he doesn't change his ways.
      You'd Expect: Shen to have realized that his parents had consulted the Soothsayer to deal with his "growing darkness," whatever that was, which was worrying them. He can just feign good behavior until they stop fretting about his actions. Also, that he has a choice to avoid his fate if he steps away from the dark path with the wolves. Or that he would consider that "black and white" could mean so many things, like the snow leopards who do exist.
      Instead: Shen orders the wolves to wipe out all the nearby pandas.
      The Result: His parents are horrified and are forced to banish him for committing genocide. The Soothsayer is also horrified and guilty about what her scrying indirectly caused. Also, as the Soothsayer predicted, Shen only seals his fate by trying to prevent it. While the surviving pandas go into hiding in the mountains, in a village that has snow and altitude as a defense, a mother panda hides her baby in a radish crate and dies leading the wolves away. This baby happens to end up in a noodle shop in the Valley of Peace, and turns out to be a natural kung fu master. The Soothsayer later saves Po when Shen hits him with cannon fire, and gives him the pep talk he needs to go and stop Shen.
    • Lord Shen has just thwarted the heroes' attempt to stop him from leaving the harbor with his fleet to conquer China. Most of the heroes are left injured and completely helpless except for Po, who stands up to face the fleet himself. Shen orders his men to fire one of his cannons at him, but Po uses his newfound 11th-Hour Superpower to catch the cannonball in midair and redirect it into the water. The next few attempts to shoot him end the same way.
      You'd expect: Shen to realize that this isn't working and try a different plan of attack, like just siccing his wolves on him.
      Instead: He continues to fire at Po, even as he starts redirecting the shots into his own fleet, until he gets himself blown up.
    • Po himself suffers this earlier in the film after the Five chew him out for letting Shen get away (another idiotic, but forgivable, move). After finding out that Shen knows something about Po's real parents, Tigress orders him to stay behind, knowing that this battle is too personal for him; she tells him she doesn't want him to get hurt.
      You'd expect: For Po to understand that and stay put.
      Instead: He goes anyway, inadvertently foiling the Five's plot to blow up Shen's foundry and nearly dooming all of China.
  • Kung Fu Panda 3
    • Master Oogway was badly injured in battle thousands of years ago. His best friend Kai took him to a panda village, where the pandas used chi to heal Oogway. Kai is intrigued by how chi can be used to gain power, and wants more of it.
      You'd Expect: He wouldn't test out his ability to grab power on the pandas that saved Oogway's life.
      Instead: He tries to wipe out the pandas in the village. Just like Shen would hundreds of years later. Oogway, who owed the pandas, was forced to send away Kai to the Spirit Realm to save the village.
    • Kai finally returns to the real world after spending millennia growing his power. He's sent out jade zombies as spies and as mindless warriors to see how much the world has changed.
      You'd Expect: He would go to the panda village first. They are harmless and easy pickings for Kai since they have no idea that he is coming or knows their hidden location.
      Instead: He makes his way to the Jade Palace first, to destroy Oogway's legacy. Shifu can't defeat Kai and gets turned into a jombie, but he buys time for Tigress to escape and warn Po, who happens to be in the panda village.
      The Result: Po decides to train the villagers for the fight, using their strengths, because he knows he has to protect them. This means that, if not for Kai being immortal, then Kai would have lost following the ensuing Humiliation Conga.
  • The Land Before Time: Cera, one of the main protagonists, while trying to find her way to her family through an empty ravine, lands on a giant T-Rex named Sharptooth, who is unconscious and does not wake up.
    You'd Expect: Cera would get out of there as fast as she could before he wakes up.
    Instead: She mocks him while he's asleep by ramming into him, which wakes him up and nearly gets Cera killed.
  • The LEGO Batman Movie
    • During the opening fight scene, Poison Ivy grabs Batman and attempts her Kiss of Death. Batman nabs one of Penguin's bird mooks with his grappling hook and has her kiss it instead. Ivy is disgusted and kicks it away.
      You'd Expect: That Ivy would tie up Batman in more vines before repeated the attempt, if she wants to go for the kiss.
      Instead: Ivy repeats the same attempt, without restraining Batman further, about ten times. This is enough time for Batman to free himself and take her down. Doubles as a Funny Moment.
    • Joker pulls off the ultimate Villain Teamup, drawing on all of Batman's Rogues Gallery. After Batman delivers a Curb-Stomp Battle to all of the Rogues and moves to catch the Joker, the Clown Prince reveals that he's set up a bomb that will tear the city apart (due to it being LEGO pieces) and Batman can either choose to save the city or catch Joker, Batman's "greatest enemy".
      You'd Expect: Batman to quickly Take a Third Option and tie up the Joker since he's got the latter tethered to a bar before going to dismantle the bomb, the way his 1980s counterpart did. Alternatively, he could let the Joker go and stop the bomb, to save the city.
      Instead: Batman wastes time ranting at the Joker that J isn't his greatest enemy, Superman is, and Batman and the Joker don't have a relationship, and that Batman doesn't need the clown. This wastes the crucial time needed to defuse the bomb, which Batman leaves for the last minute. Joker develops a brief Villainous BSoD, and his subsequent scheme centers around making Batman respect him, which endangers Gotham on a scale that outstrips Batman's capacity.
    • Barbara Gordon is the new commissioner of Gotham City. She has long looked up to Batman, educated herself on martial arts and law, and plans to combine Batman's experience with practical law, so that Gotham citizens can protect themselves. Among many things, she points out that while Batman does his best to keep the city safe, all of his Rogues gallery either evades arrest or keeps escaping, due to Joker Immunity. She announces all of this at her father's retirement party, as she plans to take on the new job.
      You'd Expect Barbara would try to spin her story as that Batman has done great services for the city, but he could do even better as an officer of the law. In other words, to up his firepower. There are some comics where Batman has been officially deputized, and it would put it in a way that wouldn't offend an egotistic incarnation of the Dark Knight.
      Instead: Barbara's slogan is "It takes a village, not a Batman" and launches into a series of criticisms about how Batman. The criticisms are legitimate, to be fair, but they also underestimate how Batman is doing all he can to keep the city safe. On top of that, she announces that all vigilantes are outlawed, so as to force Batman to work with her.
      The Result: Even a nice incarnation of Bruce Wayne would be taking offense since it isn't his fault that Arkham is a Cardboard Prison; an Awesome Ego Bruce engineers a Spit Take and takes loads of offense. He questions her intentions and her disregard of all that Batman does, and when in the cape decides to ignore her new rules completely. And of course this means that when Barbara points out that the Phantom Zone is outside their jurisdiction for locking the Joker away, that Bruce doesn't listen. The latter part was his fault, but Barbara has to learn to work with Batman's rules before she can save the city.
    • Joker's first phase of his scheme is surrendering himself and the entire Rogues Gallery to the new Commissioner Barbara Gordon. Batman and Barbara are suspicious because it's never this easy, and Batman is stir-crazy without having criminals to catch since apparently LEGO Gotham only has the superfluous villains. Barbara asks Batman to help her figure out what Joker's plan is.
      You'd Expect: Batman to agree, and put their heads together. He has a crush on Barbara, Squick aside, so he'd want to win brownie points with her, and besides which, she is the new Commissioner. She's got 24-hour surveillance on the Joker in Arkham Asylum while he has the big brains.
      Instead: Batman refuses to work with Barbara. With 'Puter and Dick Grayson's help, he steals Superman's Phantom Zone Projector, busts into Arkham with it when Barbara insists that he enter without any of his weapons, and zaps Joker into the Phantom Zone. This allows Joker to recruit multiple villains trapped there, like Lord Voldemort and Sauron, and help them escape. Also, apparently everyone forgot about Harley Quinn, who poses as an Arkham employee and releases all of the Phantom Zone prisoners to terrorize Gotham. Yes, this was all Batman's fault.
  • At the end of the CGI Lorax film, the environment outside the town becomes exposed thanks to a wall being destroyed.
    You'd expect: Mayor O'Hare to not do anything that might get him impeached. He can be serious about turning a new leaf, like your typical Dr. Seuss villain.
    Instead: He reveals he was kidding and orders the seed destroyed.
    The result: He gets impeached and sent flying away.
     M-R 
  • Megamind
    • The movie starts with two alien babies landing on Earth. One is a white, angelic Superman Expy who ends up at a millionare couple's doorstep. The other, a blue-skinned sapient genius with a talking fish, lands in a prison yard. Both are found immediately because the landing impacts were quite loud.
      You'd Expect: That child care services and the government science agencies would take away a blue skinned alien baby that comprehends so much at a young age to study him and give him a proper home, and do the same with "Mr. Goody Two Shoes". There's life on other planets! You have two babies from two different dying planets!
      Instead: Reed Richards Is Useless and Rule of Funny come into play. The millionaire couple adopts their child, who grows up to become the disillusioned superhero Metroman. The jail inmates, with their stern warden's permission, adopt the little blue baby, who becomes the playful supervillain Megamind, who views criminal activity as a game. In time Megamind gains multiple life sentences, while Metroman develops a Hollywood Midlife Crisis and leaves the city to Megamind and a new "hero"'s mercy. The whole movie could have been avoided with a little common sense and decent government oversight.
    • Metroman after a point resents his role as Metrocity's savior. He hates how his life is full of nothing but "going through the motions" with his old buddy, and that he doesn't have time to explore who he is or what he wants. Thing is, he started their whole "playtime" by putting a young Megamind in the corner for attempting to make popcorn in class. Thus, Megamind thinks this is how things are, that he is the bad guy and Metroman is the villain. No one's ever told him he could be someone or something else.
      You'd Expect: He would call a truce with Megamind while the latter is (temporarily) in prison. The villain considers that place his home, and isn't stupid. (Most of the time.) They could discuss that the game is over, so that Megamind could do something with his life other than try to kill Metroman and take Roxanne Ritchie hostage. Metroman could then find time to develop his music career, as he does later.
      Instead: Metroman decides to fake his death on the spur of the moment, giving Megamind control of the city and the means to create a new "hero" that ultimately goes rogue. Even though he has the power to stop Titan, he refuses to because he's not a hero anymore, and he tells Megamind that "good will step up," when a self-loathing Megamind doesn't think he can ever be a hero. Roxanne for good reason calls out Metroman for his selfishness, when Megamind created Titan and an ensuing citywide rampage.
    • Roxanne Richards in the meantime finds herself alone and out of resources when Hal as Tighten takes over the city, and a defeated Megamind leaves her to go back to jail, his home. Since no one else is doing the hero work, she decides to do it.
      You'd Expect: Megamind told Roxanne that the gun that could depower Hal was inside the invisible car, which he abandoned by accident somewhere in the city after she found out he was posing as Bernard and she dumped him. Tighten in the meantime is going on his rampage but allowing people to evacuate, which could give her time to comb the city and find the invisible car by shining a light on it. Then she grabs the gun, lures Tighten into a vulnerable position, and whack him.
      You'd Also Expect: Roxanne knows where Megamind's hideout is. She could take the suggestion she made to Megamind of grabbing his weapons and utilizing a Worf Barrage against Hal.
      Instead: Roxanne calls for Hal from the sky, and tries to reason with him. She tries to point out that they worked together for so many years, and that You Are Better Than You Think You Are. Unfortunately, Hal is beyond reason, and unlike Megamind, is willing to commit murder.
      The Result: Hal only spares Roxanne to tie her to a building and prepare to take it down slowly, demanding that Megamind come rescue her. Minion while disguised as Megamind manages to rescue her, but when Hal figures out who the real Megamind is, the latter nearly dies until Roxanne by dumb luck finds the invisible car and hints at Megamind where to find it..
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas - Jack, having decided to try doing Christmas himself, sends Lock, Shock, and Barrel to kidnap Santa Claus.
    You'd expect: Jack to employ more trustworthy people, or even perhaps ask Santa if it's okay to try doing Christmas himself, maybe even getting some tips in the bargain.
    Instead: He trusts the trio to "keep him [Santa] comfortable" and they, of course, send Santa down to Oogie Boogie.
    Also, You'd Think: Jack would make sure he knows what the heck he's doing.
    Instead: He charges into the holiday face-first, scaring the crap out of everyone and getting himself blown up, and would've stayed completely dead if Zero, his ghost-dog, didn't put him back together again, and if that didn't happen, Oogie would've killed Santa and Sally, and without Santa, Christmas would have to be cancelled forever.
  • ParaNorman:
    • During the 1600s, when the witch trials were going on, the judges in Blithe Hollow sentenced a little girl who could see ghosts to death. At her hanging, the other judges die from the psychic backlash of her death, and from her Dying Curse.
      You'd Expect: Someone to realize that they had actually executed an actual witch rather than The Scapegoat and realize that she can lash out even in death. It may be best for them to not anger her, and to do more research. You would also expect that if she's a historical figure then the town would keep accurate records on her.
      Instead: Agatha is buried after she's hung, with only her family visiting her grave. They accidentally keep her docile by reading her bedtime stories, while not allowing her to move on to the afterlife because she's still the traumatized girl she was when she died. The town has also turned Agatha's witch status into their money-making tourist attraction, with no attention paid to accuracy or record-keeping.
      The Result: By the time Norman is volunteered into reading fairy tales to the witch's grave, four hundred years of being painted as the villain and being unable to reunite with her mother has done a number on Agatha's ghost, and the bedtime stories are a No-Sell when Norman tries to use them twice. He and his friends also can't find any information on the witch or her executioners when they try to do research in City Hall, which causes most of them to nearly bail. It's only by Norman, who can see ghosts, witnessing a vision of Agatha's unfair trial and talking to the zombies that he realizes a solution, right when he's about to be killed by an angry mob and the witch is lashing out against the town.
  • The Prince of Egypt:
    • God has struck Egypt with all the plagues since Ramses won't let the Israelites free.
      You'd Expect: Ramses to back off once he realizes the Egyptian gods are no match and free the Israelites at any point: during the plagues, after the death of firstborn, after God sends a fireball to stop them, after God literally opens the Red Sea.
      Instead: He does not back off at all, until after his son dies, but he changes his mind and follows them all the way to the Red Sea to kill them.
      The Result: Egypt is ruined because of the plagues. His first born son is dead. His army has drowned and the Israelites are free.
  • Quest for Camelot:
    • Two of Ruber's men hold Kayley and her mother hostage, as Ruber transforms several of his men into mechanical selves by using a magic potion mixed in the farm's well.
      You'd Expect: One of Ruber's men to keep a grip on Kayley and wait for one of the transformed thugs to take his place while he goes to transform into his new self.
      Instead: He literally lets her go and runs to the well to be transformed, giving Kayley a chance to escape through the wall to the other side where she will not be seen.
    • When Garrett is explaining his backstory, a fire had broken out in the stables and Garrett (as a young boy) tries to rescue the horses who are neighing in panic.
      You'd Expect: Garrett to just move out of the way when possible after opening the stable doors.
      Instead: He clearly didn't consider that, and then soon faces a scared horse running towards him, raising his hooves in panic.
      Result: Garrett was struck in the eyes from the horse's hooves, where he ended up losing his sight permanently.
    • In the climax of the film, Ruber corners Kayley and Garrett in the courtyard where the stone that Excalibur came and is about to strike.
      You'd Expect: Ruber to eventually realize that Kayley and Garrett are in front of the stone, and decide to make a different attack from the side.
      Instead: He clearly never noticed the stone that Kayley and Garrett are in front of, and aims the sword in front of them, but they dodge away at the right time.
      Result: Ruber sends Excalibur back into the stone, and is unable to pull himself free. Because he bonded the sword to his hand with his potion earlier, Ruber clearly never considered the drawbacks of his move or to realize that only the rightful king can pull the sword free. This effectively causes Ruber to meet his untimely demise.
  • Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown: Lucy, Sally, Marcie and Pepperment Patty form a group for the race together and resolve dilemmas by paper votes. This essentially becomes their Idiot Ball.
    • It all begins when they vote on a leader.
      You'd Expect: They'd consider their choices wisely and pick someone that would best represent their group.
      Instead: They vote for themselves...or at least Marce does. She tallies the votes and upon reading her name, she blushes.
    • Just after the race begins, the girls come to a fork in the river.
      You'd Expect: That they'd take the left or the right way without any trouble.
      Instead: They have a vote and it turns out to be a tie.
      Immediately Afterward: Their raft crashes into the bank that divides the river.
    • After the bullies sabotage their raft, the girls get back on and leave Charlie Brown, Linus, Schroeder and Franklin wading in ice cold water.
      You'd Expect: That they'd help the boys climb aboard with no hesitation.
      Instead: They take a pretty long time before deciding to vote, Charlie Brown screaming in frustration all the while. After some deliberation they unanimously let the boys join their team. Seriously, voting over whether to allow an outside party to freeze to death?
      Later: The entire group has pulled ahead of the bullies, Snoopy and Woodstock with the finish line in their sight.
      You'd Expect: That they'd just cross the darn finish line.
      Instead: The girls exclaim in early jubilation, causing the boys the fall out of their raft. They go back to help them because they have decided on finishing as a team.
      You'd Then Expect: That this rescue would go smoothly as they have already saved the boys once before.
      Instead: The boys pile up on one side of the raft, causing it to capsize.
      The Result: They lose the race to Woodstock.
  • Recess: School's Out:
    • The Big Bad of the movie, Dr. Phillium Benedict is upset that the students are falling behind in the academic tests in the 1960s and wants to do something to improve it.
      You'd Expect: That he would conduct proper research, study what the high-performing countries like Japan do with testing, and simply try to enforce several strict rules such as either be more punctual, a punishment such as a detention for receiving low grades or simply gave them a pre-school tasks such as one to do in a summer vacation. You'd also expect that he recognize that sometimes, students and teachers needed breaks and thus he encourages them to go on summer vacation as a relief from the school pressures.
      Instead: He decides that the best thing to do is to cancel recess. The attempt does not go well and all it achieves it getting him fired. In fact, one episode of Recess showed that getting rid of recess leads to lower test scores and morale.
      Then: For some reason, he manages to become the Secretary of Education.
      You'd Expect: That he change his tactics. It says something if you lose your job due to an overly strict mandate, so best to refine your methods.
      Instead: He attempts to cancel recess nationwide. It is the exact same result and he loses his government job as well.
      What's worse: He refuses to learn from his mistakes, first blaming Principal Prickley for getting him fired, stealing his job and girlfriend Muriel Finster; we don't hear his opinion on the president firing him. Later on somehow he thinks that it's a good idea to create a global Ice Age just to get remove the summer vacation and recesses all because he thinks that with ice and snow that kids will just sit inside and study. He also believes that working all day is going to improve the marks and get him promoted into a president because of his Insane Troll Logic that countries like Canada, Iceland and Norway have colder seasons. Safe to say, if his plans ended up being executed perfectly, he would have done a thousand times more harm than good in the long run. TJ also points out that kids will find ways to have fun in the snow: "You can get rid of summer, but you can't get rid of summer vacation!"
    • Also in the film Benedict's plan involves using a stolen tractor beam to move the moon to another position, to create permanent winter in the United States on the day that the moon is closest to the Earth.
      You'd Expect: He would make sure the location is out of sight, and in a prime place to move the moon, say an observatory in the mountains where no one will notice. Also that he would cover up any misdeeds efficiently.
      Instead: He chooses Third Street School, which his hired scientists say is not suitable for the position, due to his obsession with having lost his job there. TJ, one of the two kids left in town after summer camp, sees the green glow from the tractor beam in broad daylight, and his friends later see it in the evening which makes them suspicious. Then after kidnapping Prickley, Benedict tosses the principal's golf pants in the trash and the bald guy impersonating Prickley unmasks himself in broad daylight while gloating about taking away the pants. The end result is that TJ and his friends find out about Benedict's plan and foils it.
    • While this has been going on, three parties have informed the police about the strange things going on at the school: TJ, his friends, and Ms. Finster. TJ talks about the school safe being levitated, his friends mention scientists with a strange beam, and Ms. Finster reports ninjas.
      You'd Expect: TJ and his friends are one thing, but Ms. Finster is a respectable adult. At the very least the police can open an investigation and set up a stakeout at the school.
      Instead: The police take a report from TJ, but they laugh. Each time, even with Ms. Finster. This means the kids have to rely on themselves to form an army from their classmates, and Finster follows suit with the teachers.
  • In Rock-A-Doodle, at the beginning of the film, a flood began to ensue and Edmond's family goes to stop the flood. Edmond asks his mother if he could help.
    You'd Expect: She would take Edmond with her and her family. After all, they're all facing a deadly flood. They need to get to a raft immediately.
    Instead: She just tells Edmond to stay in his room and pray for Chanticleer.
    • Shortly after Edmond calls for Chanticleer, the Grand Duke of Owls shows up to kill Edmond.
      You'd Expect: The Grand Duke of Owls would just simply kill him immediately (i.e. strangle him to death).
      Instead: He turns him into a kitten and decides to eat him, which ultimately fails when Patou shows up and eventually has to deal with the consequences.
    • While trapped in a chest underwater, Snipes gets claustrophobic.
      You'd Expect: Snipes would try to realize what situation he and the others are in and do nothing until they can find safety.
      Instead: He panics and tries to break his way out by using his beak to break open the chest, which nearly causes him, Patou, Peepers, and Edmond to drown.
     S-Z 
  • Shark Tale: Oscar owes his boss Sykes money. And he doesn't have said money. Angie gives him a pearl that her grandmother gave her so that he can get out of his debt.
    You'd expect: That Oscar would use the pearl to pay off his debt.
    Instead: He stupidly decides to bet the pearl at the seahorse races because he heard that the race was rigged and he wants to become rich.
    The result: Sykes is not pleased when he finds out about this, and the seahorse that Oscar bet on ends up tripping, resulting in Oscar winning zero money and thus he now can't pay off his debt.
  • Shrek:
    • Lord Farqaad wants to create a perfect kingdom. To do so, a magic mirror tells him he has to marry a princess to become a king. The mirror suggests three options, and Farqaad chooses Princess Fiona. The mirror then tries to add a caveat that she's cursed.
      You'd expect: That given how Genre Savvy Farqaad is later in having other knights go to rescue Fiona, that he would pay attention. You'd also expect that the mirror would keep trying to warn him.
      Instead: Farqaad dismisses the mirror's warnings that Fiona turns into an ogre at night, and the spell can be broken with true love. During the time he waits for Shrek to return, and Mirror either can't or doesn't warn him.
      • Moments before that, Lord Farqaad wants to select a princess to marry so he can be king. He has to choose between Snow White, Cinderella, and Princess Fiona.
        You'd Expect: That Farqaad chooses Snow White, since getting Snow White to love him would have required little to no effort (just a simple kiss).
        Instead: He chooses Fiona, which requires any suitor to go through a life-risking effort to save.
    • Lord Farquaad's marriage to Fiona has been interrupted by Shrek and just as he's ordered both of them to be detained, Dragon crashes through the church and begins lunging at him.
      You'd Expect: He would run away from Dragon so that he could avoid being eaten. Donkey and Shrek managed to do so earlier in the film.
      Instead: He stands in place screaming, giving Dragon enough time to swallow him whole, killing him.
  • Shrek 2
    • When Shrek is a human and he is looking for Fiona in the castle, the Fairy Godmother is in Fiona's room and locks the door and the window so Shrek can't escape. She also tells him that Fiona is in love with Charming while the two watch Fiona and Charming walk together.
      You'd Expect: For Shrek to not let the Fairy Godmother's trickery and words get to him. After all, he is married to Fiona. You'd also expect for Shrek pull himself together and continue looking for Fiona so he can explain to her about the spell.
      Instead: He slips into a Heroic BSoD and goes to the bar to wallow in self-pity. If not for Donkey cheering him up, Prince Charming would have ended up winning Fiona's heart through deceit and selfishness.
    • In another scene, Shrek and Donkey (as a human and a stallion, respectively), spy on the conversation that the Fairy Godmother and Prince Charming are having with King Harold.
      You’d Expect: For Shrek and Donkey to keep quiet until the conversation is over.
      Instead: Donkey opens his big mouth and says "mama" loud enough for the Fairy Godmother to catch the trio spying. What’s worse is that Shrek escalades the situation by pointing at Donkey and saying "look, a talking horse!"
      As A Result: The Godmother orders the police to go after Shrek, Donkey, and Puss in Boots. The trio end up getting arrested and thrown in jail.
      Thankfully: Pinocchio, the three little pigs, and co. help the trio escape from prison.
  • The Simpsons Movie
    • When Homer is taking Spider Pig/Harry Plopper's waste silo to the be disposed, of gets a call from Lenny telling him that they're giving away free donuts at the shop but they're going fast.
      You'd Expect: Homer to go to the donut shop first and THEN dispose of the silo.
      Or: Homer to ask Lenny to save him some donuts.
      Instead: He goes and dumps the silo in the recently cleaned up Springfield Lake right when the EPA was investigating Springfield's pollution. The lake is now so badly polluted that Springfield is sealed under a giant glass dome.
    • When the citizens of Springfield find out Homer was responsible for their imprisonment in the dome, they form an angry mob to try and kill him outside his house...but are heading in the opposite direction!
      You'd Expect: The Simpsons to take advantage of the situation and get out of the house before they realize they're heading the wrong way.
      Instead: Homer loudly mocks them for it, and they start heading in the right direction.
    • Bart, Marge, Lisa, and Maggie are on the train on their way back to Springfield & the EPA are keeping track of what everyone is saying by using hidden microphones.
      You'd Expect: For Bart, Marge, and Lisa to keep quiet during the ride to Springfield.
      Instead: They run their mouths and the EPA is able to hear them! They get captured, and end up back in the dome. Way to go there, guys.
      That said: Lisa was at least smart enough to lampshade the potential danger, but Marge simply dismissed it.
  • South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut:
    • The entirety of South Park Elementary, save for Wendy and Gregory, has seen the new Terrance and Phillip movie. Cartman calls Kyle a "fucking Jew" which gets him in trouble. Mr. Garrison asks, "Did you just say the f-word?"
      You'd Expect: Kyle and the other kids to keep their mouths shut and let Cartman take the heat.
      Instead: Kyle explains, "He's talking about "fuck". You can't say "fuck" in school, you fucking fatass."
      To Make Matters Worse: Stan and Kenny say fuck for no good reason, and all four boys get sent to the school counselor.
    • Kyle stands up to his mother, Sheila. He criticizes her for starting the American-Canadian War and wanting Terrance and Phillip dead, all because of foul language. The soldiers all around him tearfully admit that he's right and agree to stop fighting.
      You'd Expect: For Sheila to admit that she was wrong and share a heartfelt moment with her son.
      Instead: She lets out a Big "NO!", snatches a commander's gun and fires at Terrance and Phillip. When their blood touches the ground, Satan and Saddam Hussein emerge from Hell and begin their reign of terror. Oops.
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
    • Miles Morales is a biracial teen from Brooklyn who has been accepted into an elite charter school. He dislikes this because for the first time he's away from his friends, most of the students there laugh at him, and he's having a Culture Clash with having to meet the high standards. His dad Jefferson disagrees; he believes Miles has earned his place in this school and could benefit from a higher education.
      You'd Expect: Miles would talk to his teachers about a potential alternative to the academy, or plan to stick it out until he graduates middle school, and can argue to return to his Brooklyn friends before college.
      Instead: Miles tries to deliberately flunk a true-false physics exam and gets every question wrong on purpose, so as to get expelled.
      The Result: His physics teacher calls him after class and gets him to admit that he failed on purpose by quizzing him on probability. She turns his 0 into a 100 since it proves he knew every answer, and assigns him an essay about what he wants out of his life under the title "Great Expectations".
    • After this, Miles goes to visit his Uncle Aaron. Aaron is pleased to see the sketch he made for a "Great Expectations" graffiti, and tells him they should go spray it somewhere. Miles somewhat defers because his dad, a cop, has asked him not to put up graffiti or stickers. Unknown to Miles, Aaron is the hitman and supervillain The Prowler, who works on Kingpin's payroll. Uncle Aaron suggests a spot where his brother Jefferson won't find the art.
      You'd Expect: Aaron would choose a very secluded and relatively safe area, far from where the Kingpin is hosting his dimensional experiments. As a hitman who loves his nephew, he ought to know better.
      Instead: Aaron takes Miles down to an abandoned subway tunnel that's fairly old and decrepit. It's also close enough to the Kingpin's Brooklyn Alchemax headquarters. When Miles returns the next night to investigate the spider that bit him, he sees the portal projects that Kingpin is doing.
      The Result: The first night, Miles gets bitten by a spider that coincidentally happens to come from Alchemax and can infuse anyone it bites with Spider-Man's powers. On night two, when he goes back to figure out what kind of spider gave him powers, Miles gets caught in the three-way battle between Goblin, Spider-Man, and Kingpin. Spider-Man dies protecting Miles and ordering him to destroy the portal, while Kingpin sees Miles's fleeing silhouette and orders the Prowler to kill the only eyewitness.
    • Much later on, Miles, Peter B., and Spider-Gwen go to visit this world's Aunt May, who has been overwhelmed with people's grief, love, and tributes for her nephew. She reveals that Spider-Heroes from other dimensions have come as well, and they decide to team up to stop Kingpin and shut down the portal. Miles volunteers to be the shut-off guy because he's the only one who won't die from cellular disintegration, due to this being his home dimension. The other Spider-Heroes, especially Gwen, are skeptical and worried about an untrained kid being killed on their mission; Peni Parker's even younger but she has her genius skills and mecha to fight. Miles points out that he made a promise to his Spider-Man, and it's his responsibility.
      You'd Expect: They would concoct a plan that would allow Miles to explode the portal after they go home, and to escape Kingpin's wrath. Miles doesn't actually need to fight if he can learn to control his invisibility. They just need to figure out how to help him control it.
      Instead: The Spider-Heroes challenge Miles to various fights to see if he has the endurance to get up after someone knocks him to the ground. Miles obviously doesn't, because he's only had his powers for a few days, and they conclude he'd be The Millstone.
      The Result: Due to Miles's poorly-thought decision to go to his uncle for advice, and realizing that his uncle is the Prowler, Kingpins' villains arrive at May's front door to take out all the Spider-Heroes. The Spider-Heroes win the fight, but Uncle Aaron dies refusing to fire on Miles when he realizes the kid he was ordered to kill is his beloved nephew.
  • The Spongebob Squarepants Movie: So Squidward finds out that Plankton has stolen the Krabby Patty Formula and King Neptune's Crown while framing Mr. Krabs in the process, and he decides to take action.
    You'd Expect: Squidward to go straight to King Neptune and clear Krabs' name once and for all. Granted, he likely would have been completely ignored and fobbed off, but it would have been worth a shot. He still could have gotten help from Princess Mindy to fix the situation, though.
    Instead: He charges straight into the Chum Bucket, brags that he's going to expose Plankton, and gets cornered and brainwashed as a result. Plankton even dubs the stubborn, outspoken octopus "Inspector Looselips".
    • How does Plankton frame Mr. Krabs for stealing the crown? Simply by leaving a note saying I stole your crown signed Eugene Krabs.
      You'd Expect: Neptune to realize that this clearly an attempt to frame somebody as probably nobody on earth would do something so stupid, and instead try to look for clues, like checking for fingerprints or possibly asking the guards if they noticed anyone strange in the palace.
      Instead: The note totally convinces Neptune that Krabs did it.
  • Storks:
    • While flying in Tulip's homemade hovercraft, Tulip, who is flying the craft, becomes concerned about the baby when she starts fussing. Junior tells her not to worry about it, but Tulip's conscience gets the better of her and goes to check on the baby, causing the craft start losing altitude.
      You'd Expect: That either Junior or Tulip would press the auto-pilot button to stabilize the craft.
      Instead: Out of panic, neither one thinks to do this and the craft ends up crashing in the Arctic as a result. The two of them lampshade this moments later.
  • Strange Magic: Roland is cheating on Princess Marianne who he is about to marry for her armies.
    You'd Expect: Him to wait a single day until he's married to Marianne before he continues cheating on her.
    Instead: He cheats on her right before the wedding, in broad daylight! It's a wonder that she didn't catch him before.
  • The Swan Princess:
    • In the first film, Odette is proposing to Derek before their marriage and asks him if there's anything he cares about other than her beauty.
      You'd Expect: Derek to explain how kind she is and that she has a good heart, like he does near the end of the film.
      Instead: "What else is there?"
    • In the second film, Escape From Castle Mountain, Puffin is flying over the forest and sees Clavius' henchman, Knuckles, setting a trap for Derek.
      You'd Expect: Puffin to find Derek and warn him that there's a trap waiting for him in the forest.
      Instead: He flies down to attack Knuckles, who is easily able to swat him into a tree, spraining his tail and rendering him unable to fly for the rest of the movie.
      • Near the end of the film, Derek has managed to steal the Forbidden Arts back from Clavius and orders his friends and mother into the balloon so they can escape.
        You'd Expect: Clavius to try and shoot the balloon down with a bolt of magic.
        Instead: He leaps onto the balloon and tries to climb the rope. As a result, Derek drops the Forbidden Arts and Clavius falls down with it. When the Forbidden Arts hits the floor, it explodes, killing Clavius.
    • In the third film, The Mystery of the Enchanted Treasure, Derek has Rothbart's notes on the Forbidden Arts locked away in a chest, because he believes that he can use their power for good. Odette, however, expresses concern about this and tells Derek to destroy the notes.
      You'd Expect: Derek to listen to Odette and burn the notes as soon as possible.
      Instead: He tells her that he will destroy them after the festival that they're preparing for is over.
      Result: Zelda manages to steal the Forbidden Arts.
      • Later in the film, Derek is on his way to confront Zelda, when he meets Odette (actually Zelda) in the middle of the forest.
        You'd Expect: Derek to be somewhat suspicious of seeing Odette in the middle of the forest after Zelda explicitly stated that she has captured Odette. After all, Rothbart pulled that trick on him all the way back in the first movie.
        Instead: He instantly believes that Odette managed to escape from Zelda.
        Even Worse: He accidentally reveals that he has the last word to complete the Forbidden Arts' power to destroy. As Zelda takes it away from him and sheds her disguise, she lampshades how foolish Derek is:
      "You keep falling for that fake Odette trick, don't you, big guy?"
  • Teen Titans: The Judas Contract
    • Brother Blood has hired Deathstroke the Terminator to capture the Titans, so that he can absorb their powers. Deathstroke to this purpose uses a mole named Terra, whom he rescued as a child and is grooming. Terra can move the Earth. He manages to capture all of the Titans except for Nightwing, and Deathstroke has to presume he is dead.
      You'd Expect: Slade to remember that Terra is an unstable teenager and that she emotionally depends on him. Also, you would expect he'd send her to hunt down another metahuman to fit the bill.
      Instead: He sells her out to Brother Blood to fulfill his contract.
      The Result: She goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge the minute she's free from the machine, asking if she was just another test subject for him. Slade can't put up a sensible defense or reason with her, and they both die in the ensuing landslide.
  • Thumbelina gives a major one early into the movie. After an encounter with Mrs. Toad and her sons, Thumbelina meets Jacquimo, whom Thumbelina tells about her situation about getting back home.
    You'd Expect: Either A) for Thumbelina to realize that Jacquimo is a bird who can fly and would ask for him to fly her home, or B) for Jacquimo to offer to fly Thumbelina back home. Either scenario, Thumbelina would be reunited with her mother and Cornelius.
    Instead: The thought never once comes to the two of them, and all Jacquimo can do is to tell Thumbelina to "follow her heart" back home and leaves her to walk back while he goes to find the Valley of Fairies, leading Thumbelina to have a series of encounters with multiple villains who want to take advantage of her in multiple ways.
  • In The Transformers: The Movie, Megatron is stalling Optimus, who has some exposed wounds on his left side, so he can grab a gun to shoot him while Optimus is busy talking instead of executing him. Hot Rod sees this and tries to stop Megatron.
    You'd Expect: Hot Rod shoots the gun, shoots Megatron in the back, or yells at Optimus "He's going for a gun!"
    Instead: He tries to tackle pound-for-pound one of the strongest and most dangerous Decepticons in the series, who easily overcomes him, thereby giving Megatron an Autobot shield from which be can blast Optimus with ease without fear of retaliation. Optimus dies as a result.
    Alternatively: Optimus could've kept his own mouth shut and killed Megatron as soon as he leveled his gun on him. Or positioned himself so that his injuries weren't in Megatron's line of fire. Especially since Optimus knows from personal experience that Megatron has multiple built-in weapons.
    • Ultra Magnus has been utterly destroyed by the Decepticons, such that his body is laying in pieces. The Junkions collect his parts, reassemble him, and he is miraculously brought back to life.
      You'd Expect: Once the threat of Unicron has been dealt with, the Autobots bring to the Junkions the bodies of Optimus Prime and any other Autobots that have been killed earlier so they can also be brought back to life.
      Instead: The Junkion's resurrection ability is never brought up again.
  • Wallace & Gromit : A Matter of Loaf and Death
    • Gromit has just been to Piella's house and has found out from her diary that she's the serial killer and that she intends to murder Wallace. He takes her diary so he can show it to Wallace and warn him.
      You'd expect: Gromit to make sure that Piella wasn't in the house before he showed Wallace the diary.
      Instead: He doesn't, and she turns out to have been sitting in the same room as Wallace the whole time, and to have seen everything.
      As a result: Piella surreptitiously takes the diary off Gromit and throws it in the fire. Gromit loses the only piece of evidence he has to convince Wallace that Piella doesn't have his best interests at heart.
      Even worse: Piella now knows that Gromit knows that she's planning to kill Wallace, and can now make sure that he's out of the way before she makes any more attempts on Wallace's life.
    • Piella sets a trap for Gromit and locks him in a room with Fluffles.
      You'd expect: Piella to make sure that there was nothing in the room that the dogs could use to escape.
      Instead: She doesn't, and the room turns out to contain the Bake-O-Lite hot air balloon.
      As a result: Gromit and Fluffles use the balloon to fly to Wallace's house in time to save his life.
    • After Gromit and Fluffles save Wallace from Piella, she escapes from them using the Bake-O-Lite balloon.
      You'd expect: Piella to remember that she's too heavy for the balloon, and to get off of it.
      Instead: She doesn't, and the balloon descends into the zoo where she is eaten by crocodiles.
  • In Wakko's Wish, when the Warners are told about the wishing star that landed near the town...
    You'd Expect: The Warners to realize that if anybody else finds out about the star, they will definitely try to get to it as well and keep their mouths shut about it.
    Instead: They actually tell the entire town via song about the wishing star and what you have to do get the wish (touch it), and naturally, they all immediately start racing to try to get to the wishing star first.
    • This is actually Lampshaded:
    Dot: Maybe we should've kept this our little secret.
  • In Watership Down, a film that portrays the grim and realistic life of a rabbit, a prologue at the very beginning reveals that the reason for this is a very prominent example of this trope. In the very beginning, all of the animals lived together in peace and harmony, until the rabbits population started increasing rapidly and the rabbits started claiming most of the food and resources for themselves. Eventually the animal God Frith tells the leader of the rabbits El-ahrairah to get his people under control, or else he will find ways to control them
    You'd Expect: That since Frith is an all-powerful god and that his ways of controlling them will undoubtably lead to big trouble for all of the other rabbits, El-ahrairah would take Frith seriously and order the other rabbits to be more thoughtful with how much food they consume.
    Instead: The egotistical rabbit brushes of Frith's warning and tells him that his people are the strongest in the world. A pissed Frith then gives all of the other animals a strong desire to devour rabbits, resulting in the the dangerous life a rabbit has to go through in general.

Alternative Title(s): Animated Film

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