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What An Idiot / Live-Action Films

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Some 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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  • 28 Weeks Later:
    • 6 months after the Rage outbreak has run its course, the rebuilding effort in London has begun. There is a strict quarantine and martial law in effect, and no civilians are allowed out of the safe zone. One of the snipers sees the children sneaking out and calls it in.
      You'd Expect: Given how insanely lethal and contagious the Rage plague is, and the fact that there are still corpses all over the quarantine zone, the guards would immediately pursue them while using a loudspeaker or megaphone to order them to stop.
      Instead: Jeremy Renner's character seems rather nonchalant about calling in the security violation, and the children apparently are allowed to spend several hours in the quarantine zone, returning to their old house and finding their infected mother before the security team tracks them down.
    • There is a contingency plan in place to deal with another outbreak.
      You'd Expect: This plan would have people go into lockdown in their current location, locking doors, remaining silent and keeping a low profile, much like an active shooter situation.
      Instead: The plan involves cramming everyone into a single crowded room and turning the lights out, causing a panic and ensuring as many victims as possible as soon as a single infected individual gets in.
  • Absolute Power:
    • Clint Eastwood's daughter is going for a jog. While she is parking her car, Dennis Haysbert, one of the Secret Service goons, is trying to kill her by pushing her car off the cliff.
      You'd Expect: That she wouldn't be out in a public place, thinking, "If they tried to kill my father, then they would try to kill me, too!" Also, after the first time Dennis hits her car with his truck, you would think that she would get out of the car and run in the opposite direction, screaming her head off.
      Instead: She stays in the car and freaks out. Her car goes over the cliff and she is seriously injured.
    • Later, Dennis finds out that she's not dead and he goes to the hospital to finish the job. He's in her room with a syringe full of poison.
      You'd Expect: That Dennis is going to put the poison directly into her IV line, killing her fairly instantly and allowing him a quick getaway.
      Instead: He's fooling around with her arm, trying to find a vein to inject the poison into. He is quickly caught by Clint Eastwood and killed with the same poison.
  • The Addams Family
    • In the second film Addams Family Values, Wednesday and Pugsley have been sent to summer camp. They obviously hate it, and are forced to participate in a saccharine, racist Thanksgiving pageant. Wednesday and Pugsley, who have been conscripted to play inaccurate "savages" and a turkey, rally the other minority kids and go off-script.
      You'd Expect: Amanda, the Alpha Bitch playing the head pilgrim, to run on hearing the speech. The others should as well. She knows Wednesday is a Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant and does not bluff.
      Instead': She complains to Gary, the director and camp counselor, that Wednesday is making up lines. Cue the prop village burning down and Amanda getting tied to a stake and gagged with an apple.
      You'd Then Expect: The adults in the audience to defy All Part of the Show, go Mass "Oh, Crap!" and rescue their pilgrim kids the way Amanda's parents try, before getting the hell out of dodge. Sure, they might fail, but the adults are bigger than the kids and can establish some order. Also, Joel does knock his parents and the adults sitting with them off their bench.
      Instead: Adults Are Useless come fully into play. Joel's mother complaints about them wasting money on camp for him to go "Woo-Woo", while half the parents sit in shock and the other half just leave. Amanda's parents freeze on getting hit with pie.
      'The Result: They tie up the camp counselors and leave them roasting over a spit. As the minority kids celebrate, Joel, Pugsley and Wednesday make their getaway. The adults are only lucky that Wednesday did not burn or scalp anyone for real.
  • The Amazing Spider-Man:
    • Peter goes to the sewers as Spider-Man to track down the Lizard and also to make some pictures of it for the Bugle.
      You'd Expect: That - not just for this particular endeavor but for his adventures as Spider-Man in general - he would remove any belongings that might identify him as Peter Parker.
      Instead: The back of his cameras are covered in labels that proclaims them to be "property of Peter Parker".
      Result: Lizard goes after Peter and Gwen at Peter's school.
    • Uncle Ben shows us exactly why you shouldn't take the law into your own hands when a thief runs out of the drugstore and then drops his gun.
      You'd Expect: Ben would've steered clear of the situation (even if he did had any significant prior authority or military training he should been smarter about how he handled the situation. Yet and still, he was not an authority figure) and would have just called 911, as the situation didn't concern him much in any way for him to be that much involved.
      Instead: He runs over to struggle trying to grab the thief's gun and ends up getting seemingly inadvertently shot fatally. Which could be deemed as a Stupid Sacrifice by some, since the incident looked fairly avoidable and unnecessary.
  • American Hustle:
    • Irving Rosenfeld is given a new microwave oven by his new friend Carmine. He tells his wife Rosalyn that Carmine said that you shouldn't put anything metallic in it, because that would be very dangerous. It's the 70s, so microwave ovens are unfamiliar technology and Rosalyn has never used one before.
      You'd Expect: Rosalyn would take care around this new and potentially dangerous piece of kitchen gear and, well, not put anything metallic in it.
      Instead: Rosalyn says, in effect "Huh, nobody tells me what to do" and puts a metal tray of food into the microwave to heat up. The microwave promptly catches fire.
      Moreover: When Irving tells her that he told her not to put anything metallic in the microwave, Rosalyn answers that it's just as well the oven caught on fire because she read an article that said that these "science ovens" take all the nutrition out of your food.
    Rosalyn: Bring something into this house that's gonna take all the nutrition out of our food and then light our house on fire? Thank God for me.
  • In Stargate: The Ark Of Truth, the IOA comes up with a plan to introduce Replicators into the Ori galaxy, hoping to distract them from their crusade against the Milky Way.
    You'd Expect: That they would realize how insanely stupid this plan is, especially as the only weapon capable of purging all Replicators from our galaxy was destroyed by the Ori.
    Or: They would order the SGC to carry out the plan, allowing for better execution and plenty of safeguards.
    Instead: They have their agent carry out this plan without informing the SGC, who at least know how to deal with Replicators.
    Also: They program the Replicators to be immune to the anti-Replicator weapons the SGC has, forcing them to fall back on guns, just to ensure that the SGC couldn't stop their plan.
    Worse: The IOA has the Replicators unleashed on the one ship that contains the database containing the sum total of Asgard knowledge that was gifted to humanity by them before they suicided, meaning once they assimilate the Asgard core they'll become vastly more powerful than anyone could hope to stop and simultaneously deny that information to Earth.
  • The Art of War 3: Retribution is full of them, but here are a few examples from the opening scene alone:
    • Agent Neil Shaw has been dispatched to kill an arms dealer by the name of Zimmer. While at Zimmer's hotel he finds a suicide bomber who is there as part of a seperate assassination attempt, and covertly disarms him by cutting the bomb's trigger wires. Shortly thereafter, Zimmer leaves the hotel in his car.
      You'd Expect: Shaw to tail Zimmer, wait until he reaches some location where he can be covertly disposed of, and then kill him.
      Instead: He immediately throws a bomb through the window of Zimmer's car. The bomb does its job and kills Zimmer... in front of hundreds, if not thousands of witnesses.
    • Shaw then has to deal with the matter of the suicide bomber from earlier, who is wandering around confused, apparently too dumb to try repairing his bomb.
      You'd Expect: Shaw to knock the bomber out, then drag him somewhere where the bomb can be safely neutralized, just in case it was also outfitted with a timer or remote trigger. Then the bomber can be turned over to the authorities and interrogated to gain information on who was behind the attempted bombing.
      Instead: Shaw pulls out a knife and fatally stabs the bomber...who he then leaves to front of the same hundreds or thousands of people who just witnessed Zimmer being blown to shreds. Fortunately for Shaw, ABSOLUTELY NO-ONE SAW THIS!
    • Eventually, a bystander happens to notice the mortally wounded terrorist laid on the ground. He then opens the terrorist's jacket in an attempt to help him, only to find the explosives strapped to his body.
      You'd Expect: The bystander to tell everyone to get away from the would-be bomber as quickly as possible, seeing how Shaw just left the scene without dealing with him, and there's no obvious indication that the bomb as been disarmed.
      Instead: The guy pulls out a gun, points it at the bomber and threatens to shoot him if he tries to do anything. In other words, he threatens to kill a guy who fully expected to kill himself anyway. The matter quickly becomes moot, as the terrorist expires soon afterwards, along with several of the viewers' brain cells.
  • Asian Schoolgirls, by The Asylum:
    • A man takes away one of the three girls, May, into a dungeon and tortures her, leaving the other two, Hannah and Vivian in a cage.
      You'd Expect: Hannah and Vivian to figure out how to escape the cage and save May.
      Instead: Hannah and Vivian make out.
  • As It Is in Heaven: Conny has just threatened choir leader Daniel and then repeatedly rammed his 18-wheeler into Daniel's car. This was done in front of the entire choir of about two dozen people.
    You'd Expect: Someone to call the police. After all, the man just committed blatant destruction of property in front of literally dozens of witnesses.
    Instead: Nobody does anything. Conny later attacks Daniel and beats him into a pulp, possibly killing him.
  • Asterix and Obelix versus Cesar: Having usurped power and obtained a whole cauldron of strength enhancing potion, The Starscream leads an army of Romans against the reputed rebellious Gaul village.
    You'd Expect: that he use the fricking potion! Maybe give some to his legioneers, maybe drink it himself, but use it. After all, obtaining it was a major plot point.
    Instead: He just sits there in his command post, clutching the cauldron and ignoring his soldiers' requests for a gulp. Naturally the Romans manage against the Gauls just as well as they usually do, id est miserably, and the Gauls hold them back long enough for the main heroes to find the Phlebotinum and trash the Romans. Oh, and the cauldron of potion ends up spilled on the ground. What a waste.
  • Austin Powers: In the third movie, Mini-Me abandons Dr. Evil to fight alongside Austin Powers. While in Austin's hotel room, the Mole gives Mini-Me a letter which certifies his defection. While the Mole takes a cell phone call, Mini-Me grabs a knife and is about to open the envelope when Austin returns.
    You'd Expect: Mini-Me to drop the knife and show Austin the letter.
    Instead: He grins while holding the knife, which Austin mistakes for a Slasher Smile. Austin then kicks Mini-Me across his room. Then Mini-Me puts up a peace sign in front of him.
    You'd Expect: Austin to ask him if he genuinely wants to defect.
    Instead: Thinking back to the time where Mini-Me used a peace sign on him to drop his guard down in the second movie, he thinks Mini-Me is trying to trick him again, thus the two fight until the Mole tells him of Mini-Me switching sides.
  • Avatar:
    • The RDA corporation wishes to mine valuable mineral called Unobtanium on the moon Pandora. In order to get the Na'vi natives to move away and allow them to mine, they set up a program for creating Avatars, which they hope will allow them to infiltrate the Na'vi, earn their trust, and thereby make it easier to get them to move. The protagonist, Jake, ends up infiltrating the Na'vi, earning their trust and becoming one of them within three months; he even sleeps with the chief's daughter. In other words, he's making an incredible amount of progress for what little time he spent.
      You'd Expect: The RDA corporation, which is run by stockholders, and which has already poured millions of dollars into the Avatar program, to hold off the bulldozers for a second and allow Jake more time to work his magic. As far as they know, he's managed to earn the trust of the chief as well as of his wife and daughter. After all, it would be a heck of a lot more expensive to go using big scale bombs and artillery on the forest than to wait a bit longer and possibly have a spy get the village people to move. Especially considering that they already invested money into the Avatar program.
      Instead: They decide, prematurely and without even telling their spy, that they won't wait any longer, and start bulldozing the forest. Extra idiot points in that they start bulldozing the part of the forest where their spy's then-inert Avatar body was, a body that cost so much money it was cheaper to ship an identical twin pilot 4.3 light years than it was to clone a new one. They would've run over it and crushed it if his alien girlfriend didn't pull him away, buying him enough time to wake up in the Avatar. His reaction is, predictably, to jump onto the bulldozer and pound on their security camera to get them to stop. Their reaction? Tell him that he "went too far" and "betrayed their trust" by doing that, and promptly lock him up. Which causes him to decide to side with the Na'vi and lead a rebellion.
    • Speaking of which...
      You'd Expect: Jake not to be so so blatant in his logs and also to have a quiet private word with the Na'vi chief at some point before the deadline, so he could thoroughly and without haste explain the state of things and probably work out a solution.
      Instead: He makes his announcement in the worst possible moment, when it's all but too late to do anything, and after he'd antagonized both the Na'vi by stealing a bride from one of the tribe's most influential members, and his own command by wrecking that logging machine.
    • There's also the ridiculous case where Colonel Quaritch confronts Jake in the empty room, telling him the experiment is essentially over, and he's gotten Jake the money and guarantee for the surgery to fix his legs. Jake refuses to end the experiment, and gives every single sign, clear as the sun in the desert, that he's gone native and will be a thorn in their side when it comes to trying to remove the Na'vi from their tree-place.
      You'd Expect: The colonel to pick up on this, and forcibly eject Jake from the project, or put him under watch, or lock him up temporarily, or even refer to the above "you'd expect" example!
      Instead: He completely ignores these signs, basically pulling the Yoda on Anakin from Episode III, then acts shocked when Jake goes native. Or maybe he was just pretending not to notice, honestly wanted to give the poor kid in the wheelchair another shot, or was just happy to try and kill him. There's a moment when he gives Jake a long look; he almost certainly knew something was up.
    • Also, when the scientists are trying to convince the corporate executives not to destroy the Tree of Voices, they talk about how the plantlife on Pandora forms a massive neural network.
      You'd Expect: They'd drop the technobabble and put it into terms these guys can understand and respect like: "It's an organic computer the size of a planet, do you have any idea how much money that's potentially worth?"
      Instead: They focus on how spiritually significant it is to the Na'vi, which prompts the executives to dismiss it as a bunch of hocus-pocus and hippy crap (which, considering the executives haven't seen firsthand that the mystic stuff is actually real, is exactly what it sounds like).
    • During the assault on the Home Tree, one of the attacking pilots, Trudy, has a crisis of conscience and flies away, refusing to participate in genocide. Quaritch's own Dragon Wainfleet is aboard her craft.
      You'd Expect: Wainfleet to report Trudy to his superior and have her arrested for wimping out on their mission, as well as being a potential security risk due to her sympathy for the Na'vi.
      Instead: He does nothing, letting Trudy go free. The next day she breaks out Jake, Norm, and Dr. Grace from their cell, then flies them out of the base. Thanks to her stolen craft she also becomes a major source of firepower for the Na'vi side during the final battle.
    • There are deposits of Unobtainium (which is magnetic) large enough to float mountains.
      You'd Expect: The RDA to mine these instead because these are easier to get to than the chunk under Home Tree, and possibly larger than that deposit too. Even if the Na'vi object, there's nothing they can do to stop a fleet of levitating RDA tugs from towing the floating mountains away. And if they're worried about the mountains falling out of the sky when mined, they have a massive quarry they can just drop all that sweet Unobtainium into.
      Instead: No one pays any attention to the fact that these are the equivalent to entire mountains of gold.
  • In Baby's Day Out, a wealthy woman named Laraine Cotwell is having a baby photographer come and take pictures of her infant son Bink for the newspaper, and the alleged photographer asks her if he can have some time alone with Bink, claiming it is so he will not be distracted by her while he's taking the photographs.
    You'd Expect: Laraine to realize that no genuine baby photographer business would ever ask a parent if they can be completely alone with their kid, have him escorted out of the house at once and report him to the police.
    Instead: While initially a little hesitant, once the photographer comments on how her outfit isn't quite right for the photo, she is convinced to go change and leave her son with him. Naturally, the photographer and his assistants turn out to actually be a trio of crooks posing as the photographers she hired, and drive off with Bink to hold him for ransom.
  • In Barney's Great Adventure, the Dream Maker egg ends up at a restaurant after B.J. accidentally tosses it.
    • You'd expect: That the restaurant sends it to the lost and found, that way Barney and friends can reclaim it.
    • Instead: It sends the egg to the circus.
  • Batman (1989) :
    • Batman and Vicki Vale are cornered in an alley by Joker's henchmen. The only way out is up and Batman asks Vicki how much she weighs.
      You'd Expect: Vicki to tell him her real weight, since it's a life or death scenario.
      Instead: She says she weighs 108, which is an obvious lie considering she's a rather tall woman and is probably at least ten pounds heavier than that (for the record, Kim Basinger was 125).
      As a result: Batman's grapple gun motor is incapable of lifting both of them and malfunctions about halfway up. Luckily, Batman tells her to grab the gun from his belt and ride the rest of the way without him, but Batman takes a bad fall and is stuck with Joker's men. Being Batman, he survives and fends them off, but it was still incredibly stupid of Vicki to risk their lives just because she didn't want to reveal her true weight. Batman points this out once the Joker's men are dealt with.
    Batman: You weigh a little more than 108.
    Vicki: Oh, really?
    • The Joker, enraged by Batman foiling his plans to gas the city of Gotham with Smilex, asks Bob to give him his gun.
      You'd Expect: Given the Joker is clearly ticked off, Bob would probably hesitate over the Joker's request, or at least ask him why. An angry person and a gun clearly don't mix well.
      Instead: Bob gives the Joker his gun without hesitation, and the Joker promptly shoots him dead.
    • The Joker sends three of his goons to hold Batman off while he waits for the helicopter on the top of Gotham Cathedral. The first goon soon arrives to fight by doing a back flipping introduction.
      You'd Expect: The goon to stop back flipping then stand on his two feet to begin fighting.
      Instead: The goon keeps back flipping then immediately lunges at him, intending to kill Batman with a knife attack from his feet.
      Result: Batman finds his weakness and promptly defeats him. At least this goon is luckier than the next two goons...
    • After the first goon is defeated, a second goon intends to attack Batman from behind, and stands right above him.
      You'd Expect: The goon would try to come down quietly while Batman is focusing on the Joker. He should know that it wouldn't be a good idea to make a surprise jump attack on him on a wooden floor in an old, deteriorating cathedral.
      Instead: He tries to lunge at Batman from behind, then ends up causing the floor to give in and fall to a well-deserved death. Batman is quite surprised that someone would make a risky move.
    • The third goon, who manages to make a more worthy opponent to Batman than his predecessors, pushes Batman down a shaft below the bell tower after a vicious brawl.
      You'd Expect: The goon would assume Batman fell down the shaft and walk away, declaring victory.
      Instead: He decides to look down the deep, deep shaft to make sure Batman's dead, and Batman, who holds onto a ledge, grabs the goon with his legs. The goon doesn't even try to resist, and Batman throws him down the shaft.
      Ironically: Batman himself would fall for this exact same trick during his climatic brawl with the Joker, and all the Joker does is grab Batman's foot.
    • The Joker takes Vicki Vale up the cathedral to escape and, after looking at the top of the Cathedral, calls a helicopter to arrive in 10 minutes.
      You'd Expect: The Joker to call his goons again and get the chopper to the top ASAP, since it actually took him 5 minutes.
      Instead: He dances with Vale waiting for the chopper and giving Batman time to beat the heck out of him.
    • During the brawl between Batman and the Joker, the latter attempts to distract Batman by spitting out fake chatter teeth.
      You'd Expect: During that brief moment of distraction, the Joker would quickly run and head to where the helicopter would land, or theoretically, knock Batman out with a blow to the face. Heck, he could even use one of his gag weapons if he still has them.
      Instead: The Joker punches Batman in the abdomen, covered by his sturdy suit, and it does not go well. Anyone who watched earlier scenes in which Batman's suit deflects bullets intended to kill him would know how this would play out.
    • This leads to the helicopter arriving and Joker taking off when Batman ties a gargoyle to his leg.
      You'd Expect: The Joker to make a signal to the pilot to move to the chapel where the fall wouldn't be dangerous, or simply let go and hang around on the wall for the police to get him.
      Instead: He looks stupidly up at the ladder, tries to go along with escaping which causes the gargoyle to pull him down to his death.
  • Batman Forever: Dick Grayson has evaded the security system that Bruce has installed to prevent intruders getting in.
    You'd Expect: Bruce to update the security system to prevent further break-ins.
    Instead: That thought never occurs to him.
    Even Worse: The system actually reveals the equipment and Batmobile rather than securing it, allowing the Riddler to destroy it.
  • Batman & Robin: Robin has just survived Poison Ivy's Kiss of Death by wearing wax lips.
    You'd Expect: He'd keep them on, in case she tried it again. And use the element of surprise to tackle Ivy and arrest her, or leave her lair before she realizes he's tricked her.
    Instead: He pulls them off, remarking that wax lips are "immune to [her] charms" while sitting right next to her and leaving himself vulnerable to her, by either another kiss or something else.
    You'd Expect: Ivy would take advantage of Robin removing his only protection against her lips and give him another snog, this one terminal.
    Instead: She just shoves him into a pond. And instead of staying to make sure he drowns she tries to leave while simply taunting him "see ya!" as if she were breaking up with him instead of trying to kill him.
  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice:
    • Thanks to Lex Luthor's threats and manipulations, Superman is forced to fight Batman to death in order to save his mother but Batman is none too willing to listen.
      You'd Expect: At some point after Superman has the upper hand, he either quickly explain the current state he is in (That is, his mother is being held hostage) or just knock him unconcious and bring him to Lex hoping he could save Martha.
      Instead: All Superman does is only vaguely asking for Bruce's cooperation and knock him away despite not needing to do so. The only reason he managed to survive is that he blurted out Martha, a name shared by Bruce's mother.
    • Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman are fighting Doomsday. The monster's only weakness is Kryptonite, which also is fatal to Superman. Batman has a Kryptonite spear with him.
      You'd Expect: Superman lets Wonder Woman, who has similar strength and speed but lacks any weakness to Kryptonite, use the spear instead, which she is likely trained to use.
      Instead: He uses the spear himself, risking himself for no good reason. This results in his death when Doomsday impales him.
  • Battlefield Earth, as you might expect, has tons of these, but here's the most obvious. After being captured by the Psychlos for slave labor, the hero, Jonnie Goodboy, manages to kill one of the guards with his own gun. He runs away, but quickly gets caught by the alien leader, Terl, and brought back to where the guard was shot. Incapable of believing that a "man-animal" would ever be capable of handling a gun, he forces a guard to hand Jonnie his sidearm to prove that he's harmless. Jonnie promptly shoots the guard dead.
    You'd Expect: After seeing Jonnie shoot a guard before his very eyes, and having indirect evidence of him doing the same to another, Terl immediately have him killed. He's obviously dangerous and will only cause trouble for the Psychlos if he's kept as a slave.
    Instead: He just tosses him back to the slave-line as if nothing happened, still completely convinced that the humans are utterly harmless.
  • One that is just as good: The Psychlos are looking for gold. They love gold more than anything.
    One Might Think: They'd scour the earth for all sorts of depositories of gold in the thousand years they occupied the planet.\\
Instead: They continued to be oblivious to caches like FORT FRIGGIN' KNOX, and it comes as a complete shock to Terl that it even exists. One thousand years after the planet was conquered.
  • In Behind Enemy Lines II: Axis of Evil, the Navy SEALS are hiding on a mountain when a village boy looking for food stumbles across them. The boy runs away.
    You'd Expect: The SEALS to let the boy go and move to another hiding spot. After all, how likely is it for anyone to believe a 10-year old kid seeing 4 heavily armed Americans in the middle of North Korea?
    Instead: They chase the kid into the village and right into his family's house while dozens of villagers see them in plain view. Not surprisingly, the kid's sister starts screaming, and the local North Korean Army patrol comes to see what's going on, which triggers a huge shootout and ends with two SEALS dead and two captured.
  • Birdemic: This movie has several stupid moments.
    • In one scene, Ramsey attempts to rescue several people who are hiding in a bus for safety. He tries to evacuate them against their will out of the bus. Unfortunately, a bunch of birds are incoming.
      You'd Expect: Ramsey and the bus passengers to run back to the car immediately and not stop so that they could escape and not be killed by the birds.
      Instead: They don't rush back to the car and after briefly walking, they stop and stand there in the open like a bunch of idiots, and get killed by a bunch of acid-SPITTING birds who peck at them to death.
    • In a later scene, At one point, a man tries to steal gas from Rod and the other survivors at gunpoint. After getting the gas, the man is killed by a bird.
      You'd Expect: Rod to take advantage of the man who held them at gun point being killed, and take the gas as well as the abandoned pistol. That way, they have spare gas in case they run out of gas on the road.
      Instead (!!!): Rod completely forgets the unattended gas can and leaves it behind, as well as the abandoned weapon on the side of the road, and later, what the heck do you know? They run out of gas! Way to go, Rod!
  • Beverly Hills Cop: Axel Foley goes to the only lead he has on his best friend Mikey's murder, Mikey's boss, Victor Maitland. All Axel knows for sure is that his friend was a security guard in one of Maitland's warehouses and asks Maitland if he knows anything about Mikey that might help.
    You'd Expect: Maitland to just lie about knowing anything about Mikey's murder, as at this point, Axel has no reason to suspect him of any wrongdoing.
    Instead: He immediately has his goons throw Axel through a window, leading Axel to take a closer look at him.
  • Bring It On: New cheerleading captain Torrance realizes that her predecessor would plagiarize routines from another school team, the Clovers, and the Clovers will not hesitate to bust them for it. She calls her college boyfriend for help, and he tells her to raise money to hire a choreographer for a new routine. Torrance decides to do so once she and her team the Toros raise enough money.
    You'd Expect: Torrance would carefully screen for a good choreographer. They may all be wealthy but this isn't chump change for a competition.
    Instead: A con man manages to grab the position and foist a routine on the girls that he proceeds to teach to at least one other cheerleading team who performs at semi-finals.
    The Result: The Toros nearly get disqualified, and they're understandably mad at Torrance for her mistake. The only reason they get to move forward is because they were defending champions before and because said con man swindled multiple teams.
  • Bruce Almighty:
    • After being annoyed by his arrogant behavior, Bruce's girlfriend Grace sees him cheating on her, and so leaves him.
      You'd Expect: Bruce would use his God powers to erase Grace's memory of the event in question, and all the other things she didn't like. This wouldn't be out of character for Bruce, since he's quite willing to try and command her to love him, which was against the rules.
      Instead: Bruce creates a series of signs to show how much he loves Grace, without in any way trying to make up for what he did. Ends up giving his powers up, and is only forgiven when he nearly dies.
  • In the No Budget Hong Kong flick Bruce Lee Fights Back From The Grave, one of the Big Bad Ensemble, a samurai breaks into the house where the protagonist, Wong Han and his girlfriend are sleeping. Wong Han has already taken out two of the samurai's fellow gang members, and is closing in on the truth of the mysterious death of his friend.
    You'd Expect: The samurai, who is carrying a huge, deadly katana, to just decapitate the sleeping Wong Han, and then take out his girlfriend to ensure that there were no witnesses.
    Instead: He wakes up Wong Han, delivers a massive Info Dump — including explicitly telling him that his deceased friend was a drug smuggler, the identity of another gang member, and that he can be found at a local racecourse — and then tries to kill him. Wong Han manages to defeat him, and soon uses the information to take down the rest of the gang.
  • An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn:
    • A director has seen his film recut by the studio behind his back. He's embarrassed about the finished product and wants to have his name taken off it. The studio heads agree to let him be credited under the standard Director's Guild pseudonym Alan Smithee. The only problem is, the director's real name is Alan Smithee.
      You'd Expect: Smithee would change his own name. You know, like Hollywood professionals do all the time. After all, what kind of reputation could you possibly enjoy when your name is already synonymous with failure?
      Instead: Smithee steals the only existing print of the film and holds it hostage. When the studio refuses to allow him to recut the film the way he wants it, he burns it.
      Result: Smithee is committed to an insane asylum, and the studio ends up making a profit anyway when they produce a documentary about how Smithee went crazy.
    • After Smithee burns the master print of the film, the studio panics, and is left wondering that to do, especially in view of the fact that the film cost $200m.
      You'd Expect: That the studio would try as best they can to reassemble the film from the various other takes and alternate camera angles that are inevitably created as part of the filming process.
      Instead: Apparently Smithee was ordered only to do one take of every single scene in the film, because actors are jerks and don't like performing more than one take of any given scene.
      Result: They end up planning to sell the trailer as the actual film, until they come up with the "documentary" idea.
  • To put it simply, Evan Treborn from The Butterfly Effect is just plain awful at not thinking things through, and much of the events after he can time travel really is his own fault.
    • At one point in his childhood, Evan is tricked into underage porn by Kayleigh and Tommy's dad, George. After that, Tommy became more and more violent, no doubt due to George. When Evan gains the ability to travel through time, that porn incident is one of his first stops. During this retry, Evan calls George out on his rampant pedophilia towards his kids, actually giving George pause.
      You'd Expect: Evan would stop talking at that point. He's said all he needs to say.
      Instead: Evan just keeps talking, pointing out how unstable Tommy is and demanding George be more of a hardass towards him. This results in Tommy being broken in the future, something Evan doesn't really realize until he screams at newTommy, causing even Evan's friends to be wary of him.
    • Then, shortly after Kayleigh caringly explains why newTommy is now the way he is, newTommy ambushes Evan and Kayleigh, forcing Evan to fight back. Eventually, Evan subdues newTommy.
      You'd Expect: Evan would stop at that point. He now knows at this point newTommy is definitely his fault, and doing anything else in front of Kayleigh would make this worse.
      Instead: Evan beats newTommy to death while the guy is on the ground as Kayleigh watches. This results in Evan being thrown in jail without access to his journals.
    • Eventually, Evan gets another shot at an incident where Tommy burnt Evan's puppy alive in a bag, and their friend Lenny's knife wasn't sharp enough to cut the bag. In the original timeline, this incident and Tommy's threats during it haunted Lenny immensely. This time, Evan gives Lenny a rusty spiky thing.
      You'd Expect: Evan would simply tell Lenny to only cut the bag open, then stop.
      Instead: Evan goes on and on about random philosophical bull beforehand and also telling Lenny to stop Tommy before the rope. Combined with Evan's suddenly eloquent speech beforehand, Lenny easily misinterprets Evan's speech as a go-ahead to kill Tommy.
      Making This Worse: Evan is able to appeal to Tommy's better nature this time and convinces him to free the puppy. Not only does this mean the rusty spiky thing was pointless- shortly after, Lenny kills Tommy with the rusty spiky thing, leading to the worst possible timeline.
    • Finally, Evan gets a third shot at the porn incident. Prior to this, every time he re-enters a new timeline, he gets a massive nosebleed, with more blood every further time. Therefore, he can't really afford to mess around anymore.
      You'd Expect: Evan would remember what he said the first time, then stop just before the blaming Tommy part.
      Instead: Evan gets the bright idea to use what could've and should've been his last trip to dispose of a dynamite stick. (an item that's caused him trouble in multiple timelines). Because of his rush and not thinking yet again, the younger Kayleigh is killed by the explosion, and Evan is sent to another jailhouse with almost no way to time travel again. Furthermore, the doctor within this jailhouse notices the amount of aging Evan's brain has gone through, essentially only giving Evan one more safe trip.
  • Carrie (2013): Unlike past versions of the story, Chris survives her and Billy's attempt to run down an angry Carrie. Billy, meanwhile, is killed on impact. Carrie hesitates for a moment about killing Chris after she sees her mourn for Billy.
    You'd Expect: Chris to use the moment to make like a tree and leave. Or even try to beg for forgiveness.
    Instead: Chris decides to run down Carrie again. This ends up getting her telekinetically flung into a gas pump, and the crash gets her stuck in the windshield. And then the gas pump goes boom.
  • Child's Play 2: Chucky the killer doll has Andy, the boy he wanted to transfer his soul into, in his grasp. He has almost finished the voodoo chant when Andy's babysitter comes and stops his plan.
    You'd Expect: Chucky to kill her and continue on with the chant. After all, he is on a time limit and if he does it too late, his soul is trapped forever in the doll.
    Instead: He stops and spends the rest of the movie playing mind games on Andy and killing his foster parents. In the end, when he tries the chant again, it was already too late. Cue the Big "NO!".
  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Child Catcher lures Jeremy and Jemima with free ice cream and candy after Truly left them to find food for them.
    You’d Expect: The children to realize this might be a trick and stay hidden from the Child Catcher since it is really not wise for children to accept candy from strangers, as kidnappers often use tricks like that to lure children into coming with them, and Truly told them to stay there until she came back. Plus, they had already seen the Child Catcher before and his disguise wasn’t very good. At the very least, his very large nose should have given him away.
    Instead: They are tempted by his offer and run out to buy some ice cream.
    As a Result: They get captured by the Child Catcher.
    • While this is going on, some of the townspeople witness the children running and recognizing the trap, try to warn them.
      You'd Expect: For one of them to maybe go after the children and bring them inside with them.
      Instead: They only shout at them. To be fair, children are outlawed in that country so they would be taking a risk, but does that really justify letting them get kidnapped?
  • Christmas with the Kranks:
Empty-nesters Luther & Nora decide to take a Caribbean cruise over Christmas, scandalizing their neighbors, who adhere strongly to local traditions.
You'd Expect: Luther & Nora to gently ease the neighborhood into this abrupt break with tradition, maybe still make donations to the local community groups and make their Christmas decorations available for use.
But Instead: Luther & Nora are JerkAsses about it, refusing to buy a Christmas tree from the local Boy Scouts and the police department's charity calendar. The neighborhood (somewhat) justifiably responds in kind, which when their daughter returns home for Christmas, only makes Luther & Nora's task of throwing a traditional Christmas celebration more difficult.
  • A Clockwork Orange: Alex is welcomed into the house of the writer whom he left as a cripple and whose wife he sexually assaulted (and possibly caused her death). The writer doesn't recognize him due to he and his friends using masks by the time of the assault. Additionally, he is in a state in which he can't fight back to any kind of violence.
    You'd Expect: Alex would try to make sure the writer absolutely wouldn't recognize him.
    Instead: While on a bath, Alex sings the exact same song he sang while raping the writer's wife, loudly enough for him to listen from the other side of the door.
  • Cloverfield: A giant monster attacks New York. The heroes make it to the military checkpoint and get on the last helicopter out of the city.
    You'd Expect: That the pilot would choose any of the 360 degrees of options leading in the AWAY direction.
    Instead: The helicopter flies parallel to the monster's path, and is knocked out of the sky when the monster lunges at it.
  • Clueless
    • Cher's dad gets a lot of this. He knows that his daughter has to drive because they live in the valley.
      You'd Expect: He would set her up with a driving instructor so she can get proper lessons.
      Instead: He refuses to let her drive the car after she gets several tickets on a learner's permit — which is also a dumb thing for Cher to do — and says she need to find a driver properly licensed to sit in the passenger seat.
      Predictably: Cher fails her driving test owing to the haphazard instruction from driving with Josh, her ex-stepbrother. She hops two lanes, nearly hits a biker, and scrapes some cars.
    • Likewise, he wants Cher to be a good student and apply herself to her classes. Cher has a habit of bullshitting her way through serious subjects without doing the work. While she gives a great speech in Debate to talk about refugees, the professor tells her she gets a C- because she went off-topic and obviously failed to research the Haitian crisis. Cher later tells her dad that she's negotiating to get a better report card.
      You'd Expect: Her dad to tell her that's not how life works. She can't bullshit her way forever.
      Instead: He nods approvingly and says she can argue her way out of anything. And this is after saying she lacks focus in life, unlike Josh.
      The Result: Cher is at a loss when she tries the same tactics on the driving instructor and he's not impressed.
    • Cher has made it clear she's not interested in high school guys. The one who sits behind her in class, Elton, keeps hugging her in thanks for making their debate teacher nicer.
      You'd Expect: Cher would tell him to knock it off. She's not interested in him.
      Instead: She doesn't even seem to notice and just thinks it's a guy thing.
      The Result: Cher is completely blindsided when she tries to set him up with the new girl Tai, and Elton uses the drive home to start to forcibly make out with her. When Cher gets out of the car, he strands her in a remote area where she promptly gets mugged. All in all, not one of her best nights.
    • Tai admits to Cher that she likes Cher's ex-stepbrother Josh. Cher, in a fit of Green-Eyed Monster, asks if they would mesh. She doesn't know what she's doing.
      You'd Expect: Tai would realize that Cher is feeling awkward about her new friend dating her older brother. Which isn't exactly wrong.
      Instead: While she accurately pegs Cher as being self-serving in discouraging her from pursuing Josh, Tai gives her "The Reason You Suck" Speech about being a virgin who can't drive.
      The Result: Tai goes My God, What Have I Done? when Cher goes into Heroic BSoD and they apologize to each other.
  • The Damned United: Having just been appointed manager of Leeds United, Brian Clough has his first meeting with the club's players, who Clough has been very publicly critical of in the past, along with the club's previous manager, Don Revie.
    You'd Expect: Clough to ask the players that they agree to start off with a clean slate, and make it clear that he intends to have them play with a less physical style than that which they employed under Revie.
    Instead: His first words to them are "The first thing you can do for me is to chuck all your medals and all your caps and all your pots and all your pans into the biggest fucking dustbin you can find, because you've never won any of them fairly. You've done it all by bloody cheating." — a sentiment which many, if not most English football fans would fully agree with, but one which is nonetheless an incredibly ill-advised thing to say to a dozen-plus people who he's going to have to work with every day. Clough's time in charge of the club never recovers from this, and it leads to him only lasting in the job for 44 days.
  • Dans La Brume: A mysterious fog envelops the city of Paris and seemingly kills anyone who comes in contact with it. A mother and father must risk their lives to attempt to save the life of their young daughter, who has lived her whole life in an isolation chamber that is now running on auxiliary (read: battery) power. At one point, the parents get their hands on a pair of oxygen masks and try to go and retrieve a specialized suit that would allow them to transport their daughter to a safer location.
    You'd Expect: As both parents are scientists and rational thinkers, they would realize they need to conserve their oxygen and maybe take one of the random cars that are all around.
    Instead: Both of them end up running as fast as they can, which ends up in the mother using all her oxygen, and eventually later dying when she has to go replace the battery in her daughter's isolation chamber.
    Even Worse: After they are caught in a random explosion while retrieving the suit, neither parent thinks to CHECK and make sure the suit is still in good condition. It's not - the explosion damaged it too badly to be used.
  • Dawn of the Dead (2004): Sarah gets forced to run away from her husband who's become infected after being bitten by a zombie girl. She grabs the car keys and (barely) escapes through the bathroom window.
    You'd Expect: For Sarah to get into her car as soon as possible and drive somewhere safer.
    Instead: She pauses to look at all the chaos going on around her, giving her zombified husband a head start to chase after her. She even repeats this mistake after stopping at a traffic collision on the road when a bus driver tried to steal her car.
    Later: The mall refugees' attempt to send food to Andy in the gun store has gone awry, and Nicole has gotten herself trapped in his store. All of the men except Steve are going to rescue her and load up on ammunition, leaving Steve to wait and open the one-way fire door that is their only way back into the mall.
    You'd Expect: Even with Steve's demonstrated Jerkass, that he'd recognize that the door won't open from the outside and the men would be trapped and killed - taking the bulk of their group and all of their guns to the grave. Steve would then stay by the door and do what he is asked.
    Instead: Steve wanders off for absolutely no reason, meaning that the group is forced to bang on the door until Anna hears them. The resultant delay allows the zombies to reach the door and prevent the group from closing it, forcing them to evacuate the mall hastily and unprepared, losing nearly every member in the process.
  • Deadpool wants to find Francis in order to cure his disfigured face and hoped to approach his old girlfriend, because she supposedly wouldn't accept his ugly look. To do so, he interrogates several associates by saying "Where's Francis?" to them but it seems that they genuinely didn't know who this Francis guy is.
    You'd Expect: For Wade to realize that they sincerely don't know who this Francis guy is and only know him as Ajax. Perhaps he should swallow his pride for once and either say "Where's Ajax?" or "Where's Francis? The guy you know as Ajax." He could probably find the guy in a much shorter time than say, 1 year.
    Instead: Out of spite for the man who disfigured him, Deadpool address the Big Bad exclusively as Francis. As a result, this caused Wade to waste a lot of time as he could't interrogate any info on someone like Francis. By the time he finally have Francis's location, he has already spent more than 1 year on finding him, enough that Vanessa would have potentially moved on and find a new boyfriend. He is very lucky that they latter case didn't happen or Deadpool would have ended on a bittersweet note.
  • Death Note (2017):
    • L sends twelve FBI agents to investigate the suspects. One of them ends up tailing Light. Not wanting to kill innocent people or upset law enforcement, Light decides to leave them alone. Mia and Ryuk then persuade him to kill them.
      You'd expect: Light would get a little concerned that Mia might want to get rid of the FBI agents and keep the Death Note with him at all times until the FBI agents stop following him.
      Instead: He leaves the Death Note in his backpack, which is up in his room. Mia then takes advantage of this when Light is downstairs watching the news, steals the Death Note, and kills the FBI agents herself.
      You'd Then Expect: Light would realize that Mia must have taken the Death Note, since she went upstairs, and ask her what had happened. Besides, Light must have read the rules of the Death Note. Chances are, Light would know that shinigami are not allowed to help cause or prevent deaths that are written on the Death Note, except when a name is written down for the former situation.
      Instead: He believes that Ryuk wrote the names of the FBI agents. This allows Mia to take advantage of his accusation and continue to write names behind his back.
    • After being threatened by L, Light decides to kill him. To do so, he decides to use L's friend, Watari, to find the name and then spare him by burning the page that includes his name afterwards, which can only be done once.
      You'd Expect: Light would keep an eye on his Death Note at all times during the two-day period. That way, if Watari can't find the name in time, he can burn the page without a problem.
      Instead: He leaves the Death Note in his room. While L is yelling at Light for controlling Watari, Mia quietly steals the Death Note, takes the page including Watari's name out of it, and writes Light's name on another page. This causes Watari to eventually die.
    • At the same time, L realizes that Light is coming after him by trying to find his name.
      You'd Expect: L would realize that Watari has some slight knowledge about his name and would make sure that Watari's face can't be found anywhere.
      Instead: He doesn't think about this possibility. This allows Light to control Watari and (unintentionally) kill him.
    • Eventually, Mia betrays Light and decides to kill him if he doesn't give the Death Note to her.
      You'd Expect: Mia would use the Death Note to control Light to do so.
      Instead: She only writes that Light would die at midnight. Because Light can move freely, he was able to stop her.
    • Afterwards, Light writes Mia's name on the Death Note that states that she will die if she takes the Death Note. Once the get on the ferris wheel, Light tells Mia that if she takes the Death Note, she would never see him again.
      You'd Expect: Mia would get suspicious about what Light told her and would ask him about what he means about that before taking the Death Note.
      Instead: She takes the Death Note without hesitating. This allows Light's plan to stop her to unfold. Only then does she realize that Light wrote her name on the Death Note and that she was going to die because of what she had just done.
  • Death Race: Hennessey wants Frankenstein's car armed to explode remotely, in case the final race goes in a direction she doesn't like. Frankenstein's pit crew is run by a head mechanic with such a strong attachment to the vehicle he voluntarily remains in prison after his sentence finished to keep servicing it.
    You'd expect: Prison technicians to sneak into the workshop during off hours and rig the car's munitions to cook off - there's a canister of napalm right there in the driver's compartment. If an external device had to be used, make it as unobtrusive as possible, and do anything to make the modification hard to notice.
    Instead: The Dragon waltzes in during the final race's prep time and orders the pit crew out, before affixing simplistic bomb made of shiny aluminum that looks nothing like the rest of the car to the center of the undercarriage, while the car was still lifted for repairs. One wonders how he thought it wouldn't be found.
  • Deep Impact: President Tom Beck knows a killer chunk of space rock is going to hit Earth and secretly builds underground cave shelters for America's best and brightest. This leaves the matter of everyone else in the country...
    You Would Think: He would talk with his top men and at least give everyone else a list of suggestions on how they might improve their odds of surviving the disaster. Even if it was just a lot of "Duck And Cover" bullcrap, it would be better than nothing. Plus, he knew the rock was going to hit the East coast, so he could just tell the Americans to head westward.
    Instead: He pretty much tells the rest of America he's written them off as not worth saving and that he's just going to save his own ass and those of the elite. The meteor final falls, causing far less damage then anticipated. Beck, in all likelihood, will not be reelected considering how many people will be righteously pissed off at him.
  • The Devil Wears Prada: Miranda Priestly is the editor-in-chief of Runway magazine and a Bad Boss. Even so, she's established as a smart woman who clawed her way to the top. While she's trying to fly back from Miami to New York, a hurricane hits. She wants to get home to see her daughters' recital
    You'd Expect: Miranda would accept that she's not getting home in time for her twin girls' recital. Hurricanes kill people!
    Instead: She calls Andrea, her new junior assistant, and expects her to find a private jet and pilot to take her home in time.
    Predictably: Andy fails because no one with any common sense will fly in the middle of a hurricane. Miranda of course goes Never My Fault and tells off Andrea for telling a pilot to risk his life for the editor of Runway.
  • Die Hard: Early on, following the advice someone he met while arriving in L.A., John McClane takes his shoes off and walks barefoot in the Nakatomi building to relieve some tension. During this, Hans Gruber and his men take over the building, and McClane is forced to sneak out but unable to get his shoes back on, forcing him to remain barefoot. When John kills the first of Gruber's men he attempts to take his shoes, but to his chagrin finds out that they are too small to fit him.
    You Would Think: That John would continue doing this with any future members of Gruber's team that he'd manage to kill until he found a pair of shoes that he'd be able to wear.
    Instead: McClane does not think to do this again at all. It's understandable if he's being fired at or being chased by Gruber's men since he'd be more focused on not dying, but he even forgets this during one good portion of the film where he isn't being hunted down and is in a room with 2 goons he's just killed: while he throws the body of one out the window to alert Al, he takes whatever he can from the other including some explosives he was going to use for Hans and his cigarettes, but for some reason not his shoes. And later on one of Gruber's men proceeds to shoot out several pieces of glass, causing McClane's unprotected feet to get completely cut up.
  • District 9: Aliens come to Earth, malnourished and unguided. They're taken from their ship, set up in a temporary camp which degenerates into a slum, and are constantly exploited by the private corporation responsible.
    You'd Expect: The governments of the world would take an interest in preventing the abuse of these aliens, considering that they're 1) sapient and at least as intelligent as us and 2) capable of building technology that makes us look like cavemen in comparison. They're also bigger and probably a fair bit stronger. Clearly, treating them badly will not end well for us, in the long run.
    Instead The private corporation turns the aliens into slaves in everything but name. They're restricted in where they can eat, where they can work (and what work they can do), and forced to live in slums. Their unhatched eggs are confiscated and destroyed. They are subject to being evicted from their dwellings without notice. They are required to take on human names, speak English (or understand it, anyway), and abandon any trace of their own culture. These requirements are published on the company's website, where anyone can go look them up. The world's governments apparently don't give a crap, and are instead placated by the nifty new gadgets that the company is turning out.
  • In Doc Hollywood, Dr. Stone has had to perform community service in a small town while he waits for his car to get repaired after wrecking it, all the while dealing with the fact that he's had to push back a major job interview in the process. When the car finally gets fixed, he prepares himself to reach Los Angeles and win his gig. Just as he's driving to part ways with the town, he catches wind of a couple he had met earlier in the movie about to deliver a baby on the side of the road. Naturally, since he's grown close to the townsfolk, he decides to be a Good Samaritan and pull over to help them with the delivery.
    You'd Expect: For Dr. Stone to pull the car off to the side of the road away from any potential traffic, like any human being with common sense would do.
    Instead: He stops the car in the middle of the road, facing completely sideways.
    The Result: His actions end up costing his car again when a semi truck driver passes through the road and is unable to slam his brakes in time to prevent t-boning Dr. Stone's vehicle.
  • In Drag Me to Hell, Christine has a cursed button in a blank envelope. Tomorrow, a demon will drag whoever owns this button to hell, so she needs to give it away to someone else. Unfortunately, she's accidentally switched it with an envelope containing a silver quarter.
    You'd Expect: She would check the contents of the envelope to determine that it really does contain the button. Getting bodily dragged to hell is not something you want to be careless with. In the very least, she should at least notice that the item in the envelope she keeps fidgeting is too heavy and made of metal, and thus is not the button.
    Instead: She digs up Mrs. Ganush's grave in the middle of a rainstorm, and shoves the wrong envelope into the corpse's mouth. By the time she finds out she left the button in her boyfriend's car, it's too late.
    Result: She gets dragged off to Hell, and cue Downer Ending.
  • Dragonheart:
    • The king was an evil tyrant and a dragonslayer who met his end while slaughtering peasants and burning their village. His son, Einon, was mortally wounded in the process of trying to steal his father's crown from his corpse. His mother, Queen Aislinn, and mentor, Sir Bowen, take the dying prince to see the dragon that would later be given the nickname "Draco". Draco observes right away that Einon is a manipulative brat and every bit as evil as his father, and voices his reservations about granting their request to heal him. Aislinn and Bowen swear on Einon's behalf that he wouldn't be like his father.
      You'd Think: That Draco would refuse to help Einon, depose Aislinn as queen, and install someone of sounder mind and moral character to take over rule. Einon's word isn't worth its weight in his own spit, and Draco can see that Stockholm Syndrome has Bowen and Aislinn wrapped tight around Einon's finger, whether they realize it or not.
      Instead: Draco makes Einon swear the oath with his dying breath, takes him at his word, and shares his heart with him, restoring the prince to life and granting him a portion of the dragon's power.
      Result: Einon uses his newfound power to become more monstrous than his father had been through extortion, torture, murder, and even rape.
    • A despondant Bowen concludes that this was the dragon's doing, and returns to the lair to confront him.
      You'd Expect: Draco to meet Bowen at the cave entrance, disarm him, and then pin him down until he listens to reason. He does just that in a later scene, proving that he is capable of it.
      Instead: Draco vacates. An enraged Bowen develops a grudge against Draco, abandons the Old Code, and takes out his revenge by hunting dragons into near-extinction, leaving Draco as the Last of His Kind and screwed out of his afterlife when the movie catches up with him.
  • One prime example from Dumb and Dumber: Harry and Lloyd, the two eponymous idiots, are stranded in the middle of nowhere with no money and no motor scooter, wondering when/if they’ll ever catch a break. Just then, a bus arrives carrying a group of bikini models on a national tour looking for two “royal boys” to grease them up.
    You’d Expect: Harry and Lloyd to gladly accept their invitation and board the bus.
    Instead: Harry comically misses the point and directs them to a town where there may be said royal boys. The models then shrug and drive off.
    However: Lloyd admonishes Harry: “Do you realize what you’ve DONE?!” Lloyd then runs to catch up to the bus and apologize for Harry’s misguiding.
    You’d Then Expect: Lloyd to tell the models that he and Harry are boarding.
    Instead: He directs them the OTHER way, confusing the models even more.
    But Let’s Be Honest: You’d expect plenty of stupidity from a movie with a title like this, and you won’t be disappointed there.
  • During the titular event in Earthquake, a man has to run inside a house to turn off a ruptured gas line.
    You'd Expect: He would dispose of his lit cigarette first.
    Instead: He does not. The house goes boom.
  • Election sees a paranoid teacher put in charge of counting the votes in the class election. Much to his horror, he sees that his least favorite student Tracey Flick has won, but the election was Decided by One Vote.
    You'd Expect: He'd simply erase one checkmark for Flick and replace it with one for her opponent. It's not unheard of for someone to change their mind in the voting booth, after all. He also could have just stuffed the papers in his pocket. It's not like they'd frisk him.
    Instead: He casually tosses two votes for Flick into the trash can, taking no effort to disguise or bury the papers they're written on. Naturally, the papers are discovered and his voter fraud is caught.
  • In Elf, Buddy, a human raised by elves at the North Pole, detects that the Santa Claus working at Gimbels is an imposter and confronts him for an interrogation.
    You'd Expect: Buddy to ask a question that the real Santa Claus would most likely know so he can put the Gimbels Santa on edge. He could remind him why he was sent to New York City in the first place or grill him on the whereabouts of his biological father, especially considering he's on the naughty list.
    Instead: He asks the Gimbels Santa what song he sang for him on his birthday. Naturally, the Gimbels Santa replies with "'Happy Birthday' of course!"
  • In Evil Dead (2013) there are several moments:
    • Eric has just found a mysterious bundle in the cabin's basement. Said basement had dozens of mummified, mutilated cats hanging from the ceiling and the bundle was wrapped in a garbage bag that had been tied up in barbed wire.
      You'd Expect: Eric would leave the clearly ominous thing alone or even just leave it for some other time since he's supposed to be there as part of a group effort to help Mia.
      Instead: He painstakingly cuts it open to see what it is.
    • Upon cutting it open, he sees it's clearly a Tome of Eldritch Lore. It's bound (badly) in nerotic flaps of Genuine Human Hide, and inside it is filled with a combination of horrific illustrations of demons and mutilated corpses, interspersed with deranged scribbled warnings that had have been added by some prior reader. He eventually reaches a part where several words have been painstakingly scribbled over, with large printed warnings to leave them alone.
      You'd Expect: He'd get freaked out and leave things well enough alone, because this is some creepy shit.
      Instead: He painstakingly etches out the blanked words, reading them aloud as he does, and opens a gateway for the Deadites to come through.
    • The entire reason they've come to the cabin is to be there to help Mia get through her addiction and they've suggested that they should even stop her if she tries to leave.
      You'd Expect: For them to agree that someone should at least always be around to keep an eye on her since she's going to be in horrible shape and probably not rational.
      Instead: No one notices that Mia is huddled and walking in circles in the pouring rain.
    • From the start of the movie, the people who stopped the last Deadite attack had the book, clearly knew exactly what it did and given that they took the time to tie a girl to a stake, set it on fire and bundle the book in barbed wire, they clearly weren't in a hurry.
      You'd Expect: If for some reason they had to leave the book in the cabin, unguarded, then they would put it in something that no one could get open with an hour's work like a safe. You'd also expect it to be put somewhere very hard to see.
      Instead: They left the book covered by just the wire and bag, and in clear view on the desk.
  • In Evolution, General Woodman is preparing to use napalm bombs against the invading aliens, when he receives a call from Dr. Allison Reed, who claims to have "important information" relating to his plan. Previously, Allison had walked out on him in response to his behaviour towards the main characters.
    You'd Expect: Woodman to at least hear her out, regardless of whatever she did in the last few hours.
    Instead: He doesn't take the call. The bombing goes ahead, and it causes the aliens to all fuse into a gigantic amoeba-like creature. Turns out that Allison was calling to warn him that excessive heat causes the aliens to rapidly evolve. Luckily for Woodman, the heroes manage to destroy the creature, however it's implied that he'll receive a hefty demotion as a result of his screwup.
  • Face/Off
    • The Walsh Institute is keeping Castor Troy alive, in a coma. They decide to carry out a surgery that causes Sean Archer to receive Castor's face.
      You'd Expect: That afterwards, they keep the comatose Castor under the watch of armed guards 24/7, and also restrained to his hospital bed.
      Instead: The people at the Institute decide that Castor is not enough of a flight risk to justify even restraining to the bed, even though Castor is a cop killer, and even have a phone in the same room as Castor's bed. Hence, when Castor wakes up, it's easy for him to call his cronies, so that he can force Dr. Walsh to give him Archer's face.
    • Earlier, before he undergoes the surgery, Archer is told by Miller that the mission he is undertaking is a black bag operation (classified, strictly off the books, no paperwork), meaning he cannot tell his boss Victor Lazarro or his wife and daughter that he is about to receive Castor's face. Archer seems skeptical and a bit reluctant at first to carry out such a mission, thinking that there are a number of ways that something could go wrong, one of which appears to be "what if Castor comes out of his coma?".
      You'd Expect: Archer to disregard Miller's instructions and tell his family and the director that he is about to get Castor's face with a special surgery. That way, there is someone who knows who Archer really is in the event something happens to Tito or Miler.
      Instead: He never does. Castor comes out of his coma, makes the doctor give him Archer's face, then kills Dr. Walsh, Miller, and Tito by burning down the Institute, before going to the prison to taunt Archer that with everyone alive who knows who he really is dead, he'll be stuck in prison for the rest of his life. It is hence impossible for Archer to prove who he really is until he breaks into his own house to tell Eve that he and Castor have different blood types.
  • In Fantastic Four, the titular team successfully defeated Dr. Doom by having Johnny use supernova on him and Ben spraying him with water afterwards. Doom is frozen after this.
    You'd Expect: Given he's living metal, frozen or not, precautions would be taken to make sure he doesn't cause trouble again.
    Instead: He's shipped back home and left unguarded, apparently under the assumption that he's stuck that way forever. Naturally, he returns in the sequel.
  • Fantastic Four (2015):
    • In the 2015 reboot of the Fantastic Four movie, Ben Grimm receives a telephone call at 3:00 in the morning from Reed Richards, who is by his own admission drunk out of his mind. Reed asks him to accompany him in an unauthorized joyride on the dimension travel device he just finished inventing.
      You'd Expect: Him to say "It's three in the damn morning. Go to bed." and hang up the phone.
      Or: Him to say "I'll be right there.", head to the Baxter Foundation, and talk Reed out of said joyride.
      Instead: He agrees to accompany him. Guess what happens. Just guess.
    • Once they reach the alternate dimension, they survey the landscape and notice a strange green energy nearby.
      You'd Expect: Victor to take a few pictures and call it a day.
      Instead: He goes down to take a closer look.
      You'd Then Expect: When he starts approaching the energy, someone to say "Don't Touch It, You Idiot!".
      Instead: Nobody does.
      The Result: The energy reacts explosively, and in their escape three of their number and the person who guided them back in are irreversibly mutated while the fourth is thrown into the energy and presumed dead for a year.
    • Eventually, on a return trip to the alternate dimension, they find Victor has inexplicably survived and promptly bring him back to receive treatment.
      You'd Expect: Dr. Allen, who knows he's dealing with a man who has noted anti-government beliefs and in fact believed that the military would hijack the project at the first opportunity, to apologize for leaving him behind and promise to help him as much as they can.
      Instead: He makes a statement that effectively amounts to, "Haha! We let the military hijack the project at the first opportunity!"
      The Result: Victor goes on a rampage throughout the facility, killing him, Dr. Storm, and many other unnamed personnel.
    • Victor goes on a rampage throughout the facility, killing many people by making their heads explode. He then comes across the Fantastic Four.
      You'd Expect: Victor to explode their heads.
      Instead: He fights them the old fashioned way.
      The Result: The Fantastic Four are able to stop his plans and kill him.
  • Fargo:
    • Wade has been informed that his daughter was kidnapped (unaware that it was due to his son-in-law Jerry attempting to swindle a lot of cash out of him) and he is given specific instructions to let Jerry give some ransom money.
      You'd Expect: Wade to follow the orders and entrust Jerry with the ransom.
      Instead: He tries to do it himself and demand his daughter's release, which results in one of the criminals, Carl Showalter, killing him. Wade's justification is that since his son-in-law is pretty incompetent, he should handle the situation, but even that falls flat because Wade basically put himself in harm's way.
    • Carl isn't really the brightest bulb either. Earlier in the movie, he and his partner-in-crime Gaer Grimsrud have successfully kidnapped Jerry's wife but are puled over by a cop since the car they are driving has no tags (Carl realizes he forgot to put them on) and Carl attempts to make the cop go away.
      You'd Expect: For Carl to show the cop his license or even draw out a weapon in order to make the cop leave him and Gaer alone.
      Instead: He attempts to bribe the cop, leading him to almost being arrested. He also almost sees the kidnapped victim, forcing Gaer to murder him.
  • At the climax of A Few Good Men, Kaffee spots a fatal contradiction in Colonel Jessup's testimony, and asks why, if Jessup's men always follow his orders, no questions asked, he was worried enough about the deceased marine Santiago to order him transferred off the base, even though he had ordered that no-one was to touch Santiago.
    You'd Expect: Jessup to say that he did so simply as a precautionary measure — and considering that Santiago apparently ended up being set upon and killed by two fellow marines, it was a precaution that was entirely justified.
    Alternatively: Just invoke the Fifth Amendment and refuse to testify, knowing that he's covered his tracks well enough to ensure that any resulting investigation is highly unlikely to turn up any evidence.
    Instead: He undergoes a Villainous Breakdown, and delivers a self-aggrandizing speech to the court — even after the judge tells him he doesn't need to answer Kaffee's question — before finally proclaiming upon further badgering from Kaffee that he did order that Santiago be subjected to a "Code Red" punishment that inadvertently resulted in his death.
  • In Feast, a plan has been devised that requires a corpse to be used as a distraction, and bomb, for the monsters to facilitate an escape plan. Just before the plan starts the 'corpse' regains consciousness, Bozo hesitates while Boss Man decides to continue as planned. The monsters go for the bait before they decide, and they blow her up as planned. Big Man asks if Bozo will agree not to tell the others about Harley Mom being alive.
    You'd Expect: The guy to say 'sure, no need to burden the others' since it was WAY too late to change the plan either way.
    Instead: When a distraction presents itself he gets into a fight Big Man that ends in the death of Heroine.
  • In The Fifth Element, bad guy Zorg, after watching numerous Mooks fail to get the four stones he's after, decides to hunt them down himself. He walks in on Leeloo holding a box that he assumes holds the four stones. He orders her to give him the box. She throws it to him and tries to escape, whereupon he fires blindly into the duct system she hid in.
    You'd Expect: Zorg to make sure Leeloo's dead, then check the box to see what's inside before leaving, especially since Leeloo gave the box up without a fight and this isn't the first time he's been handed a box that he thought had the stones in them.
    Instead: He plants a bomb for no discernible reason, heads back to his ship, leaves, and only then looks inside the box. Unsurprisingly, the stones aren't in there.
  • Final Destination: In every movie, one of the characters has a Premonition about him/her and his/her friends dying at whatever place they are currently at, the character suggests they should get out of there before they end up killed, and after they get of the place, one of them ends up dead in strange circumstances eventually, leading to the main characters trying to cheat death.
    You'd Expect: That our heroes would be careful when using sharp objects, avoid going to risky events, stay indoors, stay off work, etc.
    You'd Also Expect: They would also make sure that the person who's next on Death's list is supervised at all times until they can find away to avoid his/her death and then try to figure to break Death's Design.
    Instead: They do everything but the above.
    • In Final Destination 2, Kimberly Corman and Thomas Burke arrive near a dentist where Tim Carpenter has just had a dental check-up, and Kimberly notices that there are pigeons nearby.
      You'd Expect: Kimberly would keep her mouth shut about the pigeons.
      Instead: Kimberly screams about the aforementioned pigeons, and it causes Tim to go stomp around them. One of the pigeons accidentally causes a construction worker to drop a glass pane.
      So now you'd expect: That either Kimberly, Burke, Nora, or one of the construction workers would shout "Move!", thus ensuring Tim's safety.
      Instead: They stand there looking shocked as the glass pane crushes Tim. Way to go, Kimberly.
    • In Final Destination 4, George attempts to commit suicide several times, but none of his methods work. Nick and Lori find out about this after saving Janet.
      You'd Expect: The two of them would put two-and-two together and realize that you can't commit suicide if it's not your turn. After all, the noose just kept breaking. Even if they can't seem to figure that out, at the very least, learn that people that are saved are just skipped.
      Instead: They think that saving Janet ended Death's design. Not long after, another person on Death's list dies and George is soon run over by an ambulance when their guard is down.
  • Frankenstein: It's a sad lookout when the monster with the supposedly abnormal brain ends up being the most intelligent character in the movie.
    • The Monster has risen, and Frankenstein, the doctor and Fritz are trying to control him... except Fritz has a torch in his hand and the Monster is afraid of fire and getting more riled by the moment by its presence.
      You'd Think They'd: Get the bloody torch out of there.
      Instead: They let Fritz get even closer with the bloody torch, agitating the Monster further.
    • Fritz has been abusing and antagonizing the Monster, enraging him.
      You'd Expect: Doctor Frankenstein to sternly admonish Fritz to stay as far away from the Monster as possible.
      Instead: Fritz keeps screwing with the Monster until the Monster hangs him with his own whip. And then is completely berserk.
    • Frankenstein and the other doctor have subdued the Monster, and believe he may be dead. The other doctor has promised to dispose of him quickly.
      You'd Expect: They'd get some gasoline, find a clear patch, and immedately incinerate the Monster then scatter the ashes just to be sure, if for no other reason than to prevent any diseases from the dead body parts from a myriad of corpses.
      Instead: The other doctor places the Monster on the gurney again and decides he's going to have him some dissectin'. The Monster snaps his neck.
    • The Monster has escaped and comes across a young girl playing in a field.
      You'd Expect: That faced with a rotting, scarred, lumbering creature, she would scream and run with all speed to find a responsible adult (which, given the caliber of the adults in this film would entail her running straight into another movie...)
      Instead: She asks "would you be my friend?" and gives him a bouquet of flowers. He ends up accidentally causing her death by drowning.
    • The Monster is on the loose, and is believed to be coming towards the Frankenstein estate, where Henry Frankenstein is about to be married to his fiancee, Elizabeth, and may even be in the house.
      You'd Expect: Henry would make sure that at least an area code was between Elizabeth and the Monster, would not leave her alone, and certainly make sure there was an escape route for her in case of trouble.
      Instead: He locks her, alone, from the outside (ensuring she can't get out) in a ground-floor room with big glass windows, perfect for the Monster to walk right through to terrorize her.
    • Frankenstein is leading his section of the angry mob on their search to find The Monster. He hears something and wants to investigate.
      You'd Expect: Frankenstein would go back and make sure that at least some of the mob came with him.
      Instead: He shouts to them, and when he doesn't get a response, climbs up the hill alone where the Monster layeth down the smack upon him.
  • Friday the 13th: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday: The FBI has managed to kill Jason by luring him out into the open with a sexy agent, then blow him up with an airstrike.
    You'd Expect: Given that they clearly know Jason has superpowers and has come back to life on several occasions, and they're not taking any chances, they'd take whatever was left of him, and throw it into a pit full of thermite. Problem solved. Series over. Or if they wanted to know more about him, they could ship them off to a place like Area 51, with tons of security and the resources to properly study him.
    Instead: They send his remains to a nearby ordinary morgue for ordinary people with an ordinary coroner and only two guards.
    The Result: Granted neither tactic would have actually worked, since Freddy Krueger was planning on resurrecting Jason, and he can apparently do so even if Jason's heart has been destroyed. Plus, Jason can apparently posses you without any outward signs or you having to eat his heart (as he was implied to have done Roy Burns and Tommy Jarvis). But the government couldn't possibly have known either of these things.
  • Freaky Friday (2003): Anna is getting bad grades in her English class. When her mother Tess confronts her about it, Anna explains that her teacher hates her because he used to date Tess and is Not Good with Rejection. The teacher literally told her this.
    You'd Expect: Tess would at least consider that Anna wouldn't make up such an outrageous lie. She ought to hold a parent-teacher conference with the guy to get to the bottom of this.
    Instead: She confiscates Anna's bedroom door as punishment, refusing to believe her.
    The Result: When mother and daughter switch bodies, Tess gets spontaneous Adult Fear and a Jerkass Realization when she finds out the teacher was one of her high school exes. He bluntly says he's punishing Anna for the crime of existing and her mother turning him down. Only then does Tess take action, telling the teacher while in Anna's body that she's reporting him to the school board if he continues with this unconscionable behavior, and he is such a creepy guy. It's implied that she'll go Mama Bear after they're switched back.
  • In Fright Night (1985), horror movie show host Peter Vincent is facing down Jerry Dandridge. Vincent knows full well that Jerry is a real vampire, and attempts to use a crucifix to stall him in front of a window to be killed by the rapidly approaching morning sun. However, because until that case Vincent has had no previous experience with the supernatural, he doesn't immediately realise that this only works if he truly believes in the crucifix's holy power (even though he learned this from a previous failed attempt to use a crucifix against Jerry).
    You'd Expect: Jerry, who is privy to this information (and knows that Vincent is too, having told him himself), to keep his trap shut about it, and use his superhuman powers to overpower Vincent.
    Instead: Jerry mocks him, then loudly proclaims "YOU HAVE TO HAVE FAITH FOR THAT TO WORK, MISTER VIN-CENT! RE-MEM-BERRR?" then stands there laughing. Vincent promptly has faith, and manages to hold Jerry in place where he's nearly killed by the sunlight.
  • The Fugitive has Samuel Gerard seeing Dr. Richard Kimble in Cook County Jail from behind his back as he is walking down the stairway.
    You'd Expect: He should sneak on him quietly while he is going the stairs and catch him from behind. Pretty easy, huh?
    Instead: He just shouts his name out loud while he's not much far from him by the stairway. This results in Gerard nearly getting arrested by two police officers that Kimble say that he's a criminal, and losing him again.
  • Full Metal Jacket: Although R. Lee Ermey defined the Drill Sergeant Nasty trope with his character Gunnery Sgt. Hartman, the climax at the end of the first half of the film proves that he was a failure in the end. Take "Pvt. Pyle"'s suicide, where Joker finds him in the bathroom, holding his rifle, and has it fully loaded. His loud shrieking of the Marine Corps Prayer garners the attention of GySgt. Hartman.
    You'd Expect: That, upon discovering that the mentally shattered Pyle is holding a fully loaded rifle, Hartman would send Joker get a hold of some military police to come and defuse the situation, and in the meantime try to keep Pyle calm. As it is, he could quite easily shoot the two of them dead, after which he would be free to butcher the rest of the squad.
    Instead: Hartman doesn't do that, and just calmly asks for the rifle. Pyle fails to comply and takes aim at Hartman... who taunts and speaks down to him more, even when it's clear that the guy needs serious help. But after asking him, "What is your major malfunction, numbnuts? Didn't mommy and daddy show you enough attention when you were a child?!", Hartman is shot dead by Pyle. Only the fact that Joker is the closest thing Pyle has to a friend stops him from going on a killing spree, and he instead takes his own life.

  • Gemini Man pretty much sums up the entire Evil Plan of Big Bad Clay Varris as this. Twenty years ago, he made a clone specifically to kill his old friend Henry Brogan.
    You'd Expect: That he would either clone himself or someone that Brogan has no connection with.
    Instead: He creates a clone of Brogan that named Junior that he was raised as an assassin, lying to him that he was an orphan.
    The Result: Brogan's new friend Danielle "Dani" Zacharuski matches both their DNA and concludes to Brogan that Junior is his clone, therefore tipping off Brogan of Clay's plans. Brogan then captures Junior and tells him the truth about his origins and how Clay was lying to him all along. A devestated Junior does a Heel–Face Turn and confronts Clay over his lies.
    You'd Then Expect: Knowing that Junior now knows the truth, Clay to take any action to keep him from defecting. He can either have Junior locked up or even send an entire army with him to keep him in check.
    Instead: Clay tries to justify that his lies were necessary and lets Junior go alone after sharing a hug, thus allowing Junior to join Brogan and Dani in stopping Clay. To be fair, Clay does call in an army to ambush them but by then they already reached him. After the three managed to kill his entire army, Clay wakes up on the rooftop where Junior left him.
    You'd Then Expect: Clay to escape immediately since he doesn't stand a chance against the heroes now that he's alone, and then go through with his plan of making an entire army of clones to revolutionize the world.
    Instead: He confronts them alone and unarmed just so he can gloat about his plan and how Brogan "inspired" him while they were pointing their guns at him for that matter. Predictably, Brogan then kills him.
  • The Giver:
    You'd Expect: That although no member of the Community can escape camera watch completely, Jonas would move out of direct camera range to kiss Fiona.
    Instead: He kisses her in full view of the camera, which incriminates him when the Chief Elder brings up all his activity for the past year.
    You'd Expect: The Chief Elder to choose anyone but Asher, Jonas' best friend, to find him, and then "accidentally" have him eliminated.
    Instead: She sends Asher, who is not only a rookie drone pilot and probably couldn't be trusted with any job of that magnitude, but also lets Jonas go.
    You'd Expect: Fiona to try to escape the Nurturing Center empty-handed. Her pursuers already know or can at least infer Jonas has Gabe, and escaping empty-handed would keep Fiona relatively safe.
    Instead: She grabs, and starts running with, an empty baby carrier. This is ostensibly to throw pursuers off the scent, but it doesn't work and just hastens their decision to Release her.
  • Ghosts of Mars: Melanie Bernard... this becomes very obvious at the second half of the film:
    You'd Expect: That when what's left of the crew and prisoners finally reach the train, they escape and deliver their prisoner Kincaid, which they were originally supposed to do, and inform their precinct of the danger so they can suit up and get reinforcements.
    Instead: Melanie Bernard stops the train 30 seconds later so they can go back to kill off the possessed miners. Even though they all know that if they die, the ghosts will simply find another body to possess and there's no guarantee that her plan to cause a nuclear explosion will work, they decide to go anyway. Everybody except Kincaid and Bernard dies.
  • G.I. Joe: Retaliation:
    • Zartan orders an attack on Roadblock and Duke's group in Pakistan. They succeed in wiping out the entire unit except for Roadblock, Lady Jaye, and Flint, who jump into a well as the missiles start coming down. Cobra foot soldiers then check the area to see if they missed anybody. They then come across the well .
      You'd Expect: One of the Cobra soldiers to throw a grenade down the well, just to be on the safe side, so that he can make sure that if there were people hiding in the well, that they wouldn't survive. Then they would have killed Roadblock, Flint, and Lady Jaye. Then the area will have been secure. And they wouldn't be able to stop Cobra's plot.
      Instead: He tries shooting his assault rifle down the well and it doesn't prove effective, as it misses them by inches. Roadblock, Flint and Lady Jaye eventually get out of the well and eventually make it back to the States, and eventually foil Cobra's master plan.
    • Snake Eyes is captured and taken to a secret underground prison which also houses Cobra Commander and Destro. Only it turns out "Snake Eyes" is Storm Shadow in disguise.
      You'd Expect: The prison director to inform his superiors that not only is Snake Eyes still at large, but a known Cobra agent has been captured. Then possibly, they'd proceed to interrogate Storm Shadow as to why he was running around as Snake Eyes. Or at the very least strip him.
      Instead: They merely shrug and throw Storm Shadow in the same torture rigs Cobra Commander and Destro are in. Only Storm Shadow was there to spring Cobra Commander. Cue Stuff Blowing Up and SS and CC strolling away.
    • In the end, Storm Shadow was revealed to be framed by Zartan for the death of his and Snake Eyes's Master, and they form a truce so they can avenge him, and he dies at Storm Shadow's hands.
      You'd Think: The Joes would arrest him now that their truce is over, seeing as how he still killed innocent civilians and their comrades, and destroyed the Eiffel Tower, as seen in the last movie, and Storm Shadow himself stated that things would never change between them anyway.
      Instead: They let him walk away, to inevitably murder more innocents in the future, making the Joes responsible for his future crimes, not to mention aiding and abetting a terrorist and murderer.
  • In God's Not Dead, after refusing to make a declaration that "God is Dead" just so Professor Radisson gives him an easy passing grade, Radisson threatens Josh to either fail him if he doesn't do it, drop out of Philosophy class, or try to convince him (and all the other students) that God is not dead.
    You'd Expect: Since forcing students to accept views that only the professor believes is clearly not what a real Philosophy professor would do, Josh would have gone to the chief administration's office, report on what Radisson is doing to his students, and have Radisson fired.
    Instead: Josh decides to spend the entire film making a debate on God's existence against Radisson, trying to convince him and the other students that God is not dead.
    The Result: Josh, well, being Josh, spends the entire three days of making a debate on God's existence without even bothering to mention that other people tends to believe in other kinds of faiths as well. Additionally, he clearly insults people who don't believe in God (or hate Him), saying how puerile they are compared to Christians in terms of morality, among other things. Josh then use those tactics to "win" this case against Radisson.
    Ironically: Josh has been told by Reverend Dave that God doesn't forgive those who don't believe in Him, even though God DID forgive Professor Radisson, at his deathbed, at the end of the film.
    • Speaking of which, when Radisson is trying to go to the Newsboys concert to see Josh and his girlfriend so he can reconcile with them and become a Christian once again, when he was trying to cross the street....a random car just came right out of NOWHERE, clearly going through a red light, running Radisson over! The reverends Dave and Jude end up witnessing this incident.
      You'd Expect: Oh, wait, they have a cell phone! So they could've, oh, I don't know, call 911 for an ambulance so they can get Radisson to a hospital! Then, afterwards, they can go right to the police station so they can report on what happened.
      Instead: They just came up to Radisson, who's now fatally wounded, and offered Radisson a chance to be converted to Christianity before he dies. Basically, what they're actually doing is just literally leaving Radisson, who's trying to get his life back together before this incident happened, for dead!
      For Added Stupidity: Not only Jude and Dave were celebrating the death of Radisson when they should be ACTUALLY mourning for it, but also they're letting that reckless driver get away with killing Radisson!
  • Godzilla (2014): The military is moving several high-value nuclear missiles by train to take on the monsters when they have to brake because of apparent gun fire. After the commander of the train repeatedly tries to find out if the bridge they are supposed to cross is clear without response, Lt. Ford Brody and three others move out onto the bridge to see if it is intact and clear. After some time, they can see that the bridge is intact. With this, Ford reports 'The bridge is intact'.
    You'd Expect: The other soldier with Ford to tell him that just because a bridge is intact does not mean it is clear. One of the monsters could have been in the area at the time, and the sight of the train could have spelt disaster for the convoy. After all, Nothing Is Scarier.
    Instead: He radios the others to tell them that they're clear to move out and sure enough the female MUTO is in the area.
    Result: The MUTO ambushes the train and destroys it, with Ford as the only member of the convoy who undeniably survives.
    Even Worse: The MUTOs 'feed' by absorbing radiation and consuming radioactive materials, so the military loses all but one of the nuclear missiles.
  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019):
    • Dr. Emma Russell and Eco-Terrorist leader Alan Jonah team-up to release the Titans, one at a time, to save the Earth's ecosystem from man-made destruction. The first Titan Jonah wants set free is "Monster Zero", named such because so little is known about it, other than it's a three-headed dragon.
      You'd Expect: Emma to persuade Jonah to put off freeing Monster Zero until they learn more about it, and instead, release any of the other 16 or so Titans that they do know about.
      Instead: She willingly goes along with the plan. Monster Zero, better known as Ghidorah, turns out to be an alien Titan who's more interested in shaping the world to his liking rather than fix the Earth. And he accomplishes this by releasing the Titans en-masse to wreck and destroy.
    • While King Ghidorah is enslaving the Earth's monsters to tear down human cities to begin Hostile Terraforming of the planet to Ghidorah's own liking, Rodan becomes his primary servant and soldier having to fight off the human militaries. Then Godzilla and Mothra arrive to resist Ghidorah.
      You'd Expect: Rodan, who is witnessing Godzilla and Mothra tackling Ghidorah with at least partial success, help them take down Ghidorah so that he can escape the latter's dictatorship.
      Instead: He tackles Mothra and badly injures her in battle, almost guaranteeing he'll never escape his slavery to Ghidorah.
  • In The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, the One-Armed Bounty Hunter, who was wounded by the titular "Ugly" of the trio, decides to seek revenge on him for the loss of his right arm. When he finally gets to confront his enemy, seemingly helpless in his bathtub....
    You'd Expect: The hunter to say only a few words before killing Tuco right there, or just kill him without talking.
    Instead: He takes his sweet time to gloat about looking for Tuco for 8 months, and the time he spent learning to shoot with his left hand. The end result? Tuco shooting him at the very end of his talking with his own gun hidden in the soap foam. Lampshaded by Tuco with the line: "When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk."
  • The Goonies starts with a police officer at a jail finding one prisoner, Jake Fratelli, has hung himself with an apparent suicide note taped to his chest.
    You'd Expect: The officer to call for help to check on Jake.
    Instead: The officer reads the suicide note. It turns out Jake only pretended to kill himself and overpowers the officer while he's distracted. Almost Lampshaded by the note's actual content: "You schmuck. Did you really think I'd be stupid enough to kill myself?"
  • The Great Muppet Caper: In the climax, Kermit and his friends have intervened when Nicky Holiday and his henchgirl-posse have broken into the Mallory Gallery. Some of them Zerg Rush Nicky, and Beauregard tussles with him. Animal goes Let's Get Dangerous! and chases the Girl Posse away from the diamonds, while the team plays Keep Away to prevent Nicky Holiday from getting his hands on the Baseball Diamond. The ruckus is so loud that anyone from outside can hear it, including the guard dogs that Rowlf sweet-talked.
    You'd Expect: Someone would call for help from the guards that Kermit and Fozzy distracted. Or get the Diamond out of the gallery and into the right hands and keep gangpiling Nicky so as to stop him from stealing the Diamond.
    Instead: They decide to play an actual baseball game using the diamond as a baseball. Scooter takes a break from foiling the heist to sell snacks, while Louis even starts providing commentary! (Obviously a hilarious moment, but not the time and place.)
    The Result: After a few minutes of this, Nicky gets annoyed, goes No-Nonsense Nemesis and shakes off Beauregard. He catches the diamond mid-flyball and grabs Kermit, holding him at gunpoint because he needs a hostage to leave. It's only because of Miss Piggy's timely arrival that Nicky gets distracted and knocked down long enough for Kermit to whack him with the diamond. To top it all off, several cops were chasing Miss Piggy down for breaking out of prison, car-jacking Peter Ustinov, and "borrowing" a motorcycle that fell out of a delivery truck; they get the gist of the situation, putting Nicky Holiday and his cronies under arrest.
  • In Gremlins 2: The New Batch, the Brain Gremlin finds some "Genetic Sunblock" in the lab, a substance that could rid his species of its greatest weakness for good.
    You'd Expect: He'd inject himself with it immediately, and then line up as many Gremlins as possible to get the shot as well. That way, the human race will be forced to turn over their cities to the Gremlins starting with New York City with Brain Gremlin being the ruler.
    Instead: He only gives the injection to the Bat-Gremlin, who later gets defeated by Murray tossing him into a pile of wet cement thus trapping Bat-Gremlin as a gargoyle.
  • Halloween II (1981) has a particularly infamous one. While tracking down Michael Myers after he survives his fall from the Doyle house, Dr. Loomis spots a familiar looking trick or treater among the Halloween crowds.
    You'd Expect: For Loomis to tail the guy quietly, then take a closer look to make absolute sure he's got the right man.
    Instead: He runs at the confused and frightened man yelling and waving his gun, ultimately chasing him into the street and the path of a speeding Police cruiser. It wasn't Michael. Godspeed, Ben Tramer.
  • Happy Gilmore:
    • The title character has wanted to be a professional hockey player since childhood, but while he does possess a very powerful slapshot taught to him by his father, his skating and puck-handling ability are both subpar, leaving him unable to get onto a pro hockey team.
      You'd Expect: That if Happy is serious about playing pro hockey, he would try and identify his flaws early on, and then work on bringing the associated skills up to a decent level.
      Instead: From what we see of him, Happy makes no attempt to ever do this, even after failing to qualify for his local hockey team eleven times (at least). The only preparation he's ever shown doing for the hockey tryouts is letting himself get shot at by a baseball pitching machine in order to toughen up, suggesting he's either unaware that he's considered to have deficiencies, or refusing to accept so.
    • Later on in the film, Happy becomes a professional golfer of decent skill, owing largely to his powerful slapshot translating into a 400 yard drive. This earns him the enmity of Shooter McGavin, one of the top stars on the pro tour, due to his envy of Happy's sudden rise in popularity. To deal with Happy, Shooter gets Donald, an obsessed fan of his, to show up in the audience and verbally harass Happy during the Pepsi Pro-Am, in the hope of provoking him into doing something violent that'll get him kicked off the tour.
      You'd Expect: Tour officials would immediately have Donald ejected once it became clear he was deliberately trying to put Happy off his game. You'd also think that Bob Barker, Happy's celebrity partner for the pro-am, would raise a complaint about Donald with the officials if they weren't doing anything about him.
      Instead: The officials do nothing, leaving Donald free to continually annoy Happy and make him botch his strokes, and Bob repeatedly berates Happy for not being able to play properly despite the obvious heckler.
      The Result: Happy's frustrations at both Donald and Bob's provocations lead to him getting into a fight with the latter. Bob proceeds to beat Happy unconscious, and the tour's board of directors have little choice but to suspend him over the incident. While Happy is certainly responsible for his own actions, things should never have been allowed to get to that point.
  • In Highlander, Ramirez wounds the Kurgan in the throat during their duel, staggering him for several seconds.
    You'd Expect: Ramirez would press his advantage to strike a finishing blow.
    Instead: He stands there and taunts the Kurgan, allowing him to recover and kill Ramirez.
  • In Highlander II: The Quickening, General Katana of Zeist sends his two goons to kill Connor MacLeod on planet Earth. However, Dumbass Has a Point by saying that MacLeod was banished on Earth and from what we see can die of old age anytime.
    You'd Expect: General Katana to agree with him and let MacLeod die of old age.
    Instead: Katana slaps the guy and send him to Earth and, of couse, they die returning MacLeod to the immortal phase, thus remaking the gathering, thus obliging Katana to go himself and, of course getting himself killed.
  • Hitch
    • During the movie, gossip columnist Sarah starts feeling attracted to a guy with whom she's had two terrible dates. Then she finds out that he's a dating consultant, and interviews a guy who slept with her best friend Casey for the laughs, claiming he used this consultant to get tips on getting laid. Sarah is understandably furious and has a third date with Alex Hitchens
      You'd Expect: She would confront him about using his player habits and his clients. There's more than one side to every story, and perhaps it will all come out.
      Instead: She goes You Know What You Did, gets into a food fight with him, and runs the story on the front page the next day, against her boss's wishes.
      The Result: Hitch understandably confronts her, tells her off for believing a "pig" like Vance and that he only works with Nice Guy clients and she just ruined a genuine relationship with his client and friend Albert. Whatsoever, it's because of girls like Sarah that guys who want a genuine relationship have a hard time saying so. Sarah tries to apologize the next day, realizing she ruined two men's reputations for nothing, but Hitch isn't in a mood to listen. They only reconcile because even though she violated every tenet of ethical journalism, Hitch admits that he's in love with her.
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
    • During the battle of Moria, Thorin manages to cut off the hand of Azog, the Orc leader. Azog proceeds to clutch his wrist in pain for several seconds.
      You'd Expect: Thorin to take this opportunity to finish Azog off for good.
      Instead: He just stands there, apparently assuming that Azog will later die from the wound. Azog escapes the battle, survives his injury, and comes back with a vengeance when Thorin tries to retake Erebor.
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
    • Thorin's company has been captured and imprisoned by the elves of Mirkwood. Aware of their quest to reclaim Erebor, the Elven King Thranduil offers the dwarves a deal; he'll let them go in exchange for them giving him the White Gems of Lasgalen, which are believed to be lying in the mountain somewhere, should they succeed in their quest. Thorin is none too fond of Thranduil, due to the elven king refusing to help the dwarves following Smaug's takeover of Erebor.
      You'd Expect: Thorin would take this deal. Even if he's no fan of the elves, he would have to be aware that if he does accept, Thranduil must fulfill his part of the agreement first. Once Thorin and the company are safely out of Mirkwood, he can decide whether he'll keep his word or get back at Thranduil.
      Instead: Thorin refuses and insults Thranduil, who decides to imprison the dwarves for a few decades and let them think about his offer. Bilbo subsequently has to break the dwarves free, members of the company nearly die in the escape attempt, and the dwarves ultimately end up outside of Mirkwood with no weapons, one of their number badly injured, and a horde of orcs hunting them down.
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies:
    • Bard the Bowman, now the acting leader of the people of Laketown, now has Alfrid, a remnant of the old regime, to deal with. Alfrid disobeys orders regularly, is a Dirty Coward, acts abrasive to allies, can't fight, and is loathed by the townsfolk to the point that Bard has to save him from being lynched by them.
      You'd Expect: Bard to find some way to get rid of Alfrid, or at least make him not a problem. Even if Bard isn't willing to execute him for his criminal activities, he could throw Alfrid in prison, exile him, or just tie him up until proper justice can be passed. If Bard doesn't think it's worth punishing Alfrid, then strip him of his ranks and toss him in with the civilians, and don't afford him any special treatment or responsibilities.
      Instead: Bard does none of these things. In fact, he keeps giving Alfrid duties that he is manifestly incompetent at, including telling him to be a lookout (he falls asleep), and having him escort the women and children (he tries to disguise himself as a woman and slip away with them). Even when Bard sees Alfrid in drag, carrying an armful of gold which he stole from the treasury, he still steps in to save the guy's life—Chronic Hero Syndrome or no, at that point, what do you have to do in Bard's Dale to be punished for something?
  • Hot Fuzz
    • Nicholas Angel is an extremely competent policeman, to the point that he makes everyone else in the Metropolitan Police Service look bad. The higher-ups want to sort this issue out.
      You'd Expect: Them to do something that would allow Angel to continue to aid the service, without him hogging all the spotlight. Such as putting him in charge of training up new recruits, so that the service can hopefully have more policemen officers like him, and become better at its job as a result.
      Instead: They reassign him to Sandford, Gloucestershire. While Angel does manage to stop a series of murders there, crime in London sharply rises as a result of his absence. By the time the higher-ups realise they need him back, he likes the village too much to leave.
    • Nick while in the town witnesses murders that are labeled as "accidents". Although there is plausible deniability for most of the deaths, his instinct tells him that each one is a murder. He finally gets proof when one of them tries to murder him. Nick barely wins, and gets a lead on who's behind each death.
      You'd Expect: He would either go with backup, if not from the fellow officers that he sees as incompetent then from his contacts out of town. Or he at least wouldn't reveal himself to who he thinks is a group of killers.
      Instead: Nick upon arriving at the NWA meeting reveals himself, to confront the murderers. Then he realizes that they include his boss and all the village leaders, who all have a violent streak and can't be reasoned with because their motives are petty. If not for Danny faking Nick's death, he would have been killed as well, and dumped in the town catacombs.
      Fortunately: Nicholas learns from this and in the climax makes sure to arm himself to the teeth.
  • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1:
    • Katniss has been recruited for PR purposes, being the face of the rebellion and a symbol for others to rally behind.
      You'd Expect: Every effort would be made to keep her safe. After all, her death would basically crush the rebellion.
      Instead: During the bombing run by the Capital, Katniss is left to her own devices and is almost trampled on her way to the bomb shelter, then nearly gets locked out when she has to go back for Prim.
    • As part of her PR job, Katniss is sent to a hospital in District 8 to mingle. Snow gets wind of this.
      You'd Expect: Since he wants Katniss dead, he would send ground troops to take her out.
      Instead: Per his earlier edict that any association with the Mockingjay is a death sentence, he has the entire hospital bombed. Not only does this fail to kill Katniss, since she's left by then and they are warned of the bombing, but only gives her good PR and makes District 8 that much more willing to revolt. Indeed, this entire incident is basically the straw that broke the camel's back. For a Capital that understands that "Bread and Circuses" is the best way to placate the masses, killing a bunch of perceived innocents had no positive outcome whatsoever.
    • During the attack on the dam in District 5, the attackers are clearly trying to drag large, heavy crates inside.
      You'd Expect: The Peacekeepers would lock the doors. Every second they spend bashing those things open is a second more of them spend dying.
      Instead: The doors are left open and the attacks Zerg their way inside, blowing up the dam. Especially made facepalm-worthy by showing the Peacekeepers could have stayed safely on top of the dam and fire downwards without risk.
    • During the operation to rescue Peeta and the other hostage Tributes, Katniss tries to goad Snow into talking with her so their jamming signal will keep going through the broadcast.
      You'd Expect: Since this entire operation is actually a gambit by Snow to have a brainwashed Peeta kill Katniss, he would make every effort to make it look like it went off without a hitch. The only reason Katniss even tries this tactic is because the Capital is blocking the original transmission.
      Instead: Snow takes the bait to indulge in some Evil Gloating, practically spelling out his entire plan and actively admitting that he knows about the rescue team. Which leads into...
    • Snow has just admitted that rescuing Peeta is a trap with a hint so blatantly transparent that a 10-year-old would probably take the hint. Hell, even the rescue team admits they only escaped because they were allowed to.
      You'd Expect: They take the hint.
      Instead: No precautions are taken and Katniss gets brutally beaten by Peeta.
  • I Accuse My Parents: The mob boss villain learns that The Hero Jimmy, who works (discreetly) for him, is also dating his gun moll. He goes to the moll a step ahead of Jimmy and orders her, on pain of death, to break up with Jimmy, then hides in the next room to make sure she does it.
    You'd Expect: That when Jimmy arrives, she'd go through her improvised break-up speech but, whilst doing so, would grab a pen and paper (which were often to be found near a telephone in the days before answering machines) and quietly write a note along the lines of PLAY ALONG BLAKE IS BEHIND THE DOOR HE WILL KILL US PLAY ALONG.
    Instead: She goes through her improvised break-up speech with Jimmy but makes no move to alert him to what's really going on, allowing him to take her completely at her word.
    Result: The film enters its Darkest Hour period.
  • Independence Day
    • David Levinson, a computer genius, has worked out that the aliens have a countdown. He calls his ex-wfe Connie, the President's Communications Director, to alert the government.
      You'd Expect: Connie, knowing her ex-husband, would at least listen to what he has to say (he has made a big effort to call her) and tell someone about it.
      Instead: She hangs up on him, causing David and his father to drive all the way to Washington DC to warn her. The President could have ordered the evacuation of the cities earlier had he known.
    • Jasmine Dubrow's house, outside Los Angeles, is a safe distance away from the alien spaceship over the city (she can see it in the distance from her house).
      You'd Expect: Jasmine and her young son Dylan to stay at home, far away from the aliens.
      Instead: She drives into the city, with Dylan and the dog Boomer, to "pick up [her] paycheck". Then she ends up working. Finally, she ends up stuck in traffic fleeing the city and is almost killed when the aliens attack.
    • Dr Okun and his team are performing an autopsy on a captured alien.
      You'd Expect: That the room would be heavily secured, the alien would be severely restrained, and at the very least the alien would be given some anesthetic to ensure that it remains sedated.
      Instead: None of these things happen. The alien wakes up, breaks free from its flimsy restraints, and kills everyone in the room.
  • Indiana Jones
    • In Raiders of the Lost Ark, when Indy tries to get on the wing of the Nazi airplane, a big, bald, burly German mechanic comes out to attack Indy.
      You'd Expect: Indy to simply shoot the mechanic with his revolver and then take care of the pilot of the plane.
      Instead: He engages the mechanic in a fist fight, and nearly gets beaten by him. The plane's propeller is what ends up killing the mechanic.
    • In its next film (which is a prequel, as it was set in 1935, while Raiders of the Lost Ark was set in 1936), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Chinese gangster Lao Che has just tried to have Indy killed. Indy escapes with companions Willie Scott and Short Round, but they end up getting on a plane belonging to Lao Che's company. Lao Che orders the pilots to kill the three of them. As the plane's flying above the Himalayas, the pilots decide to do the deed.
      You'd Expect: They'd just off the three of them there (by maybe slitting their throats while they're asleep or shooting in the back), and then throw them out of the plane.
      Instead: They just parachute out of the plane, leaving it to crash with the good guys inside. Not only does this give Indy time to come up with an escape plan, but it's a waste of a perfectly good vehicle.
    • Later on in Temple Of Doom, Indy is cornered on a rope bridge, with Thuggees guarding both ends of it. He threatens to drop the Sankhara Stones from the bridge into the crocodile-infested waters below, but the Thuggee leader, Mola Ram just laughs and tells him that the Thuggees would eventually find them again, and would have no reason to keep Indy or his friends alive if he threw the stones away.
      You'd Expect: The Thuggees to wait until Indy passes out from either thirst or hunger (granted, this might not have actually worked since Blumburtt and his troops were on the way, but Mola Ram wouldn't have known that). Alternatively, since Mola Ram is holding Willie and Short Round hostage, he could threaten to kill them unless Indy hands the stones over, and actually carry out the threat on one of them if Indy accuses him of bluffing.
      Instead: Mola Ram and most of the Thuggees walk out onto the bridge themselves, making it easy for Indy to take them out by cutting down the bridge's supports. Granted, they had the sense to send Willie and Short Round with them, to prevent Indy doing what he does, but they failed to spot them preparing for when Indy cuts the supports.
    • Similarly, in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, the Big Bad of the film, Walter Donovan, makes it to the Grail Chamber, where the true grail and many false grails reside. The immortal knight warns him, "You must choose, but choose wisely, for as the true grail will bring you life, the false grail will take it from you." Donovan definitely seems to take the warning seriously.
      You'd Think: Donovan would do one of the following:
      A.) Ask for more volunteers, like he did at the first booby-trap, and waiting until one of them survives, thus proving the true grail.
      B.) Alternatively, he's a Nazi after all, and the knight he's talking to is immortal, so why not just torture the knight indefinitely until he coughs up the secret? (Unless the grail also makes one immune to pain, of course).
      C.) And if it turns out you must continually use the cup over and over to remain immortal, well, just look for the one with the least amount of dust on it.
      Instead: Elsa offers to choose for him, subtly hinting to the audience that she's deliberately choosing the wrong one, and Donovan just decides that it must be the real grail.
      Result With graphic consequences.
    • Speaking of the grail, after Indy chooses the right one, the knight warns him and Elsa not to take it beyond the seal at the entrance.
      You'd Expect: For them to listen to him and not take the grail past the seal.
      Instead: Elsa decides to...well, take a guess. The ensuing earthquake sends her falling to her doom.
  • Infernal Affairs and The Departed, where Yan/Costigan approaches Ming/Sullivan about reinstating his identity after Sam/Costello is dead. When Ming/Sullivan leaves the room, Yan/Costigan notices an envelope with his handwriting on it, realizing Ming/Sullivan is the mole.
    You'd Expect: Yan/Costigan would, after years of deep undercover work, have a really good poker face, conclude his business with Ming/Sullivan and then quietly inform the other policemen that he's the mole.
    Instead: Yan/Costigan immediately runs out like a madman with the envelope in plain view, revealing his hand to Ming/Sullivan who then promptly erases Yan/Costigan's identity from the police database. This leads to a series of events where Yan/Costigan is eventually shot in the face.
  • Inglourious Basterds:
    • Hicox and two of the Basterds, who are posing as German officers, are meeting von Hammersmark in a tavern, which happens to have a number of German soldiers inside. They decide to have one drink, as leaving so soon would look suspicious. A drunken Sergeant Wilhelm approaches their table because he is a fan of von Hammersmark, and starts talking to her.
      You'd Expect: The Basterds to tolerate this until they've finished their drink, then politely excuse themselves.
      Instead: Both Hicox and Stiglitz antagonize Wilhelm, and loudly threaten to have him jailed for his behavior. The resulting uproar catches Major Hellstrom's attention, and he starts grilling Hicox on his unusual accent. The resulting interrogation leads to Hicox blowing his cover, ending in a shootout which kills everyone in the room apart from von Hammersmark, who is shot in the leg.
      The Result: The plan to kill Hitler is severely jeopardized, and they have to go with a much riskier plan at the last minute, which gets von Hammersmark killed and would have failed if not for Landa's cooperation.
    • Shosanna has just shot Zoller a few times, only for him to stir shortly afterwards.
      You'd Expect: She would go ahead and finish the damn job.
      Instead: She shows something approaching regret and tries to go to his side.
      Result: Zoller shoots her dead in turn before expiring.
  • Ip Man:
    • Big Bad General Miura has set up a fight club within the occupied Foshan in which Chinese martial artists can fight his military trainees to win bags of rice. At one point, Miura decides to fight three Chinese at once, and as an added bonus, he offers to give his opponents the rice just for participating. The fight begins, and Miura proceeds to own the three Chinese fighters, to the point that two of them give up within seconds.
      You'd Expect: Lin, the last of the Chinese fighters, to realise he's outmatched and give up as well. If he's not going to do so immediately after the other two, he could at least do so after trying to fight Miura on his own.
      Instead: He keeps fighting, and gets killed.
    • Later on, Ip has just destroyed ten Japanese black belts at the fight club, and is rewarded with many bags of rice.
      You'd Expect: Ip to take the rice and use it to feed his family and other people, having made his point and avenged Master Liu's death.
      Instead: He just rejects the rice, saying that it wasn't the reason he came to the fight club.
  • In Jaws, Mayor Larry Vaughn has a shark roaming his town's beaches around the Fourth of July. A band of shark-hunters kills a shark, Larry declares it mission accomplished. Chief Brody isn't convinced that it's the killer shark.
    You'd Expect: Larry would take Brody's concerns seriously and regulate, if not close, the beaches.
    Instead: Larry ignores Brody and lets the beaches remain open for the Fourth of July. It's only when the shark kills another man does Larry take Brody seriously.
    • In the unpopular sequel, Jaws 3D, Martin's son Michael is now working at Sea World, and he and his girlfriend Kathy have discovered a an overgrown baby great white shark that swam in through the dysfunctional gate connecting to the park to ocean and has supposedly killed a technician who was trying to fix it the previous night. Katherine suggests they capture the shark and put it on display as "the first great white alive in captivity", guaranteeing a boatload (pun intended) of cash and notirety for the park. They succeed in doing so, but first must nurse it back to health, which will take a decent time.
      You'd Expect: Calvin, the manager of the park, to be patient and wait for the shark to recover remembering that good things come to those who wait.
      Instead: He loses patience with waiting after a single day, and orders the baby shark moved to an exhibit without Katherine's approval to do so. The tank the baby shark is placed into is apparently incapable of supporting Great White sharks, and the baby dies almost immediately along with the good fortune that he would have brought to the park if Calvin had been a little more patient or talked to Katherine first. Making matter worse, the baby's 35 foot mother isn't too happy with what has happened to her baby...
  • In The Jazz Singer, the band Russel writes for is down a member and they promised an all-black group.
    You'd Expect: Russel to try to convince the club to let a white guy sing.
    Instead: He sings in blackface, predictably leading to a fight when this secret is found out.
  • In John Wick, mafiya member Iosef Tarasov takes a fancy to the title character's Ford Mustang Mach 1 and tries to buy it from him, but John - a recently retired hitman - refuses to sell.
    You'd Expect: Iosef to just find out the model of the car and buy one of his own. Sure, he's a mob bosses' son, but this man is obviously going to know who it was that robbed and assaulted him, and clearly has the bucks to hire high-priced investigators and lawyers to ensure he gets justice.
    Instead: Iosef steals the car from John, and kills his beloved pet dog in the process. This causes John to go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against Iosef.
    • Iosef's father Viggo realizes what, or rather, who, his son has brought on himself. He's able to get in contact with Wick by phone, though. He offers to pay John off, but John refuses.
      You'd Expect: Viggo would get a little more creative in negotiating with Wick:
      A) Offer to allow John to turn Iosef over to the polcie on charges of assault, grand theft auto and break-and-enter so that, with his high priced lawyers and two accomplices who could take the fall for the more serious crimes, his son could spend a few years in protective custody (judging by how Viggo treats his son, he feels he could use such a lesson in consequences.)
      B) Viggo is a mob boss, after all, and presumably knows that John strictly follows Never Hurt an Innocent. He could threaten to have his men start killing homeless people or anyone else they could get away with if John retaliates.
      Instead: He apparently forgets everything being an experienced crime lord had taught him about aggressive negotiation, and offers no other deals, deciding to take Wick head on.
  • In Joker (2019), we have the scene where Arthur Fleck (now almost fully transformed into the Joker) is invited onto The Murray Franklin Show, a late-night talk show run by the eponymous Murray Franklin. At this point, there are also riots breaking out throughout the city perpetrated by people dressed like clowns. Murray and his gofer meet Arthur backstage, where he's dressed in full clown makeup and regalia, and has scrawled "PUT ON A HAPPY FACE" on a mirror. Arthur also asks for Murray to introduce him as "the Joker", since Murray had previously called him a "joker" while making fun of his botched comedy routine.
    You'd Expect: The obviously-unstable Arthur gets sent home. If nothing else, he's asked to change his outfit on account of the tense political climate.
    Instead: Arthur says that he's dressed as a clown just because he feels like it, and it's nothing to do with the riots. Murray takes him at his word. Arthur isn't checked for weapons and gets to go on the show.
    • Arthur then comes out and tells some tasteless jokes. When he's called on it, he claims that comedy is subjective, much like the lines between good and evil, and that he's sick of having to pretend his views line up with everyone else. Halfway through the interview, Arthur freely admits he was responsible for the murder of three bankers on the subway, and that it didn't matter because the bankers were "awful", and Murray's awful too.
      You'd Expect: After Arthur confessing to murder, someone on the set (even if it wasn't Murray himself) makes a move to call the police or have him restrained. The live broadcast gets shut off.
      Instead: Murray drags the interview out, only making a move to call the police and have Arthur restrained when Arthur starts screaming about the evils of society. A few seconds later, Arthur shoots Murray in the head, and it's only when he's signing off to the cameras that he gets restrained. By then, his views have had enough airtime that it's started the biggest riot yet.
  • In Jumanji, the protagonist Alan Parrish has just gotten the shit beaten out of him from some bullies because his father refused to drive him home, insisting he instead fend for himself, unaware that he is outnumbered five to one. Upon hearing this news, while guilty about what happened, he is impressed that his son attempted to take them on like a man, and decides along with his wife that he is ready to go to an elite boarding school that all males in his family attend. Alan however is not into the idea.
    You'd Expect: Alan to just calmly tell his parents that he's just not interested in going. Even if they initially refuse to relent, going about it politely would more likely guarantee them to possibly reconsider.
    Instead: Alan is completely rude and snappy about it, even stating that he's not interested in being a success like his father...or even a Parrish. This ends up with his father telling him he's going on Sunday whether he likes it or not, and that's the end of it and Alan telling him that he's never speaking to him again and plans to run away. But that supernatural board game he found in a construction site and brought home has other plans for him.
  • In Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Bethany’s Establishing Character Moment is that she loves her phone so much that she is constantly on it, eventually getting to the point where she actually makes a phone call to her friend during class, during a test no less. Naturally, her teacher calls her out on this and tells her to put the phone away.
    You'd Expect: Bethany to do what the teacher says and hang up the phone in order to avoid getting into any more trouble.
    Instead: She refuses and insists on ending the phone call, which naturally earns her a trip to detention.
  • Jumper: The main character's a freaking moron. After living it up with his teleportation ability, he encounters a guy who knows what he is and has been following him since a locked-door bank robbery he pulled years ago.
    You'd Expect: After escaping, he'd flee far far away. Hide. Keep a low profile. Anything but...
    Instead: He returns to his hometown, immediately visits his father, then looks up an old flame. And then picks a fight with a guy who has a vendetta against him, teleports him to THE VAULT FROM THE SAME BANK ROBBERY THAT TIPPED OFF THE BIG BAD IN THE FIRST PLACE and leaves him there. And then is angry when he squeals.
  • The Karate Kid Part III:
    • John Kreese and Terry Silver have made plans to open a chain of Cobra Kai dojos. To attract new students, they hire "karate's bad boy" Mike Barnes to compete for them at the All Valley Tournament. Meanwhile, Daniel LaRusso has decided not to compete in this year's tournament.
      You'd Expect: Since Daniel is the only fighter in the Valley that could possibly stand a chance against Barnes, they would leave him alone and let Barnes cruise to an easy victory.
      Instead: They have Barnes harass and bully Daniel until he agrees to compete.
      Even Worse: This year's tournament has a rule stating that the defending champion only has to compete in the final round, meaning that Mike Barnes will be facing a fresh Daniel after going through an entire tournament, putting him at a huge disadvantage. All because Kreese wants to humiliate Daniel for beating Johnny Lawrence the previous year.
    • Barnes is facing off against Daniel in the final.
      You'd Expect: Silver would tell Barnes to win quickly and decisively, recognizing that Daniel is a dangerous opponent and the defending champ, even if (thanks to Silver's machinations) he hasn't been acting like it recently. If they really want to hurt him badly, they could always just beat him up in the parking lot after the tournament is Kreese did to Johnny last year.
      Instead: Silver tells Barnes to deliberately get point penalties to draw the fight out as long as possible and take it to sudden death.
      The Result: Daniel finally gets his act together and defeats Barnes despite having been outclassed for the entire match. Barnes also comes perilously close to a disqualification on several occasions...and definitely would have been disqualified by a competent referee.
      Furthermore: The shenangians of Silver, Kreese, and Barnes get Cobra Kai blacklisted from tournament participation for the next 33 years.
  • Kick-Ass 2: It's been several years according to the narration since Kickass and Hit Girl took down Chris D'Amico's father, a huge mob boss. As heir to his father's enterprises, and an orphan after accidentally killing his mother, Chris uses her bondage equipment to become The Motherfucker and avenge the older D'Amico. Javier, his guardian, is doing all he can to keep Chris on a tight leash so he doesn't go further than petty robbery. His uncle Ralph in jail doesn't like the Motherfucker antics for Pragmatic Villainy and Pet the Dog reasons: Chris is drawing unwanted attention in disguise and should have the chance for a normal life before he does something he regrets.
    You'd Expect: If Chris isn't listening, then find a way to incentivize him to retire the Motherfucker. Such as implicitly threatening Javier's life or even Chris if he goes too far. Accidents happen all the time.
    Instead: Ralph thinks the trick is to demonstrate to Chris what real evil is to scare him straight. While they're talking in prison, Ralph uses his contacts to get Javier killed, and for Chris to listen over the phone.
    The Result: Sanity Slippage ensues, as Chris gains a bone-chilling Death Glare when the last person he cares about dies. He thanks his uncle for the lesson and goes to teach it to Kickass, killing his mentor Colonel Stars and Stripes as well as attempting to rape his girlfriend and causing a massacre of police officers arriving to address the situation, thanks to his new team of villains. While corrupt officers kill Kickass's father in custody after one of his friends stupidly reveals the information, they don't go as far as interfering in the subsequent melee of villains and Kickass's team. This creates bad publicity for Chris D'Amico, as Kickass reveals who he is to everyone. Oh, and Chris proceeds to lose his legs and penis when he refuses to let Kickass save him from falling into his pet shark tank.
  • In Kingdom of Heaven, Guy becomes King of Jerusalem, and decides to get rid of all of the Muslims in the holy land alongside his ally, Raynald of Châtillon.
    You'd Expect: That if Guy and Raynald insist on going to war with Saladin, they would at least do so competently.
    Instead: They have most of Jerusalem's army march through a hot desert, which severely weakens it. As a result, Saladin wipes them all out, kills Raynald and later takes Jerusalem.
    Making It Worse: This actually happened in real life.
  • King Kong (2005): Carl Denham has brought Kong back to New York City to put on display and make tons of money.
    You'd Expect: Denham to remember what all Kong can do and restrain or enclose him properly, and/or keep him properly sedated.
    Instead: Denham puts Kong on a Broadway stage in Times Square, of all places, with just a few steel restraints. Kong is annoyed by the song and dance routine, and is enraged by the fake Ann Darrow used in the act. He promptly escapes and rampages. People are injured and killed, and much property is damaged. And Kong dies. And Denham's name is attached to the whole fiasco.
  • Knives Out
    • Towards the beginning of the film, Harlan is regretting that all of his surviving kids, in-laws and grandkids have ended up as entitled jerks. Linda, his oldest daughter, is the only one with whom he gets along with up to his death. While Joni and Richard are horrible as in-laws, Walt for his racist behavior wants to do his job as company head.
      You'd Expect: Harlan would sit down all of the kids and confront them for how they turned out, maybe with a counselor in tow. He has the money for it.
      Instead: He thinks Tough Love is the solution. Namely, by firing his son Walt from Harlan's publishing company and disinheriting everyone from the will. His nurse Marta receives all of his fortunes and the house.
      Predictably: Rather than learn anything, the family turns on Marta, who had no idea about the changed will and has her reasons to not want the money. Also, if this movie were following real life about inheritance wills, his handwritten one is invalid since it has no witnesses and holographic wills are not legal in Massachusetts.
    • So Harlan has revealed this to Ransom. The man gets disgusted that Harlan would leave everything to his nurse and storms out.
      You'd Expect: Ransom would tell his parents. Then they could put up a united front against Harlan.
      Instead: He plots Harlan's murder and frames Marta for it.
      The Result: He underestimates Harlan's determination to make sure Marta is never caught, and it turns out she ensured Harlan never overdosed.
    • After Harlan makes this decision, he and Marta settle down for the night to play Go and get his medicines. Marta freaks out when she realizes she injected him with a morphine overdose and starts to call 911. Harlan worries that Marta will be arrested for manslaughter, which will lead to her mother getting deported, and he's dead in ten minutes anyway.
      You'd Expect: He would listen to his nurse. That's why he hired her, after all.
      Instead: Harlan forcibly makes her hang up and instructs her to create an alibi for herself after he slits his throat. Marta reluctantly goes along to honor his wishes.
      The Result: It turns out Marta was right; Benoit Blanc reveals that his medicines were switched ahead of time by Ransom, meaning that she instinctively gave him the right one thanks to her nurse's training. The paramedics would have realized that Harlan was not dying and found that Marta's medical bag was tampered with; Marta's actions made her look more suspicious to Benoit.
    • Meanwhile, we have Fran, the housekeeper. She is friends with Meg and Marta and loves murder mystery movies. It turns out that she saw Ransom tampering with Marta's medical bag the day of Harlan's funeral. On a hunch, she gets a copy of Harlan's toxicology report from a cousin who works in the medical examiner's office. Fran assumes that Ransom overdosed Harlan and would frame Marta for it. It turns out she doesn't know what the numbers mean but Benoit reads a copy and learns that Marta never overdosed Harlan.
      You'd Expect: She would either tell Marta, showing her the toxicology report, or notify the police about what she found and witnessed. From a pragmatic standpoint, Marta could reward her financially and keep her employed. And from a moral standpoint, she never liked Ransom who was "Hugh" the asshole, and liked her boss Harlan.
      Instead: She sends a copy of the report to Ransom asking him to meet in an abandoned laundromat, to either blackmail him or confront him like a great detective heroine. Note that Ransom has no money thanks to Marta inheriting Harlan's fortune and he was already willing to murder once.
      Predictably: Ransom knocks her out and overdoses her with heroin, while "passing on" the blackmail letter to Marta so that the lady finds Fran's corpse and will be accused of her murder. It's only because of Ransom being detained that he can't call 911 to set the frameup, and because Marta immediately calls for an ambulance when she finds Fran that she isn't accused of killing her as well. The only sensible thing Fran does is store a backup copy in her marijuana stash, and try to tell Marta about it as well as who killed her while dying; that copy exonerates Marta to Benoit and the police. Marta is horrified to realize that Fran wasn't accusing her but rather Hugh, which she pronounces like you, and that Fran died for nothing.
  • The Lawnmower Man features a triple-whammy of idiocy from all three protagonists during the finale:
    • Dr. Angelo finds out that his test subject, Jobe, has successfully transformed himself into a being of pure energy and uploaded his mind into the main computer at Angelo's former employers, VSI. Fortunately, Angelo has brought enough C4 to level the building.
      You'd Expect: Angelo to set the timer for the bare minimum time for him required to haul ass out of there. Alternatively, since he's apparently willing to go out in a Heroic Sacrifice, just bypass the timer and manually detonate the charge; he'll die immediately, but so will Jobe.
      Instead: He sets the timer for fifteen minutes, then enters the virtual reality world inside the mainframe in order to trash-talk Jobe. Jobe's response is to Mind Rape Angelo, which lets him know about the bombs, in turn causing him to speed up his efforts to transfer out of the mainframe, which he eventually does successfully. The only thing saving Angelo from being guilty from one of the biggest cases of Nice Job Breaking It, Hero! in the history of any film was that Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace completely ignored the first film's ending.
    • As this is going on, Angelo's friend Carla Parkette and her son Peter are waiting in a car outside, with Angelo having warned them to be ready to escape in case anything bad happens.
      You'd Expect: Carla to stay alert and remember that they're dealing with a man who has demonstrated both severe emotional instability and the ability to disintegrate people from a distance.
      Instead: She decides that now would be the perfect time to catch a nap and falls asleep.
    • With his mother snoozing away, Peter desperately wants to do something to help Jobe, who he was friends with before meeting Angelo and undergoing his treatments.
      You'd Expect: Peter to realize that he's out of his league, that Jobe is dangerous and unpredictable, and that Peter doesn't know the layout of the VSI building. Ultimately, there's nothing he can do but hope Angelo can deal with Jobe.
      Instead: Peter runs into the building and immediately gets lost. It's only the fact that Jobe has a Pet the Dog moment that prevents Peter from being blown to shreds with the rest of the building.
  • In The Last Airbender:
    • Sokka (who has supposedly spent his entire life on ice) sees a shape in the water underneath the ice.
      You'd Expect: Sokka to realize that if the ice is so thin that he can see the water it is too dangerous to even consider breaking it on his own, and to return to the village for help or at least to try to break after he's moved off that ice. At the very least you would expect him to realize that it's dangerous to have Katara on the same patch of ice and to send her a safe distance away.
      Instead: He decides to break the ice (which is so thin that he can see the water) near his own feet and for some reason is surprised when he and his sister (who had no reason to be there) nearly fall into the freezing water.
    • Later on, the Northern Water Tribe learns that the Fire Nation is about to launch a massive attack. Note that all but the most powerful firebenders are helpless if there is no nearby fire to bend. Logically, the order is given to douse every fire in the city that they can.
      You'd Expect: The order to be carried out quickly and with minimal fuss.
      Instead: When the Fire Nation attacks we can clearly see that there are at least dozens of torches clearly lit with no apparent need for them to be lit. Worse, no apparent effort is ever made to put them or any of the Fire Nation's flaming boulders out! You'd think people able to control water would be good at putting out fires.
    • Heck this applies to countering Firebenders in general considering that they require a living source of fire such as a torch to Firebend.
      You'd Expect: That they simply not put any torches whatsoever and if they bring out a torch to Firebend? Just put them out with any bending with any means necessary.
      Instead: They have torches all over the place for no reason other than decoration where the Firebenders can easily exploit. No wonder they ended up losing against them. It's because they are completely oblivious to the fact that their torches are used against them.
    • What really takes the cake is the scene with the Fire Nation prison camp holding the Earthbenders.
      You'd Expect: The Fire Nation to lock their captured earthbenders - people who can freely manipulate earth - up somewhere with little earth nearby. Such as, say, a metal ship in the middle of the ocean (which is what they did in the original show).
      Instead: The earthbenders are imprisoned in some sort of natural valley that's entirely made up of earth. The only reason the place works as a prison is due to the Earthbenders having their own idiot moment.
      You'd Expect: The earthbenders to escape as soon as they were "imprisoned". It would've required minimal effort.
      Instead: The earthbenders stay imprisoned for months (maybe longer, it's never made clear) until the Mighty Whitey heroes come along and give them the most generic and lazy motivational speech in the world.
  • Legally Blonde
    • Elle Woods, a sorority leader and college senior, is seriously in love with her boyfriend Warner. Warner, as we learn, is an ambitious Jerkass who believes he has to marry someone "serious" to become a senator and follow in his family's footsteps. Elle really wants to marry Warner because it's expected of her.
      You'd Expect: Warren wouldn't have dated Elle in the first place if he believed such a thing or led her on to believe their relationship was serious.
      Instead: He keeps "dicking around" with Elle as he tactlessly puts it to her.
      You'd Then Expect: If he were going to break up with her, he'd do it in a private place where she can cry and they can have a serious talk.
      Instead: He invites her out to dinner at a nice restaurant, breaks up with her, and explains he was looking for an ambitious Gold Digger with a status symbol, not merely a pretty one.
      The Result: Elle is horrified because she reasonable thought that a nice dinner out meant that he was going to pop the question. Then she calls him out, asking Was It All a Lie? about how he just thought she was someone to "dick around" with, and storms out of the restaurant in tears. Warner can't explain the scene away to the watching crowd, has to hastily pay the bill and catch Elle before she walks all the way back to her dorm in heels.
  • In Leprechaun 2, Morty traps Leprechaun in an iron-built safe and demands three wishes. Leprechaun relents, and Morty first wishes for gold. Though he doesn't specifically wishes for cash in his hand or just any gold, he wants specifically the Leprechaun's pot of gold. Leprechaun twists those words into making his pot of gold materialize inside Morty's intestines with the first wish. Morty starts begging for the gold to be extracted immediately out of extreme pain and discomfort. Leprechaun refuses to grant the next wish until he's let out.
    You'd Expect: Morty to simply open the safe to release the Leprechaun and use the next wishes to extract the gold and restore his health.
    Instead: Morty uses his second wish to wish Leprechaun out of the safe (then having to do it manually anyways) and uses up his last wish to extract the gold out of his belly, which Leprechaun does by violently ripping it out with his fingernails. With no more wishes left, Leprechaun leaves him to perish.
  • In the 2012 film adaptation of Les Miserables, Fantine has received a letter from the innkeepers taking care of her daughter born out of wedlock, requesting money to pay for her care. This is during a time when people who had illegitimate children were not looked upon well by the rest of society.
    You'd Expect: Fantine to keep the letter hidden and out of sight, or even just destroy it once she knows what it says.
    Instead: She takes it with her to work, and doesn't make any attempt to keep it hidden when her shift's over. As a result, the letter is discovered but it only says her child is being cared for by another woman. Fantine's boss confronts her about it.
    You'd Expect: She'd claim her husband died and she's a widow, to appeal to his sympathy, rather than tell him the truth that her husband ran out and thus have to fight against his prejudices.
    Instead: She tells him her husband left her and begs to keep her job. Her boss think she's a liar and a whore, and thus fires her. It only goes downhill from there.
  • Life (2017):
    • Rory tries to confront the alien Calvin directly in attempt to kill him, unfortunatly, the alien gets into Rory's body via entering through his mouth.
      You'd Expect: The scientists to jettison Rory into space posthaste.
      Instead: They just act like dumb, scared children and don't do it. Calvin becomes MUCH bigger and more dangerous.
    • By the end of the film, Calvin has killed all the remaining crew members with only David Jordan and Miranda North remaining. They plan to leave the station with the escape pods.
      You'd Expect: David and Miranda to leave Calvin on the station as it enters reentry (so that he gets completley burned to the point that there is nothing left of him), and just take the 2 remaining pods without luring him. After all, the incinerator Rory used against him earlier (which was obviously harmful enough to make Calvin retreat form it) is nothing compared to the heat, friction, and other effects Calvin would encounter during reentry, or the fact that he would inevitably impact the surface at terminal velocity (Comparing the two is like comparing a BB-gun to a howitzer.).
      Instead(!!!): David lures Calvin to one of the escape pods in an effort to take him into deep space while Miranda escapes to the surface of Earth in the other pod. Unfortunatly, it goes wrong and the pods collide with debris during the reentry.
      End Result: Miranda's pod (which doesn't have Calvin) ends up sent careening into the blackness of space with its navigation systems broken, sending her to spend the rest of her life in space, while David's pod (with Calvin) lands somewhere in the ocean in Asia, and despite David being covered in Calvin gunk, and his screaming protests to not wanting his pod opened by two Asian fishermen who don't know or understand English or the word "No", they open the pod, leaving Calvin free to possibly cause The End of the World as We Know It. The end.
  • In the 1994 film adaptation of The Little Rascals, Alfalfa and Spanky disguise themselves as ballerinas whilst running from Butch and Woim. Unfortunately, before they can make a clean getaway, the ballet instructor, named Miss Roberts, shows up to collect her students for a recital.
  • Little Shop of Horrors
    • On Skid Row, Seymour Krelborne finds a "strange and interesting plant" that brings customers to the flower shop where he and his crush work. It keeps growing and wilting, which makes him fret. He finds out by accident that the plant, that he names Audrey II, wants to drink his blood.
      You'd Expect: That Seymour wouldn't give his blood to the plant the minute it tries to bite him. In the musical he seems to think it's a one-time deal, but in the movie not so much. You'd also expect that he would experiment with other types of blood and meat, so that he doesn't have to cut his fingers every time little Audrey II gets hungry.
      Instead: Seymour doesn't. He keeps feeding Audrey II his own blood, without attempting substitutes while the little flytrap grows. When the plant starts talking, "Twoey" insists that he needs fresh blood, from humans and persuades Seymour to murder the dentist Orin Scrivello. Things get From Bad to Worse from there.
    • This only applies to the Director's Cut of the film. Towards the end, Twoey is getting too big for Seymour to feed. Seymour, wracked with guilt about allowing Twoey to murder his boss and father figure Mushnik, decides he needs to run away with his Audrey and let the plant starve. Twoey gets wise of this plan and lures Audrey to the shop, to swallow her and drink her blood. Seymour gets her out of Twoey's mouth but finds that Audrey has lost a lot of blood and she is dying. Audrey as a last request tells Seymour to feed her to the plant so that he can have all the promised riches and fame.
      You'd Expect: That Seymour wouldn't. Towey just tried to kill the woman he loves! Why give the plant that final satisfaction?
      Instead: Seymour feeds Audrey to Twoey and prepares to kill himself in turn. Then when he decides to stop the plant on realizing that Twoey's plan is to spread across America, the plant reveals it can break out of its pot, move around, and succeeds in murdering Seymour. Towey gloats that by Seymour feeding him Audrey, he has the lash push of strength. Then Twoey's descendants spread across the States and cause a plant apocalypse. Nice going, Seymour.
  • In Looper, the Loopers have their contracts closed by being sent back in time to be killed by themselves. But, as one might expect, this doesn't always go as planned. Not wanting to die, the old version bolts, and the young version is then hunted to be tortured so as to affect the older version and bring them back to die.
    You'd expect: The older version to make every effort to get their past selves on board with the idea. After all, the fate they suffer is far and away worse than what their older self will face.
    Instead: The older self inevitably ditches the young one, expecting them to take care of themselves. The first time this happens, the young one is caught and mutilated until the older one surrenders. The second time, with the protagonist Joe, he's dead set on closing the contract. To his credit, at least Old!Joe tried to talk down his younger self after his younger self was nearly caught.
  • In the Lost in Space movie, the hotshot pilot feels the best course of action was to activate the self-destruct mechanism in order to destroy the alien-infested ship.
    You'd expect: He'd get clear of the blast radius first.
    Instead he sets off the destruction of the ship while they're right next to it, and rather than fly up and away from the exploding ship, he travels along it. This cripples the ship and leaves them stranded on a planet. Nice job Joey. To add insult to injury, he self-righteously justifies it to the father despite the screw up being his fault.

  • In Magnum Force, SFPD detective Early Smith comes home with the phone ringing loudly.
    You'd Expect: Smith would quickly open the door to answer the phone before it hangs, and leave the mail for later.
    Instead: Smith ignores the phonecall and decides to check the mail instead, and gets blown up by a bomb planted for him. What's worse is that the phonecall is from fellow detective Harry Callahan warning him about the mail bomb.
  • In Mannequin, Johnathan enters the back room of the rival department store and sees his beloved Emmy in a pile of other mannequins on a conveyor belt, about to be fed into a huge shredding machine.
    You'd Think: Jonathan would run over to the bright yellow control console, slap that big red EMERGENCY STOP button, and then calmly walk up to retrieve Emmy without having to worry about either of them getting ground into bits.
    Instead: He runs up the conveyor without turning off the machine. Sure, after seeing Emmy come to life, the janitor hits the aforementioned button Jonathan should have hit in the first place and we have a happy ending, but damned if it wasn't a really close call.
    You'd Also Think: The janitor would hit the stop button the instant Jonathan jumped onto the conveyor, if for no other reason than to avoid the liability and/or termination of his employment that would follow if something tragic happened.
    Instead: He doesn't do jack until after he sees Emmy come to life. "Okay, let me get this straight Mister Janitor; you couldn't give a crap if some dude gets himself killed in a rather gruesome and messy manner right in front of you, but you will hit the emergency button if a hot chick is in danger? Nice, real nice."
  • Manos: The Hands of Fate: Mike, his young wife Margaret, and his daughter are lost in the middle of nowhere. They happen upon a creepy lodge and its creepy caretaker Torgo, who tells them about a creepy "Master," and intermittently begs them to leave. Margaret doesn't like the looks of things, and asks Mike to leave.
    You'd Expect: Mike to be a rational human being and get out of there. This "Master" fellow obviously isn't nice, and there's clearly something wrong with Torgo.
    Instead: "Well, how about it, Torgo? Can we spend the night here?" Things get worse for everyone, including the audience.
  • The Mask has down on his luck bank clerk Stanley Ipkiss invited by his best friend Charlie to a night at an elite night club called "The Coco Bongo" along with some hot chicks. But as they're entering, Stanley lags behind while getting distracted trying to look hip, and Bobby the bouncer has already closed the entry rope by the time he's done, while Charlie and the girls fail to notice he's absent.
    You'd Expect: Stanley to just tell the bouncer that he was invited by Charlie and got separated from them. Bobby can go verify this with Charlie and Stanley can get in for a night at the coolest club in Edge City.
    Instead: Stanley somehow thinks that just crossing the rope and going on in without permission is a good idea. Naturally, Bobby quickly catches him, grabs him and furiously says "You crossed the rope. Never cross the rope." Then Stanley tries to tell him that he knows Charlie, but they naturally don't believe him after what he tried to do, and just throw him onto the street with nothing but a parking ticket to show his loss.
    • Dorian Tyrell, the antagonist, being ordered to meet his boss, Niko. By that time, he has plans on turning against him.
      You'd Expect: Suspecting it's a trap, he should come with two men to accompany him in case Niko is pulling some shit on him.
      Instead: He comes alone to the meeting. Niko's men put him down with a gun on his head and golf tee on his mouth while Niko himself strikes a golf ball that is on his mouth. Tyrell's bloody lucky that he's just ordered to leave Edge City.
  • Matilda
    • During the film, it's revealed that Harry Wormwood is more than a Snake Oil Salesman; he peddles stolen car parts. The FBI have gotten on the case and have been watching his house, taking photos of him with stolen car parts and such. At one point they successfully gain entry by convincing Zinnia that they are speed boat salesmen. Matilda at one point pointedly identifies them as cops in front of her mother, and Agent Bob gives her a Death Glare.
      You'd Expect: With all the evidence they have, the agents would get a search warrant for either the house or Harry's auto shop. And make sure that absolutely no one is at home the day that they break in for evidence, or have a plausible excuse.
      Instead: They break into the Wormwood's garage, with Agent Bill saying the evidence they have would convince a judge to look the other way. On a day where Matilda stayed home from school to practice her newfound telekinesis, and she's been the most suspicious.
      The Result: Matilda busts them for breaking into her house without a search warrant, informing them they could go to federal prison. They can't even fall on the speedboat Bavarian Fire Drill because she's seen through their cover. And when they try to scare her by saying she and her brother will be sent to an orphanage and if she cooperates it will be a good one, she turns the tables on them by using her powers to distract them and steal the videotape of evidence. While they had no idea Matilda had powers, and they have enough evidence to send the Wormwoods into hiding, they still broke in to illegally seize evidence when someone could catch them doing it. Not only could they get in massive trouble, if they did take Matilda's father to trial, what she saw could get the case thrown out.
  • Max Payne:
    • The title character interrogating Jason Colvin about his wife's death roughly. While doing so, his secretary, Jackie, is knocking on his door.
      You'd Expect: Max forces Colvin to tell her that everything is okay.
      Instead: He continues to interrogate him roughly, giving Jackie the chance to call Aesir police.
    • Another one when Max blocks the door leading to the storage room while in pursue.
      You'd Expect: The Aesir police will have to use the bottom floor to get to the other side.
      Instead: They just blew up the door, giving Max the chance to escape with the smoke. Good thing Bravura calls them out for that.
    • Also, early on, Mona's sister, Natasha is planning on having sex with Max. Not wanting this, he orders her to leave.
      You'd Expect: He should frisk her to make sure she hasn't taken anything from him.
      Instead: He just allow her to leave without having checked out anything from her. It turns out she has stolen his wallet, and it's found on the crime scene. This is how Mona briefly thinks Max killed her before they worked together in finding the real murderer.
  • In The Maze Runner, Thomas has just been dumped in the glade and is greeted by its inhabitants.
    You'd Expect: This being a song and dance all these characters are well acquainted with, Thomas would be sat down (by force if necessary), then told in detail the exact conditions of his new life. It is in their absolute best interests to make sure every new person that pops up becomes a contributing member of their society after all.
    Instead: The characters only give the barest of explanations as to what's going on, pointedly refusing to even mention the maze, and then they act like it's his fault when he gets curious about it. The only reason they behave this way is because the alternative would have been a clunky exposition dump.
  • Mean Girls
    • Cady has a crush on Regina's ex boyfriend, Aaron, and she is scared to talk to him. She realizes that he is good at math, so Cady thinks of exploiting this by pretending to be bad at math.
      You'd Expect: For Cady to realize that by purposely failing her class, she will risk ruining her grade point averae and getting in trouble with her parents.
      Or: For her to simply have study sessions, rather than tutoring sessions, with Aaron since they are both equally good at math.
      Instead: She pretends to be bad at math and purposely gets bad grades in her math class. It's not until she confesses this to Aaron at her party and getting condemned by Aaron does she realize how idiotic her actions really were.
    • Regina finds out that Cady was plotting against her to kick her out of the Plastics. She comes up with a revenge plot to frame the other girls for the Burn Book, turn them into the Principal, and seem like they were gossiping about her as well. These would be grounds for suspension, if not expulsion.
      You'd Expect: Regina would stop there. Getting the girls expelled would ruin their popularity, without a doubt.
      Instead: She photocopies the Burn Book, distributes it in the corridors, and stands back smugly as everyone breaks down into devolving chaos on seeing the nasty gossip written about them. It practically screams that she was the instigator to anyone that is not participating in attacking another girl.
      The Result: During the brawl, the coach that was a sexual harasser seemingly fondles two girls while breaking them up, and several students seem to suffer injuries. Principal Duvall steps in, turns on the fire alarm, and orders all the female students to the gym. Yes, that includes Regina. She may not care now, but she could have easily gotten someone hospitalized if not for Duvall's quick thinking.
      To Top It All Off: When Ms. Norbury makes all the girls write apologies to each other and do a trust-building exercise to try and mend the damage, Janis's "apology" features her calling out Regina for accusing her of lesbianism and making her an outcast, as well as revealing that Cady was sabotaging the whole time by giving her foot cream to treat acne and bars that help one gain weight rather than lose it. To further the humiliation, everyone catches Janis as part of the exercise and hoists her on their shoulders, revealing that no one actually liked Regina; they only feared her. While Cady feels this is a shade too far, and she may be right given that she's voted Prom Queen when someone thinks she pushed Regina in front of a bus, Regina is forced to confront that her Plastic ways lead to consecutive harm.
  • At the end of Meet the Feebles, Heidi has gone on a shooting rampage and is gunning down nearly all her fellow Feebles on stage. Bletch can see this from his theatre box, but Heidi doesn’t know he's there.
    You'd Expect: Bletch to get out of the theatre before Heidi notices him. His show might be ruined now that nearly all the Feebles are being killed, but he's still got his drug operation going and only recently took out the only rivals he had.
    Instead: Bletch stays in the box and just watches as Heidi kills each Feeble one by one. Then he shouts at Heidi to calm down after she's killed all but five of them. Heidi promptly shoots him, and though he is nearly saved by Trevor, Robert intervenes, and both Bletch and Trevor become the last victims of Heidi's massacre.
  • In Meet the Parents, Mr Jinx, the pet cat of the Byrnes family escapes one day, and family patriarch Jack has the entire household search for him. While checking around at the local animal shelters, Greg - the boyfriend of Jack's daughter Pam - discovers another cat that looks very similar to Mr Jinx, and it occurs to him that if he were to pass the cat off as Mr Jinx, Jack would be overjoyed with him.
    You'd Expect: Greg to perhaps think about it and then leave it at that. There's no guarantee he'll be able to keep the ruse up for a long period of time, and he's already on thin ice with Jack and the rest of the Byrnes family as it is. Or he would bring a family member to the shelter and ask them if its Mr. Jinx to show that he's trying to find him.
    Instead: Greg goes ahead with it. The real Mr Jinx is found that same evening, and to make matters worse, Greg's cat destroys the Byrnes's living room while they're out. The result is that Pam and Diana - Jack's wife and Pam's mother - the only members of the family who had his back at that point turn against him, and Greg is ultimately kicked out of the Byrnes home.
  • Megan is Missing:
    • Megan meets a random guy named Josh on a chat room. She doesn't know what he looks like; when asked about his web-cam, he claims the dog ate it. Megan quickly likes him; Josh convinces Megan to meet each other in person.
      You'd Expect: For Megan to have reservations about it. Or simply not go.
      Instead: She heads off to meet "Josh" and is kidnapped.
    • Later: With Megan still missing, her friend Amy goes to her favorite spot, a bridge, to record her video diary.
      You'd Expect:: For Amy to make sure she's not being watched by suspicious characters.
      Instead: She ignores her surroundings and is also kidnapped by "Josh." The End.
  • Minority Report:
    • Anderton is racing to prevent a murder. He is armed with foreknowledge imagery of the crime, but it stymied when confronted with a row of identical houses.
      You'd expect: He would turn out a siren, loudspeaker, or simply shout out that the police were outside of the building.
      Instead: He takes several seconds to figure the one detail that was different about the correct house, then quietly races into the building to surprise the murderer.
    • Far more importantly, when that same future-viewing device shows him and several coworkers that he will commit a murder himself, along with a heaping helping of details including the exact time and general location, he runs. We'll grant him that, since the machine saying you will commit a murder is by itself enough to get you arrested and indefinitely cryogenically frozen with apparently no trial. However, what he does next is totally nonsensical.
      You'd expect: Knowing when and generally where he is supposed to commit the murder, he would immediately go to the place furthest from it and stay there until the deadline passed. After that, he could turn himself in at his leisure as proof the vision was flawed, or argue that he prevented it himself. Whatever other crimes he may be guilty of in running, there's no way they could hook him for murder if he deliberately acted contrary to the vision. Anderton himself actually suggests this, only to be talked out of it based on some shaky logic.
      Instead: Convinced this was a plot to frame him, he follows the vision as precisely as possible to find out who's responsible, committing many illegal acts. When at the end of the time limit he realizes he is standing outside the very building his future victim is in, he charges in and confronts the guy, who turns out to just be a very bribed man who then uses Anderton to commit Suicide by Cop. That's right, in trying to prove his innocence he knowingly charges right into the scene of the crime, and nearly commits it. Clearly, he never heard about Self-Fulfilling Prophecies. While he does in fact avert the prophecy by not murdering the man, said man grabs the gun and Anderton fires reflexively, meaning ultimately the difference is so insignificant that he's still on the hook for murder.
    • Egregious security errors on the part of the headquarters. Access is controlled via retinal scan.
      You'd expect: Once Anderton goes on the lam, they would lock out his retinal scan. He has access to the entire facility, after all. Once he's captured and put into lockdown, they'd doubly make sure to lock out his retinal scan, especially since he switched out his eyes and had demonstrably used the originals to subvert their security once already.
      Instead: Anderton manages to breach the security of the Temple, using his retinal scan, and steals one of the Pre-cogs. After he's arrested and detained, his wife uses his eye AGAIN to gain access to the jail.
  • Midnight in Paris
    • Owen Wilson's character wants to give the woman he's in love with a pair of earrings.
      You'd Expect: He has money, and he's in Paris. There are literally hundreds of jewelry stores he could go to.
      Instead: He tries to steal a pair of his fiancee's earrings, almost gets caught doing it by her and her parents, and some completely innocent hotel maid nearly gets arrested.
  • In Mike Bassett: England Manager, the title character's habit writing his squad list on the back of a box of Benson and Hedges cigarettes ends up resulting in his secretary unwittingly adding two lower-league footballers, the 47-year-old Ron Benson and the grossly overweight Tony Hedges to the squad list circulated to the press (for argument's sake, we'll say that said secretary made this mistake because she was so rushed off her feet dealing with Bassett's general incompetence).
    You'd Expect: That in the ensuing press conference, Bassett would blame this on a prankster and clarify that Benson and Hedges aren't actually part of the squad.
    Instead: He claims that I Meant to Do That, and that age, weight and the division one plays in shouldn't be an obstacle to being selected for England. The assembled press don't buy this for a minute, and mockingly suggest that Bassett might want to pick Lambert and Butler, or Peter Stuyvesant for the next match. And then Bassett actually names Benson and Hedges as substitutes for the match, wasting two of the five substitute slots that teams had for World Cup qualifying games back in those days.
  • Mission: Impossible film series:
    • In the first movie, Kittridge believes that someone on Ethan's team has been leaking information to their enemies. At the end of a staged mission, it appears that Ethan is the only one left alive.
      You'd Expect: Kittridge to wait until they've actually confirmed that everyone on his team is really dead before deciding who they think is guilty. Also, even if they're sure of his guilt you'd think that they would wait until they have him at gunpoint before making their suspicions known.
      Instead: Kittridge instantly assumes it's Ethan and tells him to his face while sitting only a few feet away from him across a table, with none of his backup team close enough to restrain Ethan if he tries to hurt Kittridge or take him hostage. While dealing with a man that they believe was responsible for the brutal murders of his own team.
    • In the fourth movie, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Ethan infiltrates the Kremlin to try to get info on someone codenamed "Cobalt", but comes up empty. At the same time, the guy codenamed "Cobalt", Kurt Hendricks, breaks into the executive armory room, kills a guard by breaking his neck, steals the nuclear "football" briefcase, and hacks into Ethan's team's radio frequency. Ethan then aborts the mission and as he tries to leave the Kremlin, happening to spot Hendricks at the armory room.
      You'd Expect: Ethan to notice the briefcase that Hendricks (Cobalt) was holding (though he didn't know that he was Cobalt, but still, he was carrying a suspicious briefcase) or even the opened door to the executive armory where he got the nuclear football case and maybe turn around after passing him and stop him, and thus averting the explosion of the Kremlin.
      Instead: He just passes him, and doesn't even notice the opened door to the armory, and ends up not being able to stop Hendricks because he then sets off the explosion, knocking Ethan out, and framing the United States and the IMF (Impossible Mission Force), causing the President of the United States to disavow IMF by initiating Ghost Protocol.
  • The Monster 2016: When two EMTs arrive on a roadside scene of carnage to find a mauled woman, her banged-up daughter, and a man's severed arm. The mother and daughter are screaming that they've been attacked by an animal and that it isn't safe to stay there. The EMTs get the mother and daughter loaded into the ambulance... and then abandon them so they can start wandering around the road and venturing into the forest to examine the scene.
  • Monsters:
    • Andrew's admittedly drunken decision to sleep with a random woman simply because Samantha shot him down isn't so bad considering he's single. She probably only rejected him due to fact he was so drunk or maybe conflicted over being still technically engaged. But the true error of judgement comes the morning after when his fling ends up stealing Samantha's passport and Andrew's cash. Leaving your valuables unattended with your room door wide open is a bad idea in general. Moreso with a stranger still in your bed.
    • Sam, too, for leaving her passport with Andrew who she technically didn't have to see again before getting on the ferry, alongside the fact that she stormed off in a huff while leaving said passport behind.
  • Mortal Kombat: Annihilation:
    • Right at the beginning of the film, when Shao Kahn pulls his invasion of Earth, Raiden establishes that as long as he has the power to stop Kahn, the invasion will never take place. Kahn then boasts that as long as the portal between Earth and Outworld remains open, Earth is his for the taking. They then have a brief fight in which, although Kahn lands the opening move, Raiden soon afterward utterly trounces him.
      You'd expect: That since Raiden has such a huge advantage, he'd just KILL KAHN RIGHT THEN AND THERE. After all, it was already established in the first Mortal Kombat movie that his powers don't work in Outworld, but here they're on Earth and his powers work just fine, plus the merger between realms hasn't yet proceeded far enough for him to have lost any power.
      Instead: Raiden gives Kahn a moment of reprieve, in which Kahn manages to secure a whip from a minion and rope Sonya, getting her as a hostage as a result.
      Speaking of which, you'd have expected: That Sonya, considering the situation, would've been a lot more on her guard up to that point.
      Instead: She just stands there and gets roped into the hostage situation. This directly leads to Johnny Cage's death moments later, as outlined below.
    • Shao Kahn tells Raiden to surrender or he'll kill Johnny Cage, to which Raiden basically says he'd then easily kill all of Kahn's generals with his glowing lightning cage. Kahn says that Raiden would never let one of his precious humans die. Raiden offers to trade himself for Johnny. Kahn tells Raiden to bow at his feet, causing Raiden to drop the cage. Shao Kahn then shouts, "Fool!" and snaps Johnny's neck.
      You'd Expect: Raiden then instantly brings the energy cage back up, and uses it to kill Kahn's generals.
      Instead: Raiden just stands there until Kahn blasts him through a wall.
      On the subject: Rather than kill Johnny For the Evulz, Kahn should have just accepted Raiden's offer. Without Raiden, the protagonists would literally have never gotten anywhere close to figuring out the plot and subverting it, because Raiden was the only one in the group with the knowledge to put it together. Kahn blew the entire plan just because he felt like being a dick.
    • The gang splits up. Liu Kang and Kitana are sent to go find Nightwolf. During their journey, they have a brief intimate moment that's broken up by the cyber-ninja Smoke. Liu takes on Smoke and proceeds to get his ass handed to him.
      You'd expect: Since Smoke is metallic, that Liu would use his Fireball technique (y'know, the same move he used to finish Shang Tsung in the first movie?) and give himself an edge.
      Instead: Liu continues to get his ass kicked, only being saved by Sub-Zero at the last moment.
    • Sub-Zero and Scorpion fight. Sub-Zero gets knocked off a ledge and is dangling over a river of lava below, so Liu Kang rushes to save him. Scorpion, seeing Liu coming, disappears. Kitana is left standing by herself.
      You'd expect: Kitana just handled a bunch of mooks perfectly fine on her own, and Scorpion's just been established as an enemy who's able to teleport, so Kitana should be on her guard, right?
      Instead: She just stands there holding the Idiot Ball and gets grabbed from behind by Scorpion. She doesn't even try to fight back.
    • Midway through the movie, after Sonya has gotten to Jax and they've escaped the attack on them at their military base, they're trudging through a desert area where Jax complains that he can't understand what's happening. He asks for an explanation from Sonya and demands to know what he's going to be putting his life on the line for.
      You'd expect: For Sonya to give Jax even a dumbed-down summary of the situation, even if, as she says, "(she) can't explain it." After all, it's not as if she's just gotten into the situation herself, right? She's already been through the Mortal Kombat tournament, she's already gotten an explanation from the first film about the whole point of the tournament, and she's been briefed at the start of this film about what's been happening. A simple "Our world was part of an inter-dimensional tournament, we won, but the host decided not to abide by the rules and just to screw us over instead, so now we have to defeat him before he completes his six-day takeover plan" would have gone a long way, right?
      Instead: She grumbles about nobody telling her why Johnny had to die (of which Jax naturally has no idea what she's talking about), the two argue a bit, and then Sonya stomps off...and gets ambushed by Mileena moments later. Poor communication almost kills her here.
  • In the very first Mothra film, an entertainment promoter, upon meeting the tiny Twin Priestesses of the eponymous Physical God, decides to make them stars in mainland Japan.
    You'd Expect: that he'd start with his strong suit: Cutting a (probably unfair) deal.
    Instead: the promoter just kidnaps them, leaving himself open to countless criminal charges, with kidnapping, false imprisonment, and enslavement being only the most obvious, then compounds his error by having them perform their sacred music (with orchestral backing!) on live TV. Oh, and he does this in a world where kaiju and other supernatural phenomena are demonstrably real, and quite well-known.
  • The Music Box: Laurel and Hardy are idiots in all their films, but this example particularly stands out. They finally get the piano up the stairs, only to be informed by a postman that they could have just drove round a nearby hill.
    You'd Expect: They simply get the piano inside and finish the job.
    Instead: They take the piano down the stairs all over again and go round.
  • Bean: The Ultimate Disaster Movie has the title character being chased by the police for pulling out a "gun", which is his right hand. When the leading police say "everyone on the floor, now!", Bean also goes down, but the lady near him says "Not you, sweetie" because she knows he's their target.
    You'd Expect: Bean to ignore what the lady says.
    Instead: Being Bean, he just follows her word, allowing the police to point their guns at him.
  • The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor:
    • In the film's prologue, the sorceress Zi Yuan casts what she claims is an immortality spell on the titular Dragon Emperor, but is in fact a curse that will transform him and all his followers into terracotta statues. Before this becomes obvious, the emperor tells Zi that she will marry him, and threatens to have her lover, Ming Guo, torn apart by wild horses unless she agrees to be his bride. However, Ming shouts out that he's doomed no matter what she does, so there's no point agreeing to marry the emperor.
      You'd Expect: Zi to try and keep the emperor talking until the curse kicks in and immobilizes him and his followers, then she can free Ming from the horses.
      Instead: She instantly refuses, promptly resulting in Ming's grisly death. Moreover, she is severely wounded and nearly killed by the emperor, before the curse finally takes hold and transforms him and his followers into statues, allowing her to escape.
    • Later on, the resurrected emperor succeeds in gaining immortality and shape-shifting powers, with which he kicks the asses of the heroes and steals a dagger which is the only weapon in the entire world capable of killing him, before turning into a winged dragon and returning to the ruins of his palace.
      You'd Expect: The emperor to drop the dagger into an active volcano, the ocean or the middle of the Gobi desert. Basically, anywhere where the good guys would have little-to-no chance of finding it.
      Instead: He keeps it on his person, which rapidly comes back to bite him on the butt when...
    • Zi Yuan, who has sacrificed the immortality she formerly possessed in order to help stop the emperor, takes him on in combat and then impales herself on his sword in order to steal the dagger.
      You'd Expect: Zi to immediately stab the emperor and put an end to his plans once and for all.
      Instead: She doesn't do anything once she's got the dagger, leading to the emperor just shoving her wounded body off the sword and off a cliff, which quickly causes her to expire.
      You'd Then Expect: The emperor to jump down to the bottom of the cliff, take the dagger back, and then maybe take the hint that he'd be better off disposing of it.
      Instead: He just walks off and doesn't try to retrieve the dagger. Rick and Alex quickly take it from Zi's corpse, and after a climactic fight with the emperor finally succeed in destroying him once and for all.
    • While the above is going on, the emperor's newly-animated Terracotta Army is marching towards the Great Wall of China, which for some reason will make the army immortal and indestructible when it passes the wall. However, via the earlier sacrifice of Zi Yuan, zombified versions of Ming Guo, workers whose bodies were buried in the wall, and various other people who the emperor had killed over the years, come to life and start attacking the army.
      You'd Expect: That the emperor and/or his newly-appointed general, Yang, would have his army fan out in different directions, sacrifice some of them, and let the remainder pass the wall while Ming Guo and his army are tied up. Having a slightly smaller army isn't going to matter much when said army is immortal.
      Instead: The emperor and Yang send the army into Ming Guo's army non-stop, and just stand there looking vaguely annoyed as the terracotta soldiers are cut down one-by-one.
  • Muppets Most Wanted: While the Muppets are on a world tour, Kermit has his identity stolen by a criminal frog named Constantine and sent to a Russian gulag.
    You'd Expect: The Muppets (or at least Piggy, Fozzie and Scooter) would notice that Constantine doesn't act or sound anything like Kermit and immediately demand to know who he is and what he's done with Kermit.
    Instead: They all fall for it (except Animal) - Constantine claims that his voice sounds off because he has a cold, coughs once, and then doesn't even bother acting like he has a cold for the rest of the film. Meanwhile, Kermit is stuck in the gulag worrying that his friends have abandoned him (which, to be honest, they kinda did).
    Eventually: Walter starts to become suspicious and points out to the others that "Kermit" has been acting weirdly.
    You'd Expect: The other Muppets would listen to him.
    Instead: They ignore him like Jerkasses.
    Then: Walter is still suspicious and does some investigating. Eventually he and Fozzie discover that Constantine has stolen Kermit's identity and go with Animal to break him out of the gulag. Kermit is understandably angry when he finds out that no one except Animal noticed that he'd had his identity stolen and chews Walter and Fozzie out for it.
    You'd Expect: That Fozzie would apologize.
    Instead: He just shrugs and says that it's not as bad as it sounds. Not that it really matters because Kermit forgives him and Walter almost immediately after that.
    During the Climax: Kermit and Constantine are finally seen standing next to each other in front of the other Muppets.
    You'd Expect: The other Muppets would immediately be able to tell which Kermit is actually Kermit.
    Instead: They STILL can't figure it out.
    Fortunately: Piggy is able to get Kermit to reveal that he is the real Kermit. Constantine is eventually sent back to the gulag and the Muppets get off scott-free for harboring an escaped convict.
  • In Neighbors, Mac, Kelly and Jimmy forge a letter to their neighbors at Delta Psi Beta convincing them they're off suspension and that they can hold their party after all.
    You'd Expect The trio to do the research so that their letter appears legit as possible.
    Instead Jimmy puts a Hebrew taunt in the forged school seal instead of its Pretentious Latin Motto. While the fraternity still gets a third strike, the taunt lets Teddy know who's to blame. Everyone else calls Jimmy out on his mistake before they actually won.
  • At the end of Night of the Living Dead (1968), Ben goes upstairs to investigate the sound of gunshots and sees a rag-tag group of vigilantes and local policemen blasting away the few remaining zombies.
    You'd Expect Ben to shout to the militia for help and come on out to meet them.
    Instead he stares out the window in a rather emotionless fashion, whereupon a pair of rednecks see him in the window, think he's a zombie, and shoot him, after taking a noticeable amount of time to line up a headshot that he could have easily gotten out of the way of before said redneck pulled the trigger.
  • In A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, Will Stanton has gained wizard powers in his dream and is about to finish Freddy Krueger off.
    You'd Expect: Stanton had better keep away from Krueger and beat him from afar, since Freddy relies on his razor glove to kill his victims.
    Instead: Will inexplicably runs towards Freddy. Freddy takes advantage of Will’s mistake, grabs him, says, "I don't believe in fairy tales", and stabs and kills him.
  • In Noah, a loose retelling of the bible story, Noah believes that he and his family will be the last people on earth, since the only other woman, aside from his wife is infertile, thus ending sin and purifying the Lord's creation. When said girl (Ila) becomes pregnant on the ark (as Noah's wife asked a priest to make her pregnant through God):
    You'd Expect: That Ila and Shem, as Noah has made it abundantly clear that he is determined to make God's creation pure again by ending the human race, would know that he would not be pleased with Ila being pregnant, thus allowing the human race to continue, and not tell him about this, and immediately start to secretly build a raft to escape in before he notices Ila's growing stomach and discovers the truth himself.
    Instead: They tell him immediately after discovering Ila's pregnancy, and naturally Noah is furious, and says that if their child is a girl, he will kill her when she is born.
    And later, when they actually do try the escape raft plan:
    You'd Expect: They would make their escape at night, while Noah is asleep.
    Instead: They try to make in the middle of afternoon in broad daylight, and Noah catches them, and burns the escape raft.
  • In No Country for Old Men, Anton Chigurh is arrested by a cop and taken to the police station; the two are alone.
    You'd Expect: The cop to lock Chigurh in a jail cell.
    Instead: The cop turns his back on Chugurh to sit down at his desk and make a phone call, apparently trusting that he won't do anything untoward. Chigurh strangles him with his handcuffs, gets the key to unlock them, and steals a police cruiser. Immediately after, Chigurh, in his cruiser, pulls over a random motorist and gets out to talk to him.
    You'd Expect: The driver would wonder what the hell someone who looks and dresses like the Grim Reaper and carries a captive-bolt pistol would be doing driving a police cruiser and pulling him over, figure out something's not right, and then take off, or, at the absolute least, ask Chigurh about his lack of standard police attire.
    Instead: The driver complies with Chigurh's request to step out of the car and is shot in the head. Chigurh steals his vehicle.
  • North By Northwest: Roger Thornhill goes to the UN in New York to speak with Lester Townshend and find out who was impersonating Townshend. One of the Big Bad's mooks throws a knife at Townshend, causing Townshend to collapse into Thornhill's arms.
    You'd Expect: Thornhill to leave the knife as-is, and yell out, "Get a doctor! He's been stabbed! Someone threw a knife at him!"
    Instead: Thornhill yanks the knife out of Townshend's back, getting his prints all over the knife and looking very much like he'd done the deed. A photographer catches his picture while he's holding the knife.
    Even Worse: Thornhill bolts from the building and goes on the lam, making his innocence look even more in doubt.
  • Office Space: The Bobs are brought in by Initech to improve employee efficiency. They find out that Milton was laid off ages ago but was getting paid due to a glitch in the system. Milton's supervisor Bill Lumbergh finds out about this after the Bobs tell him.
    You'd Expect: The Bobs would call in Milton to explain the error and properly fire him. That way he knows and can start looking for another job.
    Instead: They fix the glitch but don't bother telling Milton, which they reason "avoids conflict" because the situation will resolve itself once Milton realizes he isn't being paid. Lumbergh, meanwhile, takes this as free license to treat Milton even worse than he already does, piling even more work onto him, downgrading his working conditions even further, and taking his red stapler.
    The Result: Milton quite reasonably thinks that his paycheck has been routed and keeps asking about it. When Lumbergh takes the red stapler, he hits his Rage Breaking Point and burns down the whole building. No one gets hurt, but Milton successfully makes off with the million dollars that Peter and his friends inadvertently stole from Initech. Even if someone investigated the theft and the fire, they'd find out in turn that Milton was working for years on end without a paycheck, which would be grounds for Milton to bring a civil lawsuit against Initech for wage theft.
  • In One Crazy Summer, Hoops and his friends are working on the boat they plan to enter in the race when Teddy has his Ferrari taken in for service.
    You'd Expect: Teddy to remember that Hoops and his friends hate him and trust his expensive and powerful sports car with someone else or at the very least treat Hoops and his friends kindly.
    Instead: He hits Clay Stork.
    Result: The next time Teddy sees the engine from his Ferrari, it's powering the boat Hoops and his friends are using in the race.
  • In Orphan, John confronts Kate about the wine bottles she bought earlier in the movie and then tried to hide from him, which were found by Max and the movie's Big Bad, Esther.
    You'd Expect: Kate to calmly admit she bought the wine to deal with the stress of everything that's been happening but ultimately didn't drink it, and use the moment of weakness to try and mend their failing relationship.
    Instead: Kate cries and whines and blames the situation on Esther (accurately, but given Esther has been manipulating Kate to look like an Abusive Parent - which Kate is aware of, she should be more careful of what she says), then says she thinks about killing herself because of what happened to their daughter and says she only doesn't drink for her children's sake. John even points out how hysterical and manipulative she sounds and promptly demands she go to therapy.
  • In Pacific Rim, facing an upsurge in Kaiju attacks, the world's governments decide to abandon the Jaeger program in favor of building a giant wall to stop the Kaiju. Then in 2024, the Kaiju Mutavore breaks through the Sydney wall. The only reason they don't have to nuke the city is because they'd only closed the local Shatterdome the day before, so Striker Eureka is still on hand to take Mutavore down.
    You'd Expect: They'd realize that the wall doesn't work and instead restore funding to the Jaeger program.
    Instead: They continue to maintain that the wall will work, leaving the Jaeger program alone to stand against the Kaiju. The Kaiju are eventually defeated, but only at the cost of all of the remaining Jaegers and most of the remaining experienced pilots.
    You'd Also Expect: If they're not going to cancel the wall, they might think about putting at guns on it. The wall isn't getting rid of the kaiju, just blocking them, and the oceans are kinda important if humanity wants to survive.
    Instead: Whoever had the idea seems to have never thought beyond "wall stops kaiju", and thus all it takes for an undefended wall to be breached is a kaiju pounding on the thing for an hour. Some of the workers even lampshade the uselessness of the endeavor if the kaiju will simply smash it down.
  • Pan's Labyrinth:
    • The normally intelligent and bookish Ofelia is given the task of entering a magical room and retrieving a knife that's under the care of a monstrous, sleeping guardian. Said guardian will only remain asleep as long as Ofelia doesn't touch any part of the sumptuous feast that's sitting on the table in front of him.
      You'd expect: That Ofelia would remember every single Fairy Tale she's ever read that featured a situation similar to hers that had gone sour; that she'd remember the admonitions of the very scary-looking faun who'd given her the task, the disturbing, sharp-nailed cenobite-like guardian who is sitting at the end of the table and the time limit that she's working under, AND that she would complete her task and get the hell out of there as quickly as her prepubescent legs could carry her.
      Instead: She stops to dawdle long enough to eat two grapes, thus awakening the ravenous guardian, which proceeds to chow down on the fairies and then try to eat her as well.
    • Also in Pan's Labyrinth, when Mercedes gives the key of the storage house to Captain Vidal, she confirms that it's the only key.
      You'd expect: She would then proceed to tell the partisans she's aiding to bring some explosives or other means to break through the sturdy door.
      Instead: She gives them a duplicate of the key, which they use in their very next raid to steal supplies. This immediately results in Vidal getting suspicious of the person originally in charge of the keys, i.e. Mercedes, and eventually leads to her getting captured, and inches away from horrible torture.
  • In Passenger 57 — which, overall, makes perfect sense if it's intended to take place in a parallel universe where everyone is an utter moron — one of the best moments comes when the Hero's Girlfriend is fighting one of the henchmen near the open luggage door of a moving airplane. She's about to fall out the door, clutching at the henchman's pant leg; he reaches desperately for his rifle, lying a few inches away. Finally he gets his fingers on it, gets it in his grip...
    You'd Expect: he might consider, you know, shooting her.
    Instead: he turns the gun around, and hits her with the butt. Guess who ends up falling out of the plane?
  • In Passengers (2016), the colony ship Avalon is taking a group of 5000 passengers and 258 crew to colonize a new planet known as Homestead II. However, since the journey takes 120 years to complete, all of them are kept in stasis while the ship runs on autopilot, to be awoken four months prior to arrival.
    You'd Expect: That emergency protocols would be in place in case the ship suffers a catastrophic failure of some kind. The computer has the ability to isolate damaged systems and reallocate resources to compensate, but no means to physically replace damaged parts integral to the ship's continued functionality. At the very least, you'd expect that there would be an emergency repair crew on standby, to be awoken in such a scenario.
    Instead: The company is so confident in the reliability of its ships (which they market) that not only are the passengers and crew never to be awoken for any reason, the ship lacks the capacity to put them back in stasis completely on the off-chance they wake up unexpectedly. Because of this, when a massive asteroid has hit the ship and damages a critical component, a years-long series of cascade failures occurs as the computer tries in vain to compensate for the lost component. The only reason the ship doesn't explode or tumble into the void of space is that the failures just so happen to awaken a passenger who is a Gadgeteer Genius, and later on a member of the crew who has security clearance, thereby allowing the former to repair the problem once he can properly diagnose it. Even so, because the ship was left with no means to put a passenger back into stasis, Jim and Aurora are forced to live out their lives on the ship, dying before it ever reaches its destination.
  • In the sequel to Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Paul and his daughter Maya travel to Las Vegas for a security guard convention and wind up stumbling upon an art heist. Midway through the film, Maya accidentally sees the criminals doing their dirty work and winds up incarcerated in a hotel room by them. Shortly afterwards, her Love Interest, Lane, comes by looking for her and bumps into Vincent, the leader of the art-nappers. Lane, unaware of what's happened, asks if he's seen Maya.
    You'd Expect: Vincent to tell Lane that Maya has just gone some other way and lead him away from their dirty work.
    Instead: They immediately pull a gun on him and imprison him in the hotel room with Maya. While we obviously don't want the bad guys to win, it's ultimately because of Vincent and his mooks pulling a random (to them) passerby that they could have ignored or directed away from their scheme that they end up losing, as Lane helps Maya make their escape with a snow globe he had with himself, and they learn the key to defeating Vincent later. (Namely his oatmeal allergy.)
  • Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters: Luke puts the Golden Fleece onto Kronos' coffin/sarcophagus, which will eventually reawaken him. The protagonists all make a beeline to remove it. They meet opposition, but Tyson shows up and takes care of it, leaving the coffin wide open.
    You'd Expect: Percy runs up to the coffin and removes the Golden Fleece, which is his current main goal. It's right next to him, there's no way he'd miss it.
    Instead: Percy completely ignores the coffin and wastes at least a minute hugging Tyson and saying he's glad Tyson's okay, which is enough time for Kronos' revival to be complete.
  • Phantasm: The brothers have just escaped from one of the Tall Man for a second time, and have managed to capture one of his undead dwarf minions in the process.
    You'd Expect: Now that they have a piece of solid evidence that something seriously wrong is going on that hasn't turned into a giant killer fly (long story) they'd follow their original plan and go call the police.
    Instead: They take matters into their own ill equipped hands, and never even consider going to the authorities throughout the entire film, resulting in many more deaths, and several more sequels.
  • During the flashback scene in The Phantom of the Opera (1962), which shows how Professor Petrie became the Phantom, it is revealed that he was a composer who took his work to Ambrose d'Arcy, a wealthy lord, for help getting it published. He is furious to then find out that d'Arcy is passing his music off as his own.
    You'd expect: Petrie to explain the situation to the publisher, providing his own handwritten music (which he has plenty of) as proof he is the composer. He could also have his landlady vouch for his identity, as she has heard him playing the melodies many times. Perhaps d'Arcy's influence would make convincing others that he is a thief difficult, but surely it would not be impossible with the right evidence.
    Instead: He breaks into the publisher's building at night and, in a rage, starts tossing what has already been printed in the furnace. A fire breaks out, which Petrie tries to extinguish with what he believes to be water but is actually nitric acid. His face is scarred as a result, and he runs off screaming into the night to live under the local opera house.
  • In The Phantom of the Opera (2004), Raoul bests the Phantom in a duel.
    You'd expect: He takes advantage of this moment, either by running him through with his sword or by knocking Erik cold and having someone fetch the Paris police to cart him off to jail.
    Instead: Immediately goes home to plan a Zany Scheme to catch the Phantom, leaving the Phantom lying there in the snow.
  • In The Pink Panther (2006), Chief Inspector Dreyfus is investigating the murder of the French football team's coach, and has made the inept policeman Jacques Clouseau the official face of the investigation so that Dreyfus can operate from behind the scenes until he's ready to take over the case.
    You'd Expect: Dreyfus to have developed a fairly rock-solid case by the time he took Clouseau off the investigation.
    Instead: He decides that the killer is a Chinese doctor, due to the coach being murdered with a poison made from Chinese herbs, and the doctor having reason to want the coach dead. On top of this, Dreyfus is never shown to have any hard evidence against the doctor. Turns out it wasn't him, and Dreyfus only manages to avoid causing an international incident due to Clouseau arresting the real killer that same night.
  • Pitch Perfect
    • The Barden Bellas are an A Capella group participating in finals. Most of the members are graduating the next year and want to make it their best shot.
      You'd Expect: They would focus on relaxing the team before the performance. Performances tend to go off best when people aren't stressing about how well they are doing.
      Instead: The Alpha Bitch that is Aubrey's predecessor tells her off for being late and not to bungle off her solo. It's a very harsh "The Reason You Suck" Speech that is completely out of line.
      The Result: Despite starting strong, Aubrey starts to Stress Vomit in the middle of her solo. The girls are obviously not winning in the finals, and Aubrey is humiliated.
    • Next school year, professor's daughter Beca is forced to go to college. She wants to go to Los Angeles and build a music career, but her dad puts the kibosh on that. As he tells her, it's free tuition, and an education is important. All reasonable points.
      You'd Expect: Beca would agree, go to class, and get her degree. If she wants to graduate sooner, she can stack up on credits and get an honorable bachelor's after two years. The music industry is well-known for taking advantage of all its performers, something that say a business law degree would help with in fulfilling her dreams. She's still young, and there is still time to build up her career.
      Instead: Beca blows off her dad, skips classes, and spends her days mixing music or stacking CDs at the campus radio station.
      The Result: Her dad at first is reasonable after he busts her in her dorm when she's supposed to be attending Intro to Philosophy. He bargains with her to at least join one club for a year, and if she still hates college, he'll help her move to Los Angeles. Later, he withdraws the offer after she gets arrested because he can see she's being irresponsible and spoiled.
    • Incidentally the arrest by itself is a really dumb moment. The alumni Treblemakers come to perform and when Bumper insults them, the alumni challenge the current a capella boys to a throw down. Bumper fakes an injury to get out of it, but Jesse is trying to talk down the guy begging him for a Groin Attack. Beca and Fat Amy go to help Jesse.
      You'd Expect: Beca would pull Jesse away or tell the other guy to back off.
      Instead: She and Fat Amy beat up the guy at his request, and in the scuffle Beca breaks a window with the Treblemakers' trophy.
      The Result: When Fat Amy runs off, the police comes to arrest Beca. You cannot blame her dad calling her out for "property damage".
    • During rehersals for a regional competition, Beca mentions to Aubrey that they have been doing the same set list of songs for quite some time and that they should switch things up by throwing in some new songs, which the other Bellas agree with since they won't be able to win any competitons if they keep using the same songs over and over again.
      You'd Expect: Aubrey would realize that Beca and the other Bellas have a point and would switch out the current set list in favor of new songs.
      Instead: Aubrey, bound by tradition, flat out rejects Beca's request and insists on doing the same routines they have been doing.
      The Result: During the ICCA semi-finals, Beca tries to spice things up by improvising during the usual set list so they won't lose (which they do), causing Aubrey to give Beca an ear-full following the performance, resulting in Beca quitting the Bellas.
  • Planet of the Apes (2001): When Leo and Thade are fighting, Thade knocks Leo's gun from his hand which lands a few feet away.
    You'd Expect: Leo to immediately go and get his gun.
    Instead: He waits until Thade sees the gun and when he starts to go for it, Thade pins him down and goes right for the gun.
  • Poltergeist: The Freeling family have rescued their daughter from a malevolent demon and its almost inescapable dimension located inside their house. The tiny medium lady they brought in to help declares "This house is clean."
    You'd Expect: They'd move out immediately. Not take the risk despite what the medium says and live in Holiday Inn and move their stuff out of the house during the day.
    Instead: The Freelings decide to stay in the house one more night until all their stuff has been moved out. They get attacked again.
  • Psycho has Marion Crane's sister, Lila, and her boyfriend, Sam Loomis, posing as a married couple in order to gain access to the Bates Motel and investigate Marion's death. While Lila sneaks into the Bates house, Sam will keep Norman distracted.
    You'd Expect: Sam would try to make their conversation as civil as possible and avoid topics related to Marion's death.
    Instead: He started making up some accusations toward him about the hotel, including trying to have Marion killed to get the $40,000 she had stolen from her employer. This makes Norman agitated enough to realize that his house has been raided by the two, which resulted in him knocking Sam out and almost killing Lila while dressed up as his mother if it wasn't for Sam's interference.
  • Pulp Fiction:
    • Jules is interrogating Brett on his betrayal of Marcellus Wallace. Jules gets fed up with Brett stammering "What?" over and over.
      You'd Expect: Brett to stop stammering "What?".
      Instead: Brett keeps saying "What?".
      The Result: He is eventually shot and killed by Jules.
    • Hitmen Vincent and Jules are driving in a car, with their new acquaintance Marvin riding in the back seat. During the ride, Vincent wants to ask Marvin about his opinion on the current topic of conversation.
      You'd Expect: Vincent to put the damn loaded gun down before he makes his point.
      Or: Unload the gun.
      Instead: He casually lays the gun on top of the seat of the car, pointed directly at Marvin's head.
      You'd Then Expect: Marvin to say something about the gun currently pointed at his face.
      Instead: He says nothing.
      The Result: The trope I Just Shot Marvin in the Face is named.
    • As a result of scamming Vincent's boss, Marcellus, by winning the fixed fight he was supposed to throw, Vincent has been told to find and kill Butch. He visits Butch's appartment but doesn't find him here and has to use the bathroom.
      You'd Expect: Vincent to take his gun with him to the bathroom, or at least have a spare with him, in case Butch decides to show up for whatever reason.
      Instead: He leaves it on the kitchen table.
      Result: Butch finds it when he has to return to his apartment to retrieve his precious watch. This immediately makes him suspicious, and he proceeds to shoot Vincent with his own gun when he emerges from the bathroom, unarmed.
      Additionally: Earlier in the movie, Vincent was present when Butch was getting his instructions from Marcellus to throw the fight. After Marcellus left, he made it a point to purposefully harass Butch and call him names. Making it all the more likely that Butch would later shoot him on sight instead of trying to spare him, which Vincent should also have considered when leaving his gun on Butch's kitchen table.
  • In the 2008 Rambo film, Rambo is ferrying a group of missionaries to Burma when they run into pirates. Rambo tries to negotiate with them, but the pirates refuse to leave without Sarah, the lone woman of the group, leaving Rambo with no option other than to brutally kill the lot of them.
    You'd Expect: The missionaries to accept that under those circumstances, Rambo had little other choice, and that they wouldn't hold it against him too much.
    Instead: They're utterly disgusted with him, with the leader of the group even telling Rambo that whatever the situation, violence is never a suitable answer.
  • In Rampage: President Down, angry left-wing anarchist Bill Williamson goes to Washington D.C. by train, shoots the United States President, Vice President and Secretary of Defense then leaves by train again to go into hiding in a forest. The FBI use Surveillance Drones to deduce Bill is hiding in an underground bunker in the forest somewhere in central America, and Bill catches sight of the drone spying on him. The FBI arrive at the forest for battle.
    You'd Expect: The FBI to spread out in a sparse and circular distribution so that Bill can be cornered.
    You'd Also Expect: Since they're in a forest, they use the trees as cover. Or bring their own shields.
    Instead: They mindlessly charge in like a mindless Soviet Union offensive which leads to Bill immediately gaining the upper hand from the beginning of the battle. He blows up more than half of them with explosives and an M136 AT4 rocket launcher, uses an M60E3 machine gun to wipe out most of whoever was fortunate to flee the explosions and ultimately finishes them off the few remaining ones with Guns Akimbo two M4A1s and a handgun.
  • Rat Race:
    • The Cody brothers decide to split up in order to double their chances of winning the race, and go to a locksmith to have a copy of their key made.
      You'd Expect: The two of them to keep quiet about the race around strangers.
      Instead: They openly talk about how they're racing to Silver City in order to open a locker in the railway station containing $2 million. The locksmith overhears, and decides to steal their key and go after the money himself.
      You'd Expect: The locksmith would give the Cody brothers two identical cut keys, so that they don't notice the theft.
      Instead: He gives them two uncut keys. As a result, the brothers realise almost immediately that they've been robbed, chase the locksmith down and manage to steal the key back.
    • Whilst driving on the highway, Randy Pear accidentally burns one of his fingers, and unintentionally flips off a female biker. His wife Bev decides to apologise and explain things to the biker.
      You'd Expect: That she would be able to do so without resorting to obscene hand gestures.
      Instead: She flips off the biker in order to demonstrate what happened. That, combined with Randy accidentally insulting the biker, results in the Pear family getting attacked by a load of bikers wielding baseball bats. They subsequently crash their car on the stage of a meeting of World War II veterans. Randy, who burnt his tongue during the chase steps forward to explain things.
      You'd Expect: That after two seconds at the most, Randy would realise that he's unintelligible, shut up, and get another member of the family to speak.
      Instead: He rants on, seemingly unaware of what he sounds like, and flips the veterans off as part of his "explanation". To make matters worse, the Pear family showed up in Adolf Hitler's car, Randy sounds like an angry German, and unknowingly looks like Hitler himself. One of the vets mistakes him for the real thing, and fires at the family with a revolver.
  • In Replicas, neuroscientist William Foster's family is killed in a car crash. William steals medical equipment from the company he works for in order to clone new bodies for them and transfer their neurological data over, effectively bringing them all Back from the Dead. Unbeknownst to him, his boss Jones is aware of what he is doing and is letting him proceed so he can take the technology and make billions selling cloned soldiers to the military. William succeeds in his efforts, bringing back his wife and two of his children (he didn't have enough equipment to save Zoe). At this point, Jones comes in and reveals he knew what William had been doing.
    You'd Expect: For Jones to explain that William has just cured human mortality and tell him that all he has to do is give him the algorithm and they can change the world together and make billions selling use of the technology to victims of death both natural and unnatural. Hell, it doesn't even need to be a lie.
    Instead: Jones admits he's planing to make a clone army and tells him that his family is a loose end that needs to be disposed of, despite the fact that said family is actually living proof that their technology works. His stupid ass is lucky that William's robot clone beats the idea into his head later on, instead of just killing him.
  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes:
    • Human protagonist Will has been dosing his father with his experimental brain-boosting drug, ALZ-112, developing the drug on his own after his company had scrapped development because of a bungled presentation. After seven years of not only full reversal of his father's Alzheimer's, but improved brain function, Dad starts to develop resistance to the virus that delivers the drug into his system and deteriorates rapidly as his Alzheimer's returns with a vengeance. Nevertheless, Will goes back to his boss and tells him the drug works, but only temporarily.
      You'd Expect: Will to consider investigating the possibility of using immunosuppressant drugs or other ways to reduce human immune response to the delivery mechanism, which are widely used in organ transplants.
      Instead: He starts in on a more-aggressive virus designed to beat the immune system. Soon enough, his boss has his own What an Idiot! moment when he sees how effective the treatment is on apes and brings in many more apes to experiment on, refusing to listen to Will's pleas to slow down on testing because they don't know the potential effect this more aggressive viral strand will have on humans. The virus turns out to be both the catalyst for the titular "uprising", and causes the implied Class 3a Human Extinction Event that allows enhanced apes to take over the planet.
    • Just as Will's father starts suffering Alzheimer again, he leaves the house and spots Hunsiker's sports car in front of him.
      You'd Expect: That Hunsiker would bother to keep the car doors locked and have the keys with him all the time.
      Instead: Not only are the car doors open, but Hunsiker also for some reason forgets his keys in ingnition. Charles, believing that this is his car due to his brain deteriorating, unknowingly hijacks his neighbour's car and trashes it around.
      Even Worse: Hunsiker starts bullying the senile man until he ends up attacked by Caesar who witnessed all this from the attic. As result, Caesar gets sent to the animal shelter and soon enough breaks other apes out, leading to the uprise.
    • The new strain of ALZ-112, ALZ-113, has been developed and is currently being tested.
      You'd Expect: The scientists would analyze it thoroughly to find any negative side effects to make sure it is actually safe for humans. In addition, you'd except that they would use liquid dosage, given that it is mostly suited for people with Alzheimer and would hardly be distributed for anyone else.
      Instead: The Gen-Sys scientists never bother trying to study it for any of it, with Jacobs himself being more interested in gaining money than following safety measures and thus throwing away Will's concerns. For added stupidity, they aerosolize the virus right off the bat. After ALZ-113 escapes the Gen-Sys facility and spreads across the world thanks to Franklin, it becomes unstoppable.
    • During testing of the new strain, which has been aerosolized for easy delivery, there's a accident when they administer it to an ape and one of the researchers is exposed.
      You'd Expect: They'd quarantine his ass on the spot, along with everyone in the room.
      Instead: They do nothing, and he's allowed to go home and eventually infect others, including an airplane pilot. Goodbye human race.
    • Speaking of Franklin himself, after falling sick he tries to contact Will about ALZ-113.
      You'd Expect: That he would wear a mask, a respirator or have any other form of face protection just in case.
      Instead: He doesn't bother wearing any of that and accidentally goes to his neighbour's house instead. When Hunsiker tries to get him out, he sneezes on him, kickstarting the pandemic. Hunsiker himself is little better - instead of calling the police, he goes to directly confront a man who is visibly sick. Granted, ALZ-113 would have spread anyways, but going directly to a suspicious person is still a wrong decision.
    • When the ape uprising begins, Caesar manages to knock Dodge out and drag him and Rodney into the cells. As his group trashes the animal shelter, Dodge regains his senses and notices that his cell is not locked unlike Rodney's.
      You'd Expect: That Dodge would immediately retreat to call for backup/hit the alarm. He won't stand a chance against Caesar, much less against the rest of his troop.
      Instead: He goes for a shock baton and then starts approaching Caesar, who is holding a fire hose aimed at him. Ignoring the obvious danger, he still tries to rush Caesar, having apparently deluded himself into thinking that Caesar would not have the gall to actually shoot him with this. As result, Dodge gets sprayed with water, and because he was holding a shock baton in his hand that was charged beforehand, he gets electrocuted to death because of his own stupidity.
  • Road to Perdition: In the shootout between Sullivan and Maguire, Sullivan shoots a lamp which shatters and cuts up Maguire's face, leaving the latter screaming and writhing in pain.
    You'd Expect: Sullivan, a seasoned mob enforcer, takes an extra ten seconds to finish Maguire off while he's incapacitated. There was nothing preventing him from doing so, and no good reason to leave him alive.
    Instead: He runs away, allowing Maguire to eventually recover and continue his pursuit. Sullivan pays for this decision with his life.
  • Robin Hood (2010). King Philip of France has mustered an army to conquer the English.
    You'd Expect: They would land somewhere without a very high, very level bluff from which England's famous archers have perfect aim towards their troops, and they would get the hell out once they saw that they were pinned on three sides with archers to the front and cavalry to their left and right flanks, and the sea to their backs.
    Instead: They continue right on with the landing, even as their army is being felled in swoops by English longbowmen and subsequently ground into the mud by the cavalry. Whilst some of their men are being crushed to death with their own boats.
  • RoboCop
    • RoboCop (1987):
      • Dick Jones demonstrates a combat robot (ED-209) in a public office of OCP, hoping for it to be mass-produced for use in Detroit.
        You'd Expect: That he'd have the combat robot not loaded with live rounds for this demonstration, in case something goes wrong (imagine that) and it doesn't stop being aggressive even after throwing down your weapon on the ground.
        You'd Also Expect: That he would have run this test in controlled circumstances, first, where this kind of screw-up would have been caught and fixed ahead of time.
        Instead (!!!): He has the ED-209 loaded with live rounds for the demonstration, and wouldn't you know it, it malfunctions and kills one of the board members, Kinny!
      • Dick Jones knows that Clarence Boddicker just ratted out their connection to Robocop, who is on his way to deal with him.
        You'd Expect: He'd exercise his right to remain silent, for Robocop can record everything he says and will use it against him in a court of law.
        Instead: He hypocritically engages in Evil Gloating before Robocop escapes.
        To Make Matters Worse: At least Boddicker can rightfully argue he was the victim of Police Brutality and say that his confession was coerced; Jones has no such excuse.
      • Later on, Robocop returns to OCP headquarters and confronts Jones during a meeting.
        You'd Expect: He'd immediately head for the hills. Chances are, he'd be out of the building before someone thinks about undoing Directive 4 on Robocop.
        Instead: He takes the Old Man hostage. The Old Man fires him on the spot, thereby ending his protection under Directive 4 and elbows Jones, leaving Robocop free to shoot Jones.
      • Leon Nash has a chance to get at RoboCop while Murphy is confronting Boddicker.
        You'd Expect: He'd use his Cobra Assault Cannon, an anti-tank gun, to take Murphy out.
        Instead: He gets into a crane and dumps scrap metal on Robocop, which only impedes him, not kill him.
        Result: Anne Lewis uses the Cobra to take out Nash.
    • RoboCop 2:
      • Omni Consumer Products' Security Concepts division has been trying to create a successor to RoboCop, dubbed RoboCop 2, ala RoboCop 1, all of their test subjects have been recently slain officers, only these officers were Driven to Suicide by the conversion. Dr. Faxx concludes that Alex Murphy's strong moral convictions were what kept him from offing himself.
        You'd Expect: Having quite literally the exact mental conditions necessary for a stable transplant, she would select the appropriate officer from the police and help him transition into his new role. Please note this is exactly what her predecessor Bob Morton did, and it worked brilliantly. And if she can't find a willing cop, she could always pick a civilian that falls under similar criteria.
        Instead: She selects Cain, a sociopathic crime boss and dealer of the Fantastic Drug Nuke, on the basis that his desire for immortality is similar to Murphy's strong dedication to duty (y'know, the thing that makes him the perfect Robocop) while his addiction will act as a method of controlling his behavior.
        Result: She's right to the point that he's a stable transplant. But without Murphy's strong moral compass, he predictably goes berserk during his unveiling to the press. She also goes about this is a pretty cruel way, shutting off his life support system and talking with a surgeon after the operation to remove Cain's brain while said surgeon is holding Cain's skull — right in front of Cain's brain. Johnson is quite right to pin the blame for the mess on her.
        You'd Also Expect (!!!): For her not to actually have Nuke within sight of Cain during the demonstration.
        Also Instead (!!!): Said Disastrous Demonstration is set off by the Old Man waving a can of the stuff in front of Cain.
        You'd Also Also Expect (!!!): For OCP to actually learn from the ED-209 clusterfuck from the first movie.
        Also Also Instead (!!!): Faxx took a half-measure, turning off his gun. However, she likewise waved the remote to reactivate it in front of Cain.
        Result: Cain grabs it, turns the gun on, crushes the remote and starts his rampage.
        For Added Stupidity: During said berserk moment, Faxx continues to look at RoboCain with pride like she wants him to win. She's arguably nearly as unstable as Cain himself at that point.
      • Robocop was just disassembled by Cain's men.
        You'd Expect: To dump him and the parts somewhere other than where they do.
        Instead: They dump him right in front of the police station as a message, allowing him to eventually be rebuilt.
      • RoboCop is a heavily armed cyborg.
        You'd Expect: That he's also have a nonlethal weapon.
        Instead: He doesn't, which allows Hob to escape after his programming forbids him from shooting the little bastard.
    • RoboCop (2014):
      • A man in Tahran is part of a group who intends to show the American people by sacrificing themselves, but don't want anyone else to get hurt, so he tells his son to stay inside where they go out to face the ED-209s.
        You'd Expect: The son to listen to his father.
        Instead: He grabs a knife from the kitchen and joins in.
        The Result: The kid is killed and the knife wouldn't have done anything against a heavily-armored and heavily-armed robot, anyway, so he died for nothing.
      • OmniCorp is hours away from revealing the rebuilt Alex Murphy as RoboCop.
        You'd Expect: They do a bit of rehearsing for any questions he might be asked, maybe let him rest a bit to get ready. In this situation, Alex has to do little more than smile and wave; any abilities he might be asked to demonstrate he already has installed.
        Instead: They decide to upload years worth of surveillance video backups from the Detroit Metropolitan Police Department's database, allowing his robotic brain to scan the logs for various crimes.
        Result: When the logs catch up to the day he was blown up, he's triggered and goes catatonic, forcing Dr. Norton to basically shut off his emotions to fix him in time for the press conference. The only reason it doesn't blow up in their faces is because of the next moment of idiocy. Speaking of which...
      • Thomas King is wanted for murder, arson, and rape.
        You'd Expect: King to be smart enough to not to be near a police station during a public event.
        Instead: He decides to stop by police headquarters during the unveiling of RoboCop.
        Result: It's thanks to King's decision to show his face that OmniCorp's screwing with Murphy's brain didn't blow up in their faces. Murphy, who was automatically scanning the crowd in his effectively doped-up state, spots King, calls out to him, and tases him when King tries to make a break for it.
      • During the climax, OmniCorp CEO Raymond Sellars is holding Murphy's family hostage and Murphy can't do anything as Sellars's is a red asset, meaning he's safe from OmniCorp's products going after him.
        You'd Expect: He'd be smart enough not to taunt Murphy.
        Instead: In a moment of Bond Villain Stupidity, he does exactly that, gloating and threatening Murphy's family. Murphy musters enough Heroic Willpower to override the red asset programming and shoot Sellars dead.
      • Dr. Norton has just brought Alex Murphy online as a cyborg for the first time, in doing so bringing him out of the coma he'd been in since he was injured. Alex is understandably disoriented, and unaware yet that he has become a cyborg. Dr. Norton is trying to be gentle and orient Alex to what's happened to him without freaking him out or provoking him. His assistant, Kim, is monitoring readouts and documenting the ordeal on her tablet.
        You'd Think: Kim would keep her mouth shut and let the more experienced doctor handle his patient.
        Instead: Kim starts lecturing Alex about amputees and phantom limb syndrome.
        Result: Alex freaks out and nearly kills Dr. Norton, and then tries to make a run for it. Dr. Norton is forced to deactivate Alex remotely to keep him from escaping. Now Alex has a bad first impression of what's been done to him, and Dr. Norton has to talk him down from wanting his plug pulled in the followup scene.
  • In the low-budget horror schlockfest Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare, the entire band and their girlfriends are alerted to the sound of manager Phil screaming in terror in the basement. Unable to find him at the basement, Randi, the girlfriend of lead vocalist John Triton, suggests that they look for Phil upstairs. Triton says that "it sounded like the scream came from down here."
    You'd Expect: The gang to remain in the basement and keep looking for Phil.
    Instead: In less than a second, Triton goes "right, let's look upstairs," immediately agreeing to his girlfriend's bonehead suggestion.

  • The Sandlot: The gang are attempting to retrieve the Babe Ruth autographed baseball from the clutches of the Beast. One of their schemes involves using ropes and pulleys to lower Yeah-Yeah into the Beast's yard. Yeah-Yeah grabs the ball and holds onto it for a few seconds, but the Beast walks up.
    You'd Expect: Yeah-Yeah to clutch the ball with both hands and hold onto it for dear life as he's raised outta there.
    Instead: He panics, and the ball slips out of his one-handed grip when he's jolted upwards.
  • Saving Private Ryan: During the Omaha Beach assault, one soldier has a bullet pass through his helmet without killing him.
    You'd Expect: Him to keep his head down and be happy that he was lucky, or if he is going to take his helmet off, do it after keeping his head down.
    Instead: He straightens up, takes his helmet off and feels his head.
    Result: Boom, Headshot!.
  • Saw:
    • In the first Saw, one of the two prisoners, Lawrence, needs to answer the cell phone to save his wife and himself and foil the murderer's plot. Unfortunately, courtesy of the sadistic Jigsaw, Lawrence is chained to a pipe and the cell phone in question is lying about 40 cm out of his reach. He has a hacksaw and he's wearing a long sleeved shirt.
      You'd Expect:That he takes off his shirt and swings it over the phone. Or that he uses the hacksaw to hook on the phone. Or that the other prisoner uses some object to knock the phone closer to Lawrence.
      Instead: Having failed to reach the phone with some stupid box, Lawrence does takes off his shirt...and then ties it around his chained leg and proceeds to saw it off. *Face Palm* Yes, he was screwed up and in panic. It was still idiotic and furthermore, the other guy wasn't panicking yet still didn't suggest the obvious solution.
    • In Saw V, The players who have been selected figure out (early in the film) that closing the door in a room activates the next trap. This, in addition to brainstorming creative solutions to the traps, does a lot to get the audience on their side. Near the end of the film, Brit and Malick (the two remaining survivors) kill a woman named Luba and use her body to provide an electric current to open the door to the final trap. They enter the room and learn that they (and, presumably, all the other survivors who lived) have to stick their hands into a sawblade in order to draw enough blood to fill a beaker and open the final door to escape.
      You'd Expect: Given the fact that they were a fairly smart duo, either Brit or Malick (who had suggested alternate plans before) would go back to the previous room, disconnect the electric clamps, bring her body into the final room and use her hands to draw enough blood to fill the beaker. Alternatively, they could have just cut off her arms (seeing as Brit still had a very big knife) and use it to fill the beaker that way. Granted, the arms wouldn't be attached to a beating heart, meaning the amount of blood yielded almost certainly wouldn't fill the beaker all the way, but it'd still lessen the damage Brit and Malick would take to their own bodies.
      Instead: They stick their hands in and cut halfway up through their arms to fill the beaker. They both survive, but pass out due to massive blood loss, and when Malick later appears again in Saw 3D it's revealed that he permanently lost the use of his left arm due to nerve and muscle damage.
  • Scarface (1983):
    • Midway through the film, Alejandro Sosa asks Tony Montana to do a favor for him — escort Sosa's explosives expert, Alberto, as the latter uses a car bomb to kill a U.S. journalist who has revealed damaging information on Sosa's organization and associates, and plans to hold a speech at the United Nations discussing the matter. The plan calls for Tony to drive, with Ernie and Chi Chi as backup, and get Alberto close enough to the vehicle to trigger a remote detonator planted on the bottom of the journalist's car.
      You'd Expect: That even with the explanation that Sosa has asked Tony to perform the favor as a test of loyalty, the plan is illogical and poorly-planned in several ways. For one, the information is already out in the public, meaning that any attempt to kill the journalist will be happening after the fact. Secondly, Sosa seemingly expects that the man running his Miami operations will travel all the way across the country for what amounts to a gopher role, driving a bomber around, when he could hire a group of lower-rung and disposable operatives who could perform the same action with less consequence. Third, Sosa's plan calls for a journalist to be blown up in front of the United Nations building, which could be considered an act of narco-terrorism and bring further scrutiny on Sosa and his organization from the DEA.
      Instead: Sosa does none of the aforementioned, and cajoles Tony into handling it. When Tony sees that the journalist is traveling with his family in the vehicle, he has a crisis of conscience and executes Alberto before he can trigger the detonator. The situation spirals out of control, as Sosa immediately sends a hit squad to Tony's mansion after the latter tells Sosa what honestly happened.
    • Tony has discovered Manny's location, and immediately goes to his house. Upon arriving, he sees that Gina has walked up to the second-floor railing to see what's happening, thus revealing that both Manny and Gina are (at the least) in a relationship.
      You'd Expect: That at some point prior to this, Manny would have told Tony that he's not seeing, but married to, Gina. Even if Tony was angry, he would likely understand given time. Alternately, Tony should ask Manny if it's true that he's trying to sleep with his sister and let him explain what's going on.
      Instead: He kills Manny without saying a single word. The fallout from this results in Gina being heartbroken and going as far as to take her own pistol and plans to kill her brother. In the tie-in video game, Tony admits soon after the mansion shootout that he was wrong to act impulsively against Manny.
    • In the final shootout against Sosa's army, Tony drops his weapon, the M16 with a grenade launcher, after being shot in another wave. At least he's still surviving, and there's also one of Sosa's assassins, the Skull, behind him.
      You'd Expect: Since he can survive from being shot due to his constant use of cocaine, Tony would think about going back to his office to get another weapon and dispatch the Skull before he could kill him.
      Instead: He continiously rants on how he can take their bullets, letting the Skull shoot him from behind and falling dead on the fountain.
  • In Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, Freddy is confronted by reporter Heather Jasper Howe (secretly the Big Bad). He soon realizes that Heather is likely to Quote Mine him to make him look bad.
    You'd Expect: Freddy to not give her anything specific.
    Instead: "You're trying to make it look like I think Coolsville SucksWait! Don't record that!".
    Result: Guess what.
  • Scream (1996): The killers, Billy Loomis and Stu Macher have captured Sydney and plan to kill her by framing her father who has not appeared since the beginning of the film and then killing him in "self-defense". To make the plan more convincing, they plan to cut themselves to make it seem like they "barely got out alive".
    You'd Expect: That they would kill them FIRST then set their plan into motion.
    Instead: They cut themselves up first, leaving Sydney just standing there and giving her a chance to escape and leaving themselves in no condition to kill Sydney and the Not Quite Dead Gale that they thought they had killed earlier.
  • In Scream 2, Sydney and another victim are in the back of a police car when the killer steals it. In the ensuing confusion, the killer crashes the car into a light pole, pinning a dead, armed cop to the hood and knocking himself unconscious.
    You'd Expect: Either woman to take the loaded handgun sitting in full view on the hood and shoot the killer in the chest. Failing that, hold him at gunpoint until help arrives.
    Instead: They run away into the night, allowing the killer to revive and continue the chase.
  • Scary Movie:
    • The first movie's plot is a parody of the movie Scream, meaning that there is a killer; one of the main characters, Buffy Gilmore, is convinced that the serial killer is just a prankster, even with what had been going on. Eventually, she finds herself in a confrontation with Ghostface.
      You'd Expect: That Buffy would finally catch on to the fact that the killer was real, and go for help.
      Instead: She sarcastically mocks every Slasher movie cliche in the book, resulting in her death.
  • Seven Pounds:
    • With Emily only having a month to live due to her failing heart and no waiting donors because of her rare blood type, Tim decides to kill himself to become a donor for her as he has the same blood type. Craziness aside...
      You'd Expect: Tim to do something simple like slit his wrists or hang himself.
      Instead: He pours ice cold water in his bathtub along with his pet jellyfish and lets the jellyfish sting him to death. It is, in fact, a box jelly, whose venom kills by inducing a heart attack. Of course, since this is the dramatic climax, his heart is just fine for the transplant.
  • Shaun of the Dead: In this spoof of Zombie Apocalypse movies, the lead character and his best friend discover the living dead plague not long after a night at the pub. The news reports on their TV states that they should stay inside, and the lead character's mother and ex-girlfriend are outside.
    You'd Expect: They would listen to the news reporters and stay put in the house they're in, clearing it of any zombies (or whatever they are)first of course, and hope that the mother and ex-girlfriend are safe at the end.
    Instead: They make a rescue attempt. For extra stupidity, they convince themselves the pub is the safest place to hold out. This results in the lead character and the ex-girlfriend almost getting killed and the friend and mother becoming undead.
  • The Shining:
    • Jack Torrance gets an interview from Mr. Ullman about being a caretaker of the Overlook Hotel. While doing so, he is being told a story about the previous caretaker, Charles Grady, having gone insane and killed his family with an axe before killing himself due to a supernatural force living in there.
      You'd Expect: That Jack should take a hint that he may earn this similar problem and just drop out of the job.
      Instead: He takes the job anyway. It gets worse from there.
    • The cook Dick Hallorann offers to take Wendy's son, who is only five years old, away from his mother for a few moments for some ice cream.
      You'd expect: His mother offers to come with him. How does she know he's not going to kidnap her son? After all, a good parent wouldn't let their child out of their sight.
      Instead: She does and doesn't even question it. What an Idiot!, indeed.
    • Danny learns he can contact Hallorann via psychic communication. Hallorann tells him to do it only in an emergency. Danny contacts him when he finds that his father is going into the same room where Danny was traumatized.
      You'd Expect: Hallorann would realize that Danny's father is losing his mind and that he should not go up there by himself, instead having the police handle the situation.
      Instead: He drives up there by himself without any weapons.
    • Hallorann is in the Overlook hotel. He knows Jack has lost his mind and has gotten into a bit of trouble.
      You'd Expect: He would be quiet and not draw attention to himself. After all, he doesn't have a weapon to defend himself with.
      Instead: He dumbly calls out to Jack, revealing his presence and getting himself killed. What an Idiot!.
    • Wendy is trapped in the bathroom and has pushed Danny out of the window while her husband is busy smashing down the door. She has a knife by her side.
      You'd Expect: She automatically gets out of there while she could or just stab him.

      Instead: She wastes time SCREAMING every time he whacks the ax into the door. She stabs him, but only bruises his arm when she could have gone for a more vital spot, thus rendering him out of bounds.
  • Shark Attack 3: Megalodon:
    • late in the film, an enraged mother megalodon shark is attacking a yacht full of rich people where Ben's Boss Luis Ruiz and a fellow rich executve Mr. Tolley are stranded on while the shark proceeds to knock more people of the yacht and into the water.
      You'd Expect: Since there is a giant man-eating shark in the waters, that most of the guests would clammer back on to the yacht while it is still afloat and probably signal the helicopter to pick then up while they still have the chance.
      Instead: Nearly all of them and especially Ruiz abandon ship, resulting in the shark gulping a whole raft of guests, and Ruiz (upon steeling a woman's life jacket) bailing off the yacht's bow right into the shark's emerging mouth.
    • Just after all this, Tolley first subverts this when he proceeds to make his own quick escape on a jet ski, but just as he sniggers at the people left behind, he then sees the megalodon right in his path ready swallow him.
      You'd Expect: that he just steer away from the gaping maw of the shark given the amount of distance there is between him and the shark.
      Instead: he screams and waves his arms about while he flies straight into the waiting shark's mouth at full speed!
  • Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2:
    • Jennifer's ex-boyfriend Chip gets Ricky annoyed enough that he ends up frying Chip alive with a car battery charger, as Jennifer watches.
      You'd Expect: Jennifer to run away and get help while Ricky's busy killing Chip, or else try and keep Ricky calm long enough for her to call the police and prevent him from killing anyone else.
      Instead: She grabs hold of Ricky, starts screaming that he's crazy and yells "I hate you, Ricky, I hate you!", which just gets her added to the body count as well.
    • Immediately after Jennifer is killed, a cop comes across Ricky and holds him at gunpoint, a good distance away. Ricky obviously isn't too intimidated by him, but isn't putting up any resistance.
      You'd Expect: The officer to do what any halfway competent trained cop would do in this situation — namely tell Ricky to get down on the ground, throw him a pair of handcuffs and make him put them on, all the while keeping his gun trained on Ricky.
      Instead: He walks right up to Ricky, takes the safety off his gun and waves it in Ricky's face. Fortunately, he's saved from the indignity of having to explain why he accidentally shot an unresisting suspect in the face... because Ricky snatches the gun away and shoots him dead, before going going on his infamous "Garbage Day" rampage, resulting in at least three more deaths.
    • At the film's climax, Mother Superior manages to escape from Ricky and arm herself with a knife. For argument's sake we'll accept that her being confined to a wheelchair means that trying to escape isn't a practical option, and that she reasoned that one of the neighbors probably called the police in response to a loudly ranting maniac chopping down her front door with an axe.
      You'd Expect: Mother Superior to keep the knife hidden, lure Ricky in close and then stab him with it. With any luck she'll be able to kill him first, and worst case she should at least get the pleasure of Taking You with Me.
      Instead: As soon as Ricky enters the room, Mother Superior holds the knife in open view and essentially tells him "You're a naughty boy, so come here and let me punish you by stabbing you to death!" Ricky has a simpler solution, and just decapitates Mother Superior with his axe.
  • At the end of Sleeping Dogs, main character Smith is cornered by Jesperson and the Special Police Force. He fires at Jesperson, but is obviously not trying, since he rants that isn't this what they want, him to fight them? He defiantly walks away from them while Jesperson angrily tells Smith not to turn his back on him.
    You'd Expect: Jesperson to just shoot him in the leg, or have his men go grab Smith.
    Instead: He fatally shoots Smith after he turns away, then complains he needs him alive, and even kicks his corpse in frustration. Face Palm.
  • In Slumdog Millionaire, Jamal is faced with this question for ten million rupees: "Which cricketer has scored the most first class centuries in history?" A. Sachin Tendulkar, B. Ricky Ponting, C. Michael Slater, D. Jack Hobbs. While Jamal marinates his choices, the host—Prem Kumar—reminds him that he has already won five million rupees and that he still has his 50:50 and Phone a Friend Lifelines. After a flashback, Prem vamps to commercial to give Jamal more time. Jamal decides to take a bathroom break.
    You'd Expect: Prem to leave Jamal alone while he does his business.
    Instead: He follows Jamal to the bathroom where he writes a "B" out of fog on the bathroom mirror.
    The Result: Jamal uses his 50:50 lifeline which removes A and C. Pret tries to talk Jamal into picking B, but Jamal makes D his final answer. Pret forces a smile when D turns out to be correct. He then confesses what he did to a director who isn't too pleased to hear about it. On the next show, Jamal gets the final question right and wins twenty million rupees.
  • In Smokey and the Bandit, Buford and Junior are chasing the Bandit, until they come across an I-beam.
    You'd Expect: Buford and Junior to follow the Bandit's lead, and turn right.
    Instead: "Duck, or you gonna be talkin' out of your ass!" Sure, they do just that, but...
    The Result: ...Buford's police car become an Instant Convertible, when it could've been avoided. Then again, we wouldn't have had this gem:
    Junior: Daddy, the top came off!
    Buford: No shit.
  • In Smokey and the Bandit 2, Justice has the Bandit at gunpoint and tries to take him in. The Bandit tricks him into using up his bullets. He orders Junior (the poster child for this trope) to give him his own gun as the Bandit tries to escape.
    You'd Expect: Junior's gun to be loaded and Justice successfully scares the Bandit into surrendering.
    Instead: Junior's gun is empty and the Bandit escapes.
    It Gets Worse
    Justice: Why didn't you have your gun loaded?!
    Junior: When I put bullets in it, daddy, it gets too heavy.
  • The Smurfs: Papa Smurf and the other Smurfs visit the bookstore to find a component for their plan to return home. They get surprised by Gargamel forcing them to escape via an air vent.
    You'd Expect: That all the Smurfs would run like heck for safety.
    Instead: For no apparent reason, Papa decides to stay and hold off Gargamel while the other Smurfs continue on. By this point, Gargamel is armed with a powerful weapon made from Smurf Essence and easily captures Papa. Note that Gargamel likely couldn't follow them through the little vent in the first place, making Papa's sacrifice pointless and causing everyone to have to rescue him.
  • While storming the castle in Snow White and the Huntsman, the heroes are stuck right outside the castle because the gate is still shut.
    You'd Expect: The guards would take this opportunity to pour boiling oil on the heroes, quickly and easily winning the war for the villains.
    Instead: They wait until after the gate is open and half the army is inside.
  • Some Like It Hot has Joe and Jerry see that Spats, the mobster who they saw kill Toothpick Charlie, is himself bumped off by overbosses. At the time, they are hiding under the tables because it's a party for the mob. Spats can't hurt them anymore, because he and his men are dead.
    You'd Expect: They would hide under the tables until everyone leaves. With Spats dead, the heat is off them, and they can stop being incognito.
    Instead: They get out from under the tables and try to sneak out. This sets the rest of the mobsters in the room after them.
  • Space Mutiny:
    • When all the main engineering crew of the Southern Sun announce their intention to join in the titular mutiny in a meeting amongst themselves, one of the engineers, Parsons clearly isn't on-board with the whole plan. The other engineers mock Parsons, but don't actually act overly hostile towards him.
      You'd Expect: Parsons to sit out the meeting, maybe indicate that he would be amenable to joining in the mutiny, then go and alert the ship's commanders.
      Instead: He openly accuses the other engineers of mutiny and treason, and announces his intention to report them... and is then shocked when they turn on him and kill him horribly.
    • Later on, one of the bridge crew, Lamont receives evidence that the mutineers were responsible for the destruction of a shuttlecraft. The ringleader, Kalgan, decides that she must be disposed of.
      You'd Expect: That in order to take advantage of the fact that the identity of the mutineers is still largely unknown, Kalgan would send some of his loyalists to "escort" Lamont from the ship's disco (don't ask), then dispose of her in a part of the ship he controls.
      Instead: He sends some of his loyalists, and they escort her to... right outside the disco, where Kalgan shoots her dead in person. Naturally this is heard by several people in the disco, including The Hero, Dave Ryder, who promptly tries to chase Kalgan down. While Ryder fails to actually capture Kalgan, his stupidity ends up giving the good guys direct evidence that the mutiny exists, and that Kalgan is one of the ringleaders.
    • What's worse: Lt. Lamont had only a few scenes ago spoken with a man in engineering who warned her about the conspiracy. After she orders him to the bridge he is cornered by Kalgan's men and commits suicide.
      You'd Expect: That Lt. Lamont would notice that the man she ordered to the bridge to tell her about the mutiny failed to show up, and would tell someone else about it.
      Instead: She goes disco dancing and gets murdered (as described above).
      For Added Idiocy: Lamont was *on the bridge* when she got the report and while the evidence was intercepted, the engineer still gave very specific details which should've logically been passed on to the Captain. A double bout of idiocy both for Lamont for not saying anything, and for Kalgan for just assuming she didn't say anything and not just laying low for a while.
  • Spider-Man Trilogy:
    • In the climax of the first film, the Green Goblin has had a pumpkin bomb blow up in Peter's face, then beaten him mercilessly. He follows that by pinning Peter down and preparing to stab him, but he pauses to gloat about how he was going to kill Peter's girlfriend afterwards.
      You'd Expect: The Goblin to then stab Peter before moving on.
      Instead: He gloats about how he and Mary Jane were "going to have a hell of a time." Cue Peter's Heroic Second Wind, and ultimately Norman's death with his own glider.
    • Later on in the third film, Harry, now the New Goblin, recovers from the amnesia he got from his last fight with Peter, and decides to switch from killing Peter to making his life miserable. To that end, he breaks into M.J's home and threatens to kill Peter if she doesn't break up with him.
      You'd Expect: Mary Jane to remember that her boyfriend is a superhero, who has dealt with supervillains several times by now, and tell him what Harry's up to. And if Harry finds out, at least Peter will be prepared for another attack from the New Goblin.
      Instead: M.J. does everything that Harry asks of her, contributing further to Peter's moral and emotional downfall, and later prompting him to try and murder his former best friend.
    • Also, in the third film, Flint Marko has fallen in a particle accelerator, where an experiment involving sand is being conducted.
      You'd Expect: The scientists, after seeing an unknown mass, stop the experiment immediately.
      Instead: They shrug off the mass as a bird, and then continue the experiment. The radiation gives Marko sand powers, making him a dangerous supervillain.
  • Spy Kids:
    • The parents go on a mission, leaving the kids with Uncle Felix for the weekend. Carmen and Juni adore their uncle, who brought popcorn for late night movies on a school night, and he returns the sentiment. Then they find out, after an alarm goes off at their home, that Felix isn't their uncle but a spy assigned to protect them in case their parents were ever compromised. Felix gets them into an escape submarine programmed to go to a safehouse.
      You'd Expect: Felix would just start the sub and go with the kids. The safe house is equipped with sentimental and practical items. Also, if he were there, he would have been able to sense that Ms. Gradenko was a Mole when she comes to talk to the kids and suggests they exchange the Third Brain for their parents, since Felix knew about the Third Brain and why Gregorio wanted to hide it. At the very least, he could have made sure the kids he was assigned to protect made it there safely.
      Instead: He gives them an If I Do Not Return lecture on what buttons to press in the submarine and goes to pack some last-minute items.
      The Result: Invading Thumb-Thumbs ambush Felix; he barely buys enough time for the kids to activate the submarine, leaving them to evade their captors and navigate to the safehouse alone. Juni nearly gets tossed off the submarine when he accidentally switches from autopilot to manual, and Gradenko nearly wins the kids' trust by seemingly revealing that Floop is evil. They catch him and hand him to Floop, who turns Felix into a Fooglie seemingly For the Evulz.
    • Ms. Gradenko to be fair also messes up. She at first seems to gain the kids' trust by revealing she has a key to the safe house and tells them who caught their parents: Floop. Her mission is to find the Third Brain and capture the kids. So far while Juni is crushed that Floop is evil and suspicious, Carmen isn't.
      You'd Expect: All her cohorts to be human. They just need to take the kids into custody and find the Third Brain.
      Instead: She takes some Thumb-Thumbs who are waiting outside.
      The Result: Juni spots the Thumb-Thumbs sinking the sub outside and warns Carmen, who immediately believes him. They attack Gradenko and her men with heavy inventions, steal back the Third Brain, and escape into the city. Oh, and a jetpack sets Gradenko's hair on fire. The novelization only fixes one aspect; Gradenko had planned to sedate the kids if they got suspicious but lost the opportunity.
  • In a short film The Strange Thing About the Johnsons, Sidney wants to show his wife Joan a manuscript of his book "Cocoon Man" speaking about the sexual abuse he endured in the hands of his son. However, Joan is in the bathroom taking a shower. Isaiah wants to enter his parents' room, but Sidney hesitates to let him in.
    You'd Expect: For Sidney to assert his dominance in the household since he's the father and tell Isaiah that he just doesn't want him to enter the room. Then, Joan will find out about the sexual abuse Sidney is suffering.
    Instead: Sidney doesn't even try to assert himself as the father to Isaiah. Isaiah then proceeds to enter the room, obtain the manuscript of the book, and threaten Sidney with consequences should he discover another printed manuscript.
  • The Summer of Sangaile:
    • After Sangaile tells Auste she's never been in a plane because she gets vertigo, they get her into one anyway.
      You'd expect they would start with something nice and easy, to gently help Sangaile overcome her vertigo.
      Instead she goes through maneuvers like rolling in mid air. Sangaile has an unhappy time, as you'd expect, and gets mad at Auste later saying she needs to try again so she'll overcome this. She does, at her own pace, but this was a bad means to start.
  • Superman series
    • In the original Superman, Lex Luthor has set into motion his plan to sink California into the sea using a nuclear missile aimed at the San Andreas Fault, and has incapacitated Superman both with Kryptonite and by sending a second nuclear bomb in the opposite direction. When he reveals that the second target is Hackensack, New Jersey, his girlfriend Ms. Teschmacher protests that her mother lives there.
      You'd expect he would lead her out of the room, handcuff her to something and then maybe go back and watch Superman die.
      Instead: He shrugs her off, and leaves them both alone and unmonitored. Five minutes later, she's saved Superman from the Kryptonite and he's escaped through the ceiling, on his way to foiling the plan.
    • Superman Returns:
      • At the end of Superman II, in just a week of his absence, three superpowered villains wreak havoc with the entire world while Superman is gone. He tells the President that he's sorry, and that he'll never put the world in that position again.
        You'd expect: Anything, anything, anything but what he ends up doing.
        Instead: He leaves without telling anyone he's going into deep space to find out what he was told by his own father happened: Krypton blew up. He ends up being gone five years. Did we mention that Luthor goes free because Supes didn't show up in court to testify? What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
      • Lois Lane is investigating a story about a blackout which seems to have spread from a specific location.
        You'd expect she'd do some research into who lives there before barging into the house, or tell somebody, anybody where she was going, or at least drop off her five-year-old son somewhere else before going there.
        Instead she goes in without telling a soul, and gets herself and her five-year-old son held hostage by Lex Luthor.
  • After a small town is attacked by the titular swarm of killer bees in The Swarm, resulting in numerous deaths, the military decides to evacuate the town's surviving population by train.
    You'd Expect: Since it's established that 3 or 4 stings from these bees is somehow enough to kill instantly, and even a single sting can result in hallucinations and eventual death, that all of the train's windows would be shut as securely as possible.
    Instead: The train's drivers have the windows in the engine cabin wide open. Sure enough, a bee gets in, and when one of the drivers kills it, the entire swarm descends upon the train in seconds, killing the drivers and causing the train to run out of control. It subsequently crashes and violently explodes, killing the town's entire population.
  • The final battle of Tai Chi Master, in which Junbao is soundly beating Tienbo. Tienbo calls for his army to attack Junbao, but they refuse, since Junbao's ally Siu Lin has the corrupt governor at swordpoint. Tienbo charges towards Siu, who turns the sword at him.
    You'd Expect: Tienbo to take this perfect opportunity to disarm Siu, and perhaps kill her off while he's at it. Governor out of danger, problem solved.
    Instead: He kills the governor right in front of his entire army, and tries to declare himself their leader. It's a simple matter for Siu to point out to the soldiers that Tienbo just killed their boss, and as a result of that, and Tienbo's Bad Boss tendencies, they leave him to get his ass kicked.
  • Taken:
    • The main villains are human traffickers working for the Albanian Mafia.
      You'd Expect: That if you want to get into human trafficking in Europe, you'd get your supply from Eastern Europe, East Asia, Africa, and all those other places full of vulnerable women without money. Hell, tell them that you'll take them to a 1st world country to work as a maid or something, and they'll climb into the truck and pay you for it. Their governments have little resources to defend them, their families are poor and without any international clout, and because they're in the country illegally, a lot of law enforcement will look the other way.
      Instead: They believe that the ideal victim is a girl with a family rich enough to send her on vacations, from a country with enough diplomatic clout to demand explanations. Better yet, let's scout for targets at a post 9/11 airport where our actions will be taped by security cameras and since they just got past customs, all the women have been officially documented as having just entered the country. Yup, that'll end well.
    • Bryan's daughter Kim and her friend Amanda aren't much better in terms of common sense.
      You'd Expect: That they would get a licensed taxi to take them to wherever they're staying, and not tell anyone they don't know where that is.
      Instead: They accept a ride with a complete stranger, and give the exact same stranger the address for the place they're staying at, their room's location, and also tell him that they'll be alone. As a result, the kidnapping gang's job becomes a lot easier.
    • Later in the same film, the girls, including the protagonist's daughter, are being auctioned off as sex slaves. One of the buyers finds Bryan holding him at gunpoint and demanding he buy a girl who, yes, turns out to be his daughter. Bryan is caught, and clonked on the head, hung him from a pipe, and asks what the hell he's doing and why he just cost him over half a million dollars. Bryan offers to pay the guy back.
      You'd Expect: A number of options present themselves. He could scoff at the suggestion, sure that this anonymous attacker can't refund him over half a million dollars, whereupon said anonymous attacker would produce some proof that yes, he could (and you know he would). He could say "Oh, well in that case I guess I can forget this ever happened," possibly demand a little extra for his silence (Bryan didn't specify what he was paying for, or how much). Or, if he insists on being a Card-Carrying Villain, he could shoot him in the head with his own gun.
      Instead: He goes on about how this is "a unique business, with a unique clientele", which completely fails to explain why he thinks it's a good plan to walk away, leaving him in the hands of his security guys, who Bryan has already proven himself quite capable of overcoming. He breaks out, of course.
      Result: After killing all the guards, Bryan heads straight for him, with the latter trying to talk his way out and failing utterly, finishing with "it wasn't personal." Bryan responds "It was all personal to me" and puts six rounds in his chest, leaving the body in an elevator for the partygoers upstairs to find.
  • Tenet: The titular organization seeks to acquire the Algorithm, and has machines called Turnstiles that can "invert" a person so that they move through time backwards. During the final battle to grab the Algorithm, Tenet dispatches Red Team and Blue Team to fight side by side. Blue Team's job is to fight through the battle from end to beginning inverted, gathering intel that they'll then give to Red Team, who will fight through the battle from beginning to end in normal time and get the Algorithm. Neil is on Blue Team, and he sees one of Sator's men planting bombs on a tunnel leading to the Algorithm, which will trap anybody attempting to capture it.
    You'd Expect: Neil to continue to fight through the battle inverted, and give Red Team the intel about the booby trap at his mission's end/their mission's beginning.
    Instead: Neil goes rogue, breaks off from his team to reach a Turnstile, and de-inverts himself. Back in normal time, he tries to catch up and warn the Red Team members about to go into the tunnel. but is too late to stop them from going in and setting off the trap.
  • In Thelma & Louise, Thelma meets a handsome stranger named Harlan who turns out to be a Handsome Lech. Harlan tries to rape Thelma, but is driven off at gunpoint by Louise, who disregards his excuse that they were "just having a little fun."
    You'd Expect: Harlan to back off and walk away. If he's got anything nasty to say, fine, just make sure Louise can't hear it. Because, you know, she has a gun.
    Instead: This exchange:
    Harlan: Bitch! I shoulda gone ahead and fucked her!
    Louise: What did you say?
    Harlan: I said suck my cock!
    Louise's Gun: BANG!
  • In Time After Time, H. G. Wells' acquaintance John Leslie Stevenson steals Wells' time machine and departs 1893 for November 5, 1979, after being outed as Jack the Ripper. However, because Stevenson doesn't have a special key, the time machine automatically returns itself to 1893 and shows Wells where (or when) Stevenson ended up.
    You'd expect: Wells to get a detective or a companion, cram both of them into the machine, and set the date for a couple of days before Stevenson arrives — say, November 3, 1979 — and wait to nab Stevenson as soon as he arrives.
    Instead: Wells goes alone, and travels directly to November 5, 1979. It takes him a couple of days to find Stevenson. When he does, Stevenson overpowers and eludes him and resumes his killing spree.
    • Later, Wells goes to the police in 1979 to tell them that Stevenson is the San Francisco Ripper. The detective runs a check on Stevenson's name but it comes up negative. He asks Wells for more information.
      You'd expect: Wells to at least pretend to have personally witnessed a murder. Or have the detectives talk to a hotel maid who witnessed the scuffle between Wells and Stevenson. And for Wells to identify himself as Herbert Wells (his real name), which is less commonly known and much more ordinary sounding than his pen name (remember that Amy didn't make the connection until Wells told her the truth).
      Instead: He hems and haws and can't come up with a good explanation as to why he suspects Stevenson. And he identifies himself as Sherlock Holmes to the detective, thinking that the fictional sleuth's popularity would have waned by 1979, not even taking into account that the policeman might have heard about the character. Unsurprisingly, the detective isn't convinced, and more murders occur.
    • Later on, Stevenson has targeted Amy in order to get back at Wells, and has left a threatening letter at her apartment. Wells tells Amy the truth and proves it by taking her two days into the future. She sees herself on the cover of a future newspaper, identifying her as the Ripper's fifth victim.
      You'd expect: Wells to take Amy back to 1893, drop her off at his house for her own well-being, return to a bit earlier in 1979 to handle Stevenson on his own, then return to the past to retrieve Amy. They have all the time in the world with a time machine!
      Instead: They both go back to the very day they arrived from, try to stop the fourth murder, and fail spectacularly. Wells tries calling 911 to report the murder, identifying himself as Holmes again, but it only makes him look like the guilty party.
      Even worse: Wells decides that Amy should stay home for a bit (!!!), gather her nerves, and then go to a hotel to hide. Except she takes some sleeping pills with liquor and is completely out of it when Wells is arrested, and is still at home when Stevenson comes around. If not for a Prophecy Twist, she'd be dead.
  • At the end of Time Bandits, Kevin is transported back to his room, which is filled with smoke and firemen are in his house because the family microwave caused the fire. His parents find a strange-looking rock inside the microwave. Kevin warns them not to touch it.
    You'd expect that they give the firemen the microwave or just don't touch the rock.
    Instead they immediately touch it and explode.
  • In Titanic (1997), the ship is sinking and Jack and Rose are trapped in steerage with the hallway starting to flood. They try bringing a child to safety when his father steps in and yells at them in a language they can't understand. At one end of the hallway is a door ready to burst open with water.
    You'd Expect: The father to see the water practically foaming out of said door at this point and stay the hell away.
    Instead: He carries his son over there to pick up their luggage, Jack and Rose yelling at him not to. When he sees the door, he stands there like a Deer in the Headlights and it opens, sweeping them both away.
  • In The Toxic Avenger, a trio of thugs attempt to rob a restaurant with a shotgun and a pistol. Toxie later intervenes, and it soon becomes clear that the thugs can't beat him in melee combat.
    You'd Expect: That one of the thugs would pick up one of the guns and just shoot Toxie.
    Instead: This idea never occurs to them, and Toxie subsequently kills all three of them.
  • Transformers:
    • The Decepticons primarily have aircraft alt-modes. The Autobots are ALL restricted to land movement. The human's plan is to place Sam and the Allspark on a helicopter transport with a few soldiers. Which is standard procedure for EVAC of civilians, but hardly appropriate in this situation!
      You'd Expect: The Decepticons LET them load the Allspark onto the helicopter, wait until the copter is high in the air, reasonably far from the Autobots... then Megatron and Starscream can just fly up to the helicopter and take the Allspark with minimum resistance from the puny humans.
      Instead: They let Starscream blow up the helicopter, keeping Sam grounded. Megatron then gets met with sturdy opposition from Optimus Prime and the U.S. Army when he tries to take the Allspark from Sam.
    • At the beginning of the film, the human Sam Witwicky is selling the Plot Coupon, his grandfather's glasses which have the Allspark coordinates imprinted on them, on eBay.
      You'd Expect: The Decepticons hack themselves a Paypal account and simply buy the glasses.
      Instead: They send Barricade to interrogate Sam, who is promptly defeated by Bumblebee, Sam's Autobot guardian.
  • Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen:
    • Alice, a Decepticon Pretender masquerading as a girl, is caught in a... tender embrace with Sam by Mikaela. Disgusted, Mikaela storms out of the room.
      You'd Expect: Alice prevents Sam from getting off the bed at all. If that's not possible, quickly and efficiently pin him down in one move while raising minimal fuss.
      Instead: When Sam does resist, Alice spends some time throwing Sam around. The noise alerts Mikaela, who is able to get back in time to help him.
    • Alice might have as well held a Smart Ball during that scene when compared against what Sam and co. did in this scene. After they found the Crest of Leadership needed to revive Optimus Prime to defeat The Fallen, the military, who had Optimus Prime's corpse, gave Sam a call, who was at the Great Pyramids, about deciding a place to meet and revive Optimus Prime.
      You'd Expect: That they would decide on a good rendezvous point like the Great Pyramids where the heroes were, and there were no Decepticons or witnesses around.
      Instead: Everyone decided to go to a nearby populated village where the Decepticons were headed. The result was a huge battle between the Autobots and Decepticons in the middle of a bunch of witnesses, with Sam nearly dying in the cross-fire. An Epic Fail in what was already an Idiot Plot.
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon:
    • Starscream is chasing down Sam and Carly with intent to terminate the two "insects".
      You'd Expect: Starscream to simply kill them with his missile launcher or multi-barrel cannon.
      Instead: He decides to toy with them, chasing after them and scaring them with his buzzsaw for the fun of it. This of course gives Sam the time and opportunity to use Que's grapple-hook gadget to tear out Starscream's right eye. Starscream then goes berserk from the pain this gives him and because Sam's attached to him through the hook, he sends Sam flying around.
      You'd Then Expect: Starscream to grab Sam and snap him in half, both for revenge and to prevent the human from inflicting any more damage.
      Instead: He starts swaying around out of pain and only tries kicking Sam in the air with his foot. Then, Sam manages to install a stick-bomb in his other eye, blinding Starscream before the bomb explodes and kills him by blowing his head out.
  • Transformers: Age of Extinction:
    • Joshua Joyce is building his own Transformers and is trying to get his hands on a Seed, a terraforming bomb that creates Transformer metal he needs for his prototypes. However, he's secretly being manipulated into doing this by Megatron, who has covertly taken over one of his prototypes and has his own plans for the Seed.
      You'd Expect: Given this entire plan hinges on Joyce being none-the-wiser that his technology has been compromised, Megatron would allow Joyce to control the prototype until such time that he could obtain the Seed for himself.
      Instead: Megatron hijacks control of the prototype at several points just to be needlessly sadistic and even speaks through it, something the prototypes are outright incapable of doing. With a little push from Cade, Joyce rightly suspects that something's amiss and throws a wrench into the entire plan.
    • In the climax, corrupt government official and the movie's human Big Bad Harold Attinger has Cade disarmed and at gunpoint. Optimus Prime is currently engaging Lockdown less than 100 yards away, with clear line-of-sight to where Attinger is standing. Attinger is convinced that all Transformers are dangerous, regardless of alignment. Furthermore, Optimus proved earlier in the film that he has fewer compunctions about killing enemy humans now than he had in the previous films, especially ones that threaten or kill his allies.
      You'd Think: That Attinger would dispense with the speeches and shoot Cade, and then haul ass into the nearest cover before Optimus gets the chance to retaliate in kind.
      Instead: He stands there and goes on a Motive Rant. Optimus sees him holding Cade at gunpoint and, as soon as he gets the opening, shoots Attinger with a shotgun slug the size of a large truck. Lockdown is able to use the diversion to get the upper hand against Optimus, but Cade is able to recover the Cybertronian dagger he'd found on Lockdown's ship and harass Lockdown with it until Optimus can get back on his feet and rejoin the fight.
  • In Transformers: The Last Knight, we learn that Earth's core constitutes Unicron, the ancient enemy of Cybertron. Unicron's been dormant for billions of years and Quintessa still classifies him as an apocalyptic enemy to Cybertron.
    You'd Expect: Quintessa to just leave Unicron alone. He can't wake up on his own to consume more planets as demonstrated by his inactivity for such a long time now.
    Instead: She insists on destroying Unicron as soon as possible, brainwashes Optimus Prime into following her orders and brings Cybertron's remains into Earth's orbit so that she may encase Unicron with Cybertron's body and drain the life out of Unicron, which will instantly kill him. Unicron wakes up from sensing Cybertron approaching him.
  • In the "Amelia" segment of the Trilogy of Terror, Amelia manages to trap a demonically-possessed Zuni fetish doll inside of a suitcase after it's been terrorizing her her a good amount of the day. It then starts to try and carve its way out with a knife.
    You'd Expect: That she would take steps to completely isolate it (lock it in a bedroom, etc.) or otherwise continue her escape attempts that she was in the process of doing until now.
    Instead: She tries to grab the knife blade, getting a bloodied-up finger for her trouble. And when this predictably fails, she just leaves the suitcase out in the open while looking for further exit routes, letting the doll finish making its escape.
  • Early in Universal Soldier: The Return, the military decides to shut down and dismantle S.E.T.H., the artificially-intelligent computer which controls the UniSols. S.E.T.H. naturally isn't too keen on this, but has a problem in that if he just kills all the people trying to shut him down, it'll eventually trigger a Self-Destruct Mechanism that requires a certain code to be entered every day in order to temporarily disarm it. Only two people know the code — S.E.T.H.'s creator, Dr. Cotner, and former UniSol Luc Deveraux.
    You'd Expect: That S.E.T.H. would use the UniSols under his command to take control of the facility, capture Luc and Cotner before they know what's going on, and then have the UniSols torture them until they give up the codes. Granted, Luc is a former soldier and not all that likely to break under torture, but Cotner will probably be a different story, given that he's a scientist with no combat experience.
    Instead: S.E.T.H. has the UniSols start taking over the facility... but not until after he's already let Luc and Cotner know about his rebellion courtesy of a Precision F-Strike. And then just to really turn the idiocy Up to Eleven, he fries both Cotner and an innocent bystander alive with an electricity beam — an honorary What an Idiot also goes to whoever thought it was a good idea to install that in a fully autonomous AI with few-to-no programming constraints — leaving Luc as the only one who knows the code. And he naturally isn't inclined to give it up to S.E.T.H. under these circumstances.
  • The Untouchables:
    • Frank Nitti accidentally exposes himself as the murderer of Jim Malone to Eliot Ness. Nitti promptly flees the scene and heads for the rooftop. After a scuffle with Ness, Nitti finds himself hanging from the rooftop. Out of principle, Ness helps him up and apprehends him.
      You'd Expect: Nitti to exercise his right to remain silent, for anything he says can and will be used against him. Such as what he actually does.
      Instead: He decides to mock Malone's death in-front of Ness and brags that he'll beat the rap. Ness promptly abandons his code of ethics and tosses Nitti off the roof.
    • Earlier, Frank Nitti writes Malone's address on a matchbook to help him carry out his murder.
      You'd Expect: Since it's now potential police evidence, Nitti would dispose of it right away.
      Instead: He does not. The matchbook is what identifies him as Malone's killer, which leads to his downfall.
  • Van Helsing:
    • A werewolf has been trapped and is currently in a cage suspended in the air, but Velkan dropped his gun, which is the only gun that has the silver bullets necessary to kill the werewolf.
      You'd Expect: Everybody to immediately look for Velkan's gun.
      Instead: Most of the people franticly shoot their own guns at the caged werewolf, despite knowing that their ordinary bullets are useless.
      The Result: The hail of gunfire has no effect on the werewolf, but it destroys the ropes, causing the cage to fall and break, giving the werewolf a chance to escape. It is eventually killed, but only after it bites Velkan.
  • Video Girl:
    • The protagonist's older sister is out running errands with her gang member boyfriend and is in a store when she sees some rival gang members begin to beat him up while he's waiting outside.
      You'd Expect: For her to call for help or to stay put inside the store; in love with him or not, they're gang members, after all.
      Instead: She rushes out of the store and attempts to fight them off herself alone, which consists of her average height and build wildly hitting the men, cursing at them and trashing about to "save" her 6'3", 300-pound "defenseless" boyfriend. Predictably, she gets shot dead for her troubles, leaving the boyfriend guilt-ridden and her grandmother and younger sister heartbroken.
      Lastly: As sad as this turn of events are, the woman was known for having a big mouth, a chip on her shoulder and for acting impulsively without contemplating any short- or long-term consequences. It was essentially only a matter of time before something like that happened.
  • The '70s cheesefest Viva Knievel!:
    • Evel Knievel's protege-turned-rival Jessie has overheard a plot to kill Evel via sabotaging his his latest stunt, then using the transport of his body to cover for the transport of millions of dollars in cocaine over the Mexico/US border. Jessie clumsily tries to tell Evil this, then knocks Evel out when he tries to blow Jessie off.
      You'd Expect: Jessie to call off the jump and point out the rigged bike to authorities, thwarting the Big Bad's plans without risking anyone's life.
      Instead: Jessie takes Evel's place on the big jump and dies instead. A Stupid Sacrifice that turns into a Senseless Sacrifice, when the bad guys merely claim Jessie's body is Evel's and proceed as planned. Made even worse by an earlier scene, when...
    • Evel sneaks into a Mexican sanitarium to talk to his mentor/mechanic, Will. Will tells Evel that he'd found pictures of their custom tractor-trailer in the possession of the Big Bad, leading to Will's being set up as being a junkie and institutionalized (getting him out of the way so that the bad guys' sabotage of Evel's bike would go undetected.)
      You'd Expect: Evel to postpone the jump - at least until he could get Will out of the sanitarium.
      Instead: He tells Will that he has to stay in the sanitarium until after the jump. Despite the fact that he knows he's been targeted by criminals. The same criminals he knows were Jessie's patrons.
  • The backstory to Wishmaster reveals that if someone makes three wishes of a Djinn, it will destroy the barriers between our world and the Djinn's world and allow their kind to overrun the Earth. One such creature grants two wishes to an ancient sultan, the second of which inflicts all kinds of horrible suffering on his subjects. Just as the sultan is about to make a third wish to undo his previous one, the court sorcerer shows up and tells the sultan what will happen if he makes his third wish.
    You'd Expect: The Djinn to dismiss the sorcerer's accusations as nonsense, and to reassure the sultan into making his third wish.
    Instead: He admits everything the sorcerer is accusing him of, and even goes so far to show the other Djinn that are attempting to break through the now-weakened barriers between the worlds. Naturally the sultan is reluctant to make a wish under these circumstances, and it gives the sorcerer time to imprison the main Djinn inside a jewel.
    • As a corollary to this, the Djinn's plan is dependent on the one who awoke him making their three wishes, and it is in his best interests not to alienate said person.
      You'd Expect The Djinn would make every effort to grant the wishes as positively at possible, or at the very least sabotage them in ways that don't make him look like a needlessly sadistic prick. Also, maybe hold off on randomly screwing other people who make wishes for yucks. There will be plenty of time for that when his kind rule the world.
      Instead: The Djinn goes about doing his Jackass Genie thing, inevitably causing the heroes to find some way to weasel out of freeing him.
  • The Wizard of Oz: Three guards equipped with spears have snuck up behind Tin Man, Scarecrow, and Lion and are about to ambush them..
    You'd Expect That they would use their spears and simply stab them while they weren't looking.
    Instead They THROW AWAY their spears and attack them in a hand to hand fight, which the Guards ultimately lose.
    The Result Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion are able to take the Guards gear as disguise and rescue Dorothy.
  • The World's End:
    • Gary, on a pub crawl with his old school friends, is in a restroom at pub 4 when a teenage boy comes in and starts using the urinals down the room. Gary tries to engage in small talk now that he has company.
      You'd Expect: The boy would add input into the conversation. Note that he and almost the entire town have been replaced by replicant 'Blanks', so a little conversation will have prevent Gary from finding out.
      Instead: He doesn't answer, leading to The Reveal and a fight with Gary and his friends.
      But You'd Also Expect: Gary and his friends to do a Screw This, I'm Outta Here! on the town and get out and far from the other locations that have taken over by the Blanks so they won't be targetted.
      Instead: Gary insists that continuing the crawl will lessen the suspicion. Naturally, the Network controlling the Blank colony tries to make them part of their number as a result.
      You'd Then Expect: The group would stick together at all times to avoid being replaced.
      Instead: One of them goes to the bathroom alone and gets replaced. Oh, and then they begin to break apart.
  • World War Z: It is a Zombie Apocalypse, and zombies are known to be attracted to loud noise.
    You'd Expect That A) the utmost importance of keeping quiet would be hammered into survivors everywhere, all the time, and it would be strictly enforced, and B) that the military would immediately weaponize this trait, creating lures to drive the zombies away from survivors and into traps.
    Instead The second part is merely neglected, but the people of Jerusalem actually go out of their way to violate the first one. While in a city, protected from the undead hordes by a wall, they decide to celebrate their good fortune by singing. All together. Through a microphone. Naturally, zombies cannot pass such a heartfelt invitation and start forming a zombie-pile outside until they scale the wall.
    You'd Then Expect That since that wall is essential to the city's survival, the military would monitor it. After all, the zombies are not exactly subtle or stealthy.
    Instead They somehow miss the assaulting horde untill it literally spills over the wall.
  • X-Men: The Last Stand:
    • Scott starts hearing Jean's voice in his head, calling his name.
      You'd Expect: That, being the leader of the team, he would (at the very least) go talk to someone about it, especially Xavier (who would be able to read his mind and figure out what's going on).
      Instead: He secretly packs a bag, blows off Logan (who tries to help him) and goes off to Alkali Lake by himself. There, he accidentally(?) awakens Jean/Phoenix, who then proceeds to de-atomize him. As if acknowledging Scott's actions, no one mentions him for the rest of the film. Stuffed into the Fridge and Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome, indeed.
    • Prior to the events of the film (and the trilogy), Xavier implanted a series of mental mindblocks in Jean's mind to prevent a latent personality (Dark Phoenix) from taking over.
      You'd Expect: That sometime over the last twenty-plus years, Xavier would have at least mentioned this information to Jean for her own safety. Not even when she's brought back to the school from Alkali Lake does he bother to come down and see her (when she's feeling conflicted about her identity) and try to restore the mindblocks. Instead, he's teaching a class.
      Instead: Jean, more pissed off than ever, takes up residence at her old home, and Xavier willingly walks in (with Magneto, no less) to try and reason with her. It ends about as well as you would expect.
    • Magneto wants to kill the mutant whose DNA is being used to create the anti-mutant serum, who is located on Alcatraz Island. Magneto, in a stupendous display of power, lifts the freaking Golden Gate Bridge to get to Alcatraz.
      You'd Think: that since Magneto wants to kill this particular mutant, and doesn't really care about civilian casualties incurred in the process, that while he was lifting an object hundreds of feet in the air that weighs over 1000 tons, he'd just drop it on their heads or turn it into a blizzard of shrapnel to tear every living being on the island into shreds.
      Instead: he uses it to form a bridge, marches across it and digs in for a long, difficult, and unsuccessful siege of the place.
  • X-Men: First Class:
    • After successfully preventing the Cuban Missile Crisis from escalating into a full-out nuclear war due to the meddling of a psychotic mutant, mutants are now known to both the Russian and U.S. governments as a powerful force capable of causing hurricanes, flying, blasting people, and lifting an entire submarine out of the ocean.
      You'd Think: Both sides would see the potential for using these people in combat, especially given that they prevented a full-on nuclear war since the CIA was well-aware of the role that the mutants played in the incident. Or at the very least, acknowledging that these are the last people you'd want to provoke and make angry!
      Instead: Both sides just see the potential threat presented by these powerful individuals and try to blow them up with missiles. After just seeing one of the mutants lift a submarine with his power!
    • Moira is fighting against Erik, a guy who she knows can control metal with his mind.
      You'd Expect: That she wouldn't fire a gun at him, given that guns shoot metal bullets. Hell, with the power Erik possesses, he could probably shoot them back at her!
      Instead: He deflects the bullets easily, and one of them hits a bystander.
      Even Worse: Even after Moira sees Erik deflect the first bullet, she keeps shooting, accomplishing fuck-all.
    • Charles Xavier knows everything about Erik Lehnsherr, having read his mind and spoken to him numerous times about the future of mutants and humankind. Erik, being a Holocaust survivor, constantly voiced the view that humans and mutants could not coexist, and that the U.S. government would eventually treat the mutants like the Nazis treated Jews. Then the U.S. and Russian battleships attempt to indiscriminately destroy the mutants with missiles, which Erik catches with his powers and sends back.
      You'd Think: Charles would remember Erik's views on mutant and humankind, especially his past as a persecuted minority, and try to phrase his arguments for not declaring war on humanity to the effect of a.) they were outnumbered and vulnerable and b.) Erik was becoming just like his former enemies in his extremism.
      Instead: He says, "They were Just Following Orders." To a Holocaust survivor. Who is now a member of yet another persecuted and threatened minority.
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past:
    • There is no doubt Mystique is a heroic figure in the movie. By the 70s, she is the only one who actively works for the mutant cause and does things like rescuing Alex's unit from being experimented on by Trask. She decides the best way to deal with Trask is to eliminate him.
      You'd Expect: Mystique would kill him in his sleep or in an otherwise covert manner. It's not like she can't reach him, having consistently proven she can sneak into any location with ease.
      Instead: She chooses to attack Trask at very high profile events like the Paris Peace Conference and the Sentinel demonstration in Washington DC, where security is typically tight and she has a higher risk of being killed and/or captured.
      Result: As it turns out, this is exactly what happens in the original timeline when Charles Xavier isn't there to talk her out of killing Trask. This is especially stupid for the first attack, as Mystique has no idea Trask carries around a mutant detector and has no valid reason to resort to such a public assassination.
    • Magneto deciding to try and kill Mystique is hypocritically in-character for him.
      You'd Expect: Like the above example, Magneto would kill her at her most alone and vulnerable.
      Instead: He attempts to kill her right after they've just prevented the assassination of Trask. The stupid part is that Wolverine and Beast, two people capable of kicking his ass, are present and accounted for. Wolverine gets taken out due to some flashbacks, but Beast very nearly drowns Magneto in a fountain.
  • In the film Zombi 2 (aka Zombie Flesh Eaters) Dr. David Menard and his wife Paola are held up on the Matul island where a number of dead patients are rising from the dead as zombies, when one of the zombies ambushes Paola through a broken door with long splintered wood pointed towards Paola's face.
    • You'd Expect: even as the zombie has Paola in it's grasp that she could just struggle her face away from any hazard and just punch, kick or fling the zombie to the sides, -presumably into one of the splinters- in the hopes that she can get the creature off her and escape.
    • Instead: she never does bugger-all to pull herself away in any effective form, leading to the zombie pulling her all the way towards itself and Paola getting GRAPHICALLY SPLINTER-GORED IN HER RIGHT EYE before the zombie can even bite her!!!

Alternative Title(s): Film


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