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What An Idiot / Jurassic Park

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"Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think if they should."
Ian Malcolm

65 millions years in the making can't excuse those sheer moments of idiocy.

Jurassic Park (novel)

  • The park wants to showcase a flock of pterosaurs via a cool little treehouse lodge in their aviary that guests can safely watch them from, but they need to make sure the pterosaurs are acclimated to the lodge first.
    You'd Expect: Them to build the aviary lodge first, then release the pterosaurs into the aviary (or better yet, hold off on cloning pterosaurs entirely until their enclosure is finished). Since the lodge will have been there from the start, the pterosaurs will come to see it as part of their habitat, acclimating to it instantly.
    Instead: They release the pterosaurs into the aviary and then start building the lodge. Barring the fact that the pterosaurs are violently territorial, the noise and debris that would be generated by the construction of the lodge would inevitably make any animal living there (humans included) extremely irritable.

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  • The Dilophosaurus are unexpectedly discovered to be poisonous, and pose a serious risk to visitor safety after a nasty incident with one of the keepers reveals they can spit venom at a distance of 50ft. Unfortunately, despite two separate operations, the vets haven't found where the venom glands are situated in the body so they can be removed.
    You'd Expect: That park managment would allow the vets to euthanise one to allow them to perform a comprehensive autopsy to find where the venom glands are located in the body, or failing that, destroy all the dinosaurs as their venom-spitting abilities makes them extremely dangerous, posing the high likelihood of a park visitor or member of staff being killed or at the very least left permenantly blind, not to mention the inevitability of a lawsuit from a grieving family member or injured park visitor/former member of staff.
    Instead: Park management refuses to destroy any of the dinosaurs, rendering an autopsy impossible and the Dilophosaurus still pose a danger. The closest they come to providing a solution is ensuring an antivenom and eyewash is kept close to the dilophosaur paddock.

Jurassic Park (film)

  • When everybody leaves the island (except for Hammond, Muldoon, Arnold, Nedry, and Grant's group) for the end of the day and because of a tropical storm, Nedry plans to hack Jurassic Park by turning off the security system (except for the raptor fences) so that he could steal the embryos and escape.
    You'd expect: Hammond to have at least actual security guards (if there were any) to stay on the island in case there was a system failure and they could have Nedry caught with the embryos and have him fix the system.
    Instead: He has everybody leave the island for the day, and has NO security guards around to stay and prevent anything bad from happening, and Nedry hacks into the system and causes phones and security power to go out. And he steals the embryos. And there is now no way to get Jurassic Park back online.
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  • Speaking of which, Nedry is trying to steal the embyros, and has full access to the park's security system to accomplish this.
    You'd Expect: Nedry would be subtle in his sabotage. He needs to get off the island without being caught. With full access to the system, he could strategically crash specific systems in a sequence that would allow him to sneak out without raising suspicion and with minimal risk that the dinosaurs will escape their enclosures.
    Instead: His sabotage is a hugely unsubtle full system crash that makes it immediately apparent he is to blame, and he leaves ample proof that it was done maliciously (including a taunting gif that says "Ah ah ah, you didn't say the magic word"). Unless he was trying to ruin the park and get everyone killed, which Dodgson never indicated was part of the job, this only serves to backfire on him when the dinosaurs he's let loose kill him when he runs off the road.
  • Lex has previously been told that dinosaurs are attracted to sound and movement. The car she's in breaks down, and a T.Rex starts moving around it, eventually attacking the car.
    You'd expect: She'd hide in the footwell and be quiet so it would go away.
    Instead: She screams and waves a flashlight around, even after her brother repeatedly tells her to turn it off.
  • Hammond is building a cross between a nature reserve and a zoo, using cloned animals with unknown properties on a location about as far from help as you can get. So naturally, he spares no expense.
    You'd expect: He would spend some of those expenses on not having simple electric systems operated by a complicated computer system. Door locks for instance, and lighting, and maybe those electric fences that keep all the dinosaurs in their own domains. Then they'd throw in a backup generator that turns on automatically when the current goes out, like the ones you can find in hospitals and police stations all over the world, and maybe someone would notice that the same creatures can be secured just as well with thick steel bars or a large enough moat, like you see in lion and elephant enclosures in normal zoos.
    Instead: They don't take any of the safety measures that are standard procedure in places that keep dangerous animals, nor any of those that are standard procedure in places where people might die when the power goes out. And of course they blame their eventual failure on the unpredictability of animal life.
  • The Velociraptors have proven themselves to be not only extremely dangerous, but very aggressive and extremely intelligent, easily making them the most dangerous dinosaurs in the park. Muldoon notes that they have been testing the electric fences for weaknesses, and in the intro we see one kill a man named Jophrey Brown. These are animals vicious enough to strip a live cow to the bone in less than three minutes, and they have made it clear they want to escape.
    You'd Expect: That they take Muldoon's advice and destroy the raptors. At the very least, the fact that the raptors have killed a man before would have lead to the animal in question being euthanized in any animal preserve or zoo on the planet. Except, of course, SeaWorld. Or, at the very, very least, keep the animals quarantined in a place where they have no avenues of escape should they break out, and as far from any human beings as possible until they can figure out what to do with them. These aren't animals you want anywhere near a crowd of visiting tourists, barriers or no.
    Instead: Hammond insists they remain alive, since he has started viewing them as pets or even children and has them kept in what amounts to an electrified box in the middle of a clearing, with a dense jungle only yards away. What's worse, he places this enclosure very near to a critical utility junction for the Park's electrified fences. Eventually, the raptors escape. This conga-line of bad decisions leads to their most qualified programmer and animal expert getting killed, and nearly leads to Ellie's own death when they all attempt to restore power to the park's compromised electrical fences.
  • Dennis Nedry has crashed his jeep while trying to give some stolen DNA to Biosyn, a rival company. There's a sign nearby that points to a dock where Nedry is supposed to hand the DNA over.
    You'd Expect: Nedry would see the sign and head for the dock by foot. He still has the DNA, so the jeep is no loss.
    Instead: Nedry tries to pull the jeep down the falls. He slips, loses his glasses, gets confronted by a Dilophosaurus, is blinded by its acidic spit, and is eaten. He loses the DNA, which is buried under mud.
  • A dangerous tropical storm is running through the area, on the same day Dennis Nedry and Dodgson had made their plans on their sabotage.
    You'd Expect: That Dodgson or Nedry would call off the sabotage for another day. Yeah, it would stink to lose all the money they paid on the boat delivery, but Dodgson is going to recoup the cost quite fast once they get things up and running; having Nedry keep on with the plan under the same time crunch with dangerous conditions afoot seriously increases the chance that the sabotage will go awry. Nedry may be greedy, but even he should realize his own life matters more than his money.
    Instead: The delivery man insists on going forward with the sabotage anyway, with little consideration to the level of risk now involved. Unsurprisingly, Nedry's time crunch coupled with the bad weather gets him killed and ruins the plan when the stolen DNA is buried under mud.
  • After Ray Arnold reboots the system to get the security defences, communications etc. working again, he has to go to the utility shed to flip the circuit breakers.
    You'd Expect: That he'd ask the heavily armed and capable Muldoon to come with him, since they know the T-Rex is roaming the park, along with who knows what other large and easily spooked dinosaurs.
    You'd Also Expect: That the group would consider the possibility that, in turning everything off, they also turned off the raptor fences.
    Instead: Arnold sets out alone and is killed. Ellie and Muldoon go after him when he doesn't return, and are shocked that the fences have been deactivated and the raptors are loose!
  • Alan Grant and Ellie fend off a Velociraptor that's getting into the control room by trying to push the door closed. Ellie tries to grab Alan's gun, but it's too far away from her and if she moves, the door will open.
    You'd Expect: Either Alan or Ellie to yell to Tim to give them the gun.
    Instead: They just let Tim anxiously wait for his sister to get through the computer system and lock out the Velociraptor.
    • The Velociraptor also has her "What an idiot!" moment here.
      You'd Expect: The Velociraptor to remember that the room has glass windows, abandon the pushing game with the humans and just break in through the window.
      Instead: She doesn't do so until the door gets electromagnetically locked which gives enough time for the humans to escape through the duct system.
  • At the end of the movie, the survivors make their escape by helicopter.
    You'd Expect: The island to be firebombed, since it's been proven that the dinosaurs are too dangerous to be left alive and there are those who would steal them from the island, not to mention that the dinosaurs are in fact capable of breeding. Note that this is exactly what happened in the book, and in the game based on the film.
    Instead: They apparently leave the island alone, seemingly in the belief that the dinosaurs will die out naturally due to not getting the lysine supplement they require to survive. Which might have been a valid plan, if not for the fact that they shouldn't have been able to breed either, yet have found a way to do so.

The Lost World: Jurassic Park

  • Sarah Harding is supposed to be an expert in animal handling. When we first see her, she is observing a herd of Stegosaurus and sees one of their young.
    You'd Expect: For her to remember one of the most basic rules that even the general public can be expected to know, don't mess around with an animal's young. Her job isn't to play around with Stegosaurus kids, it's to take photos of the dinosaurs for a documentary to help support Hammond's efforts to stop a zoo from being made.
    Instead: She gets close enough to touch it, and goes close to the Stegosaurus nest to take those photos and is somehow surprised when the adults react badly.
  • After sabotaging the InGen team, Nick van Owen comes across the baby rex that Roland injured as a lure for its parents.
    You'd Expect: For Nick to let common sense override his compassion and not mess with the baby.
    Instead: He brings it back to the trailer. Naturally, its parents don't take kindly to this.
  • Malcolm's team and the team from InGen have to roam the island after their equipment is destroyed by the dinosaurs. Sarah warns everyone about the olfactory powers of Tyrannosaurus rex, which can sniff out just about anything...including the baby rex blood on her vest. Roland actually points this out to her when he thinks she's injured, and she realises that the blood isn't drying in the humidity of the climate.
    You'd Expect: She would immediately ditch the vest, or at the very least try to wash it or make some attempt to get the blood off, especially after her info dump about the rex's powerful sense of smell and her conversation with Roland.
    Instead: She doesn't get rid of it or try to clean it. She even hangs it up to dry, which means that even more of its scent will be carried on the wind. She finally realizes her mistake when there's a T. rex nose in her tent. Luckily, she wasn't wearing the vest and the rex missed her.
  • This leads to another stupid moment. While the rex is sniffing inside her tent and Malcolm is nearby, silently wishing it would go away, an InGen mook wakes up and sees the rex.
    You'd Expect: He would do the same thing as Malcolm—keep quiet and try to stay unnoticed.
    Instead: He starts screaming at the top of his lungs, both getting the rex's attention and triggering a panicked stampede. This leads to his death when he trips, his mates trample him and he is finally stomped under the rex's foot and carried several yards.
    • Additionally, this is all happening in a campsite filled with experienced mercenaries, who are on edge because they're stranded on an island filled with dangerous predators and one member of their party has already gone missing, likely dead.
      You'd Expect: That when they set up camp, they'd post several guards to keep watch while the others get some rest and alert everyone should they spot a threat.
      Instead: Ajay and Ian appear to be the only ones still awake and keeping watch when Roland and his team get back, and Ian is initially the only one who spots the T.rex in the act of invading the tent.
  • At one point Nick van Owen and Roland Tembo have a conversation about Roland wanting to hunt the buck T.rex, and Nick obviously disapproves of Roland's 'Great White Hunter' mentality.
    You'd Expect: That Nick would put his activism on hold for the next while, at least until they get back to civilisation. They're on a remote island swarming with very dangerous animals, including two angry T.rexes, and they need as much protection as they can get. He may not like Ingen or Roland but getting everyone off the island alive is far more important, and even if he likely doesn't care about the mercenaries he surely cares about his friends. Plus he's already seen how his previous actions — letting the captive dinosaurs loose, bringing the baby rex back to camp — ended up stranding them all and causing Eddie's death, and he should realise he needs to give it a rest for now.
    You'd Also Expect: That Roland would err on the side of both caution and basic gun-handling and never leave his weapon lying around unattended, even if he weren't currently travelling with a well known saboteur.
    Instead: Nick gets the chance to sabotage Roland's gun, meaning Roland can't shoot the buck T.Rex when it's attacking their camp; this causes a chain reaction that ends with practically everyone in the group getting killed, save the 'protagonists' and Roland and Ludlow. What's more, because Roland was forced to tranquillise the rex instead of killing it, Ludlow decides to recoup his losses and has it brought back to San Diego...
  • When Ludlow's giving a presentation speech at the docks about the opening of Jurassic Park San Diego, in anticipation of the ship arriving with the captured adult T-Rex, he's alerted by the Ingen harbor master that said ship is neither responding to their hails nor slowing down, meaning it's very likely going to crash into the dock.
    You'd Expect: That once it becomes clear the ship's on a collision course, Ludlow, the harbor master and everyone else in the office would start running like hell, and tell the assembled crowd to run too.
    Instead: The whole lot of them just stand and stare at the computer screen showing the ship getting closer and closer, and Ludlow comes out of the office only just in time to escape being killed when the ship careens out of the mist and pulverizes the building, along with a fair chunk of the harbor.

Jurassic Park III

  • The characters are stranded on Isla Sorna after their plane crashed. (The fact that they went there in the first place could qualify as a "What an Idiot" moment in itself.) Fortunately, one of those characters is Alan Grant, a renowned paleontologist who has first-hand experience with resurrected dinosaurs.
    You'd Expect: Everyone else would follow his orders to the letter.
    Instead: One of them—Amanda Kirby—gripes about having to do what Grant tells them (even her ex-husband is smart enough to heed the advice of the dino expert) and does things like wander off on her own—into a raptor nest.
  • This leads to another stupid moment when Billy catches up to the Kirbys at the nest.
    You'd Expect: That Billy, being Grant's protégé in raptor studies, would get everyone away from the nest immediately without disturbing it.
    Instead: He takes two of the eggs to sell once they escape the island. Predictably, the raptors don't take kindly to this, and Udesky ends up paying the price.

Jurassic World

  • Claire Dearing is a park operations manager at the titular park. Her job requires her to work the regular 24 hours, to deal with investors and potential problems because Masrani trusts her with the way she prefers handling things as cleanly as possible. She finds out that her sister Karen is arranging a divorce and wants Claire to entertain Karen's sons — Zach and Grey — while she and Scott go through the proceedings.
    You'd Expect: Claire to either explain that she can't drop everything at a moment's notice, or have arranged the time off months ahead of the vacation. As a woman, she faces a higher stigma of maintaining her high-level position, and especially in a park that has a huge amounts of visitors every day.
    You'd Also Expect: That Karen and Scott would have been honest with their kids about the divorce. It's not a great thing, but dishonesty is never a good policy. Also you'd expect that the boys would be careful since Jurassic World's legacy is one of dinosaurs rampaging and killing people.
    Instead: Claire doesn't do either, and her sister Karen isn't much better. It isn't clear how much time was spent preparing for the trip, although flight time would be at minimum several hours. The kids arrive on a day that Claire is convincing investors to sponsor Indominus rex, and she sets them up with fast passes and a babysitter, her assistant Zara. Karen and Scott also never told their kids, but Grey figured it out after googling the lawyer his mother saw, and he starts to cry when talking to Zach about it. Zach, both because Grey is an Annoying Younger Sibling and because he also wants to make sure his brother has a good time, decides to take him in a restricted area to see the "real" park.
    The Result: Karen calls Claire to guilt-trip her about spending time with the boys, after she finds out from Zach, and for not having children. Claire cuts off the phone call abruptly, because she has to see Owen Grady about examining the Indominus paddock. Meanwhile Zach and Grey discover the escaped Indominus, and barely escape with their lives.
  • The gyrosphere is basically a cross between a golf cart and a giant hamster ball that allows park visitors to get close to dinosaurs without danger. Zach and Grey are out in one when the alarm is called, but they decide to go through a gate that's somehow been left open into a restricted area.
    You'd Expect: The gyrosphere would have been programmed to only allow guests to go into designated public areas and that in the event of an emergency there'd be an automatic recall function that would override the guests' control.
    Instead: Zach and Grey are able to drive into a restricted section of the park while ignoring the emergency notification.
    The Result: Zach and Grey encounter the escaped Indominus Rex and are attacked by it, only narrowly avoiding being eaten and forcing Owen and Claire to search for them instead of dealing with the escaped, rampaging super-predator.
  • The scientists in charge of the eponymous park decide to make a hybrid dinosaur to draw more crowds.
    You'd Expect: The scientists to create a docile dinosaur that wouldn't cause rampage should the attempt ended up failing.
    Or: Instead of focusing on creating more dinosaurs, the company simply resurrect and feature other prehistoric animals such as Paraceratherium, Woolly Mammoth, or even a Megalodonnote . After all, if visitors start to become bored with dinosaurs, why not educate them on other geological eras and prehistoric animal to the common mass of people so that they will still be enticed to come to their parks.
    Instead: They create the Indominus rex, a highly-aggressive hybrid of T.rex, Velociraptor, Therizinosaurus, snake, cuttlefish, tree frog, Carnotaurus, Majungasaurus, Rugops, and Giganotosaurus DNA. The end result is an unstoppable killing machine which goes on a rampage.
    Justification: The I. rex is the result of a secret program within InGen to weaponize its genetic technology and the potential of paleo DNA to create a designer Attack Animal. Still, the fact that no one called shenanigans on this until it was too late counts.
  • Claire and Owen suspect that the dinosaur Big Bad has escaped its paddock, but they can track it from the control room, which is fairly far away.
    You'd Expect: Claire, knowing there isn't enough time to get there, to call Lowery from the paddock and ask him if the asset is still in its cage.
    Instead: She gets in her car and calls Mission Control while driving. This is even lampshaded in the How It Should Have Ended parody, where one of the segments has Claire call Lowery from the paddock, finds out the I-Rex is still in there, but can't see it for some reason (because of camouflage note ).
  • Once the Indominus has escaped, killing two workers in the process, Owen (who barely avoided the same fate) goes straight to Masrani and tells him to pull out a BFG and blast her into oblivion.
    You'd Expect: Masrani to do just that, seeing as the Indominus has just proven herself far too clever and dangerous to be contained. In addition, this advice is coming from the guy that Masrani specifically asked to evaluate the creature.
    Instead: Masrani insists that the Asset Containment Unit subdue the Indominus with non-lethal weapons, simply because she cost $26 million to create (which would hardly be a loss for "the 8th richest man in the world"note ).
    As a Result: Five ACU troopers are killed, which is just the beginning of a rampage that causes dozens more casualties, both human and dinosaur (including Masrani himself) and ultimately leads to the destruction and abandonment of the park itself. The horrendous suffering and loss of life aside, the financial damage to Masrani Global from lost income, lawsuits, settlements, and whatever else would no doubt make the aforementioned $26 mil look like chump change.
  • A mixed swarm of predatory pterosaurs is flying straight toward the most populated area in the park.
    You'd Expect: The park's employees to try and usher the tourists to safety or both the tourists and employees to take refuge in the multitudes of buildings in the park's Main Street. If they can accomplish that before the animals get in, then the pterosaurs will likely just stay there for a while before the ACU shows up to subdue them.
    You'd Also Expect: The park to have set up clearly marked emergency bunkers for guests and staff to hide in in the event that there's a breakout. Also, that the staff will have been drilled in what to do in the event that the animals break free.
    Instead: Both the tourists and employees start running and screaming in blind panic (and the ones who are already in the relative safety of the buildings run out of them), which not only alerts the pterosaurs to their location but also entices them to chase after them.
    • Which in turn, leads to another idiot moment for InGen:
      You'd Expect: That much like in the first film, the people staffing this highly sophisticated and potentially dangerous park would be some of the most experienced and qualified people in the world at their prospective jobs.
      Instead: As showcased during the gyrosphere ride, they appear to be hiring anyone, including a typical "bored teenager in a summer job" stereotype. This becomes especially Egregious when one realizes that even if the kid came from the nearest U.S city (San Diego, California), the company would have had to ship him to Isla Nublar, presumably with all the expense attached to such a trip, where he would have to be accommodated for.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

  • The island the dinosaurs are on is the last dinosaur ecosystem on the planet and while keeping it isolated has kept the dinosaurs from interacting with the general public, it's now in danger of being taken out in a massive volcanic eruption. A UN meeting is held regarding the future of said island, during which a prominent mathematician/chaotician who has repeatedly witnessed the destruction that occurs when dinosaurs and man are in close proximity recommends that they let nature take its course and allow the volcano to destroy the island, sending the dinosaurs back into extinction. This is ultimately agreed upon.
    You'd Expect: Everyone to do just that, even the well-intentioned animal rights group (headed by another dino-carnage survivor) who have been advocating for a way to somehow save the dinosaurs.
    Instead: A rich man and co-creator of the dinosaurs approaches her with a Noah's Ark plan to relocate the dinosaurs to yet another island, which she gleefully accepts. This turns out to be a ruse as the Corrupt Corporate Executive in charge of the rich man's affairs really wants to hold an Auction of Evil and sell the dinosaurs off to the highest bidders...on the mainland! By the time our heroes realize they've been duped, they've narrowly survived being stranded on an erupting island and several individuals of 11 surviving dinosaur species have been captured and are en route to the rich guy's estate in San Francisco. Naturally, they end up getting loose into the world with several having been sold off to unknown fates.
  • Wheatley, the Great White Hunter-wannabe who helped capture the dinos for the aforementioned auction, comes upon the recently-created Indoraptor and hits it with two Tranquilizer Darts. After it goes down, he decides to indulge his penchant for trophy-collecting by taking a tooth from it, just like with every other dino he captures.
    You'd Expect: That if he really wants the tooth that badly, he'd at least confirm that the Indoraptor is actually asleep. And then make sure that it's fully restrained.
    Instead: He doesn't. And then it turns out that the Indoraptor is still awake, and it mauls Wheatley to death.


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