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  • The Incredible Hulk:
    • Bruce Banner is on the run. That's because he experimented with gamma radiation in an effort to recreate the Captain America formula. The commanding officer in charge of Banner's project, General Ross, wants to contain him as a weapon and to exploit his potential.
      You'd Expect: That Ross would do what S.H.I.E.L.D. later does with considerably less collateral damage and negative PR: track down Banner, talk calmly to him as a scientist and not a monster, and offer some fringe benefits to being a guinea pig. Not to mention that his attacking Bruce is straining his relationship with his daughter, Betty Ross, who got injured as a result of the gamma experiments.
      Instead: Every time he gets as much as a whiff of Bruce's various locations, Ross sends in special armed forces to utilize brute force and More Dakka. This inevitably triggers Bruce's unwilling transformations into the Hulk, which causes immense property damage, danger to civilian and military lives, and Betty's wrath. And no, Ross does not learn. The one time he actually manages to handcuff Bruce is when the latter has just taken a potential antidote, which suppresses the transformation until Bruce needs to change again to save New York from the Abomination. In The Avengers, when Natasha talks to Bruce and offers him a job because of his gamma knowledge, she's much more successful in persuading him.
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    • General Ross has received word that fugitive Bruce Banner will be at Culver University. This is his chance to capture him.
      You'd Expect: Ross to order his men to try to capture Bruce stealthily, so that he'll have less time to become agitated and thus transform, and to prevent student and faculty panic on the campus.
      Instead: He orders all his men to charge into the university in broad daylight, alerting Bruce and Betty, causing chaos amongst the students and teachers, and terrifying Bruce enough that he transforms soon after they get to him. Then that leads to several million dollars in property damage...
    • After throwing everything they have at the Hulk, Ross orders Blonsky to fall back. Blonsky personally emptied a grenade launcher at the Hulk, and while he did an admirable job at not getting killed, he did no lasting damage.
      You'd Expect: Blonsky to fall back, get bigger guns, and try again later. At this point, the biggest weapon he may have is a pistol, which might tickle the Hulk.
      Instead: He lets his love for a good fight get the better of him, so he asks "Is that all you've got?" as if to tempt the Hulk.
      As A Result: A single kick from the giant green rage monster breaks every bone in Blonsky's skeleton.
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  • Captain America: The First Avenger:
    • Steve Rogers is recovering from about 70 years on ice. The powers that be elect to lessen the shock by placing him in a mock-up of a recovery room and not letting on how much time he had been out until they could perhaps break things to him gently.
      You Would Think: At bare minimum, they would have the "radio" playing period music or if they insisted on a "live sports broadcast" they would take painstaking research to pick one that took place after Rogers vanished.
      Instead: They have a Brooklyn Dodgers home game from 1941 playing. Even if they did not know Steve had attended it is a matter of public record that he was still living in Brooklyn at the time. There are some fans, though, who actually believe that the mistakes in the mock recovery room were intentional. Fury implies that it was, calling it a "party trick".
  • The Avengers:
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    • Loki arrives at Earth and brainwashes Clint Barton (aka Hawkeye), Eric Selvig, and another agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Fury is the only person in the room that is not brainwashed, and Loki wants the Cosmic Cube.
      You'd Think: Loki would find value in Nick Fury and brainwash him as well, since he is the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. He can then have Fury as his puppet and manipulate S.H.I.E.L.D. so that he can get away with his plans. And then the Avengers would never have been assembled. If he eventually thinks Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. are no longer valuable, he could then pull off a "You Have Outlived Your Usefulness" on both SHIELD and Fury.
      Instead: He doesn't value Fury at all, only viewing him as an ant. He only takes the briefcase, leaving Hawkeye to kill Fury. He fails to do so, and Fury survives to lead the fight against Loki.
    • Thor also arrives, intent on bringing Loki home. He and Asgard thought that his brother was dead and had mourned him. Even though he's been cut off from Earth, he's heard "whispers" of what his brother has done.
      You'd Expect: Thor would signal his intentions to arrive peacefully. Nick Fury mentions that the first time Thor arrived, Loki had sent an Asgardian monster that would have killed dozens. So Asgardians haven't exactly made a good first impression.
      Instead: Thor rips open the Avengers jet and steals Loki away.
      The Result: Iron Man gets angry and attacks Thor, telling them, "Then don't steal my stuff." Thor and he engage in a brawl, as a smirking Loki watches. Captain America has to talk them down, after Thor levels a forest.

  • Iron Man 3:
    • After the explosion at the TCL Chinese Theater, Tony Stark personally declares war on the Mandarin and dares him to attack Tony, and then goes home.
      You'd Expect: Tony to take precautions and ready his house for defense at all times, and put on a fully operational and perfected Iron Man suit (i.e The Mark VII), in case there's the off chance the enemy suddenly attacks. Either that, or at least get Pepper Potts out of harm's way. If anything, just relocate to another place as soon as possible.
      Instead: Tony sits around and waits for the attack, and the only precaution he takes is going into an ineffective lockdown.
      Just To Add the Icing on the Cake: It turns out J.A.R.V.I.S. is capable of controlling all of the Iron Man suits at once. Meaning Tony could have had an army defending his house but decided to keep all of them in storage.
    • Rhodey gets captured by Aldrich Killian's men, and is forced out of the Iron Patriot suit by Killian's Extremis Heat. They then knock him out unconscious.
      You'd Think: Killian or one of his goons would either:
      a.) Tie him up so that he can't escape the mansion.
      or...
      b.) Since he was a commando, and a potential enemy, shoot him in either the heart or the head and kill him, so that he won't wake up.
      Instead: They just leave him there, and he eventually regains consciousness and links up with Tony, who also has escaped captivity as well.
    • After the above moment, Eric Savin, Killian's main henchman, uses the Iron Patriot suit to pose as Rhodes and infiltrate Air Force One. He arrives at Air Force One as President Ellis gets on board.
      You'd Expect: Before taking off, the Secret Service guys to make the guy take off his helmet to confirm that the man in the Iron Patriot suit is in fact Rhodes (especially since Rhodes had been AWOL for about half a day, and the exact suit had been commandeered in the previous movie), and find out that it's Savin and incapacitate him, thus averting disaster.
      Instead: They don't even bother to check and just assume Rhodes was still in the suit.
      Additionally: This very suit being hijacked was a major part of the plot in the previous movie.
      The Result: Savin manages to attack and destroy Air Force One, and have President Ellis kidnapped in the Iron Patriot suit.
    • The final battle. On Tony's side we have Tony, Col. James Rhodes, and a load of Power Armors much like the ones Tony wears, remotely controlled by J.A.R.V.I.S., while on the Big Bad's side we have a load of superhumans who can regenerate from damage, and make parts of their bodies extremely hot. Tony has encountered them before, so he knows what they're capable of, and he's here to rescue two hostages.
      You'd Expect: J.A.R.V.I.S. to keep the suits out of range of the minions, and bombard them with repulsor rays, in order to keep them distracted while Tony and Rhodes rescue the hostages.
      Instead: The suits controlled by J.A.R.V.I.S. are often seen getting into punch-ups with the minions, and a number of them are torn apart a a result, with only a few memorable ones surviving

  • Thor: The Dark World
    • A multi-pronged surprise attack leaves Asgard damaged (but not crippled), with their Red Shirt Army having taken not insignificant losses, but with almost all named characters (save for Frigga) fine and Asgard still in possession of the Aether. Odin, enraged at the attack, wants to take the fight to the Dark Elves to eliminate them.
      You'd expect: Knowing that the Dark Elves' attack relied on their element of surprise, and their numbers still nowhere near that of Asgard, the Aether is still safest there and to put Jane Foster into protective custody until the threat is dealt with.
      Instead: Thor disagrees with Odin on hunting the elves, and instead decides to take Jane Foster to the Dark Elves' home turf himself against Odin's orders, in the process knowingly losing every single ally they have other than Loki, whom they free specifically for this mission.
      As a result: The Dark Elves get the Aether, Loki is seemingly killed (but in reality he faked his death and usurped the throne of Asgard by taking Odin's place).
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier
    • Steve receives a top-secret flash drive from Nick Fury after he is shot by the Winter Soldier. The flash drive contains S.H.I.E.L.D. secrets of the highest priority, and Steve is advised to not trust anybody. Shortly thereafter, at the hospital, after Nick is presumed dead, he's told to report to a meeting and doesn't want to have whoever's there finding the drive. Looking around, he spots a vending machine that's currently open to be filled with snacks.
      You'd Expect: If hiding it in the vending machine is the only option, for Steve to hide it where it would be completely hidden, such as the last row of bags of chips.
      Instead: Steve hides the flash drive in the vending machine between the two packs of gum left. And he leaves the drive tilted such that, if anyone actually wanted to purchase said gum as they scanned the machine's wares, the drive is clearly visible. He gets lucky in that one of his allies, Black Widow, finds it first, but it was a close call.
    • Having seen one of HYDRA's footage, Steve realize that they are responsible for arranging the deaths of Tony's parents.
      You'd Expect: Since Steve does not like to keep secrets, he calls for Tony and calmly explain to him what truly happened to his parents. If Tony demands to know the exact circumstances of their deaths, he would simply head over to a HYDRA facility and examine the culprit of his parent's killer.
      Instead: Steve decides to keep Tony in the dark and never told him any of this. This ends up biting him in the butt in the third movie when Tony found out who murdered his parents at the worst moment possible, which leads to Tony going completely ballistic and attacking Bucky, ignoring Cap's protest to calm down and also ended up destroying their friendship (at least until maybe Avengers: Infinity War). Even if Steve doesn't know who exactly killed Tony's parents, having Tony know the circumstances behind his parent's death from Cap would have drastically soften the blow, possibly even enough for Tony to calm down and arrest Zemo instead.
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron
    • Wanda and Pietro are siblings who blame Stark for indirectly murdering their parents, due to Stark tech destrying their apartment. They are the Hydra base's last weapon, hiding in the shadows. Wanda has both telekinesis and can trap people in their worst nightmares. She says she wants to see Tony Stark destroy himself after she mind-rapes Iron Man.
      You'd Expect: Wanda would have thought through her revenge so that it doesn't cost innocent lives. She's been a Hydra weapon for years, so it's safe to assume that she has some knowledge of planning things out for the long-term.
      Instead: Wanda lets Tony loose to watch him hang himself with the rope she gave him, after she lets him go. Then she does the same after mind-raping every one of the Avengers, including Bruce Banner.
      The Result: Rather than destroy Tony Stark, Ultron is born and nearly destroys the planet, and the Hulk goes on a rampage in Johannesburg.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
    • Near the end of the movie, Ronan the Accuser's ship crashes onto the surface of Xandar, he survives the crash, and is going to annihilate Xandar with the Infinity Stone.
      You'd Think: Ronan would immediately use his Infinity Stone and annihilate the planet without gloating, especially since Quill and his buds are still alive, and still would pose even the slightest threat to his evil plans.
      Instead: Ronan takes his sweet time to gloat and mock the Guardians before annihilating Xandar, giving our heroes enough time to improvise a distraction so they can separate him from the Infinity Stone.
  • Ant-Man
    • Scott Lang has just been released from prison. His ex-wife has told him that if he wants to see their daughter again, he has to pay accrued child support. Even though he has a master's degree, Scott can only find a job at Baskin-Robbins.
      You'd Expect: Scott to come clean about his criminal past. B-R is willing to hire people with a criminal record as long as they are honest about it.
      Instead: Scott doesn't. Though his boss is sympathetic, he still has to fire Scott for legal reasons.
    • Hank Pym has profiled Scott as a potential thief to use the Ant-Man suit in a heist, to keep the Pym technology out of corporate hands. This is because Scott went to jail for exposing white collar crime. Scott in the meantime is trying to avoid going back to the criminal life, because he wants to go straight for his daughter's sake.
      You'd Expect: That Hank would call up Scott for an interview, and give him a test: break into his house and steal a valuable suitcase, or do some other sort of audition. If he succeeds, Scott gets the job. If he fails, Scott technically hasn't committed a crime and would keep his mouth shut because he is against white collar crime, and people using dangerous technology.
      Instead: Hank pays several people to spread a rumor that reaches Scott's ears, about a valuable safe in his house. Scott breaks in, tries on the Ant-Man suit, and he gets arrested when he breaks in again to return it. Hank helps bust him out, while posing as his lawyer, but it means that Scott is pretty much forced into the position and remains in hiding as a fugitive from the law and from his daughter's stepfather Paxton. When they do the heist, a suspicious Paxton recognizes Hank and nearly thwarts the whole deal. Paxton also arrests Scott later when the latter fights the Yellowjacket.
  • Captain America: Civil War
    • Ross tries to get the Avengers to sign the Sokovia Accords.
      You'd Expect: Him to focus on the battle against Ultron and the hospital, and to maybe offer benefits to the Avengers such as better funding and equipment, public support, etc. They could even offer training for Wanda in how to use her powers more carefully.
      Instead: He focuses on the Hulk's rampage through Harlem (which was mostly his and The Abomination's fault), the Battle of New York (whereas the World Security Council's idea was to just nuke the whole city instead of sending troops to fight alongside the Avengers), and the destruction of the Triskelion (which, if not for Steve and Natasha, would've been much worse). No wonder the Avengers aren't happy about signing it.
      The Result: This causes the Avengers to become even more split on the Accords, with some supporting it like Tony or Natasha (albeit reluctantly in her case), and others opposing it like Steve and Sam. This culminates in a huge battle between the Avengers that wrecks a whole airport, resulting in all the people on Steve's side being incarcerated.
    • Wanda, while on an Avengers mission, ends up causing a explosion in a hospital. She's extremely regretful about it, while Captain America tells her it was his fault for not leading well, and the team knows that it's Not Helping Your Case after what happened with Ultron. Wanda also as a result becomes a public menace, and feared.
      You'd Expect: That given Wanda's track record and her image, that the entire team would sit and discuss how to handle the situation, and what to do with Wanda. She did mess up, Tony points out she doesn't have a visa and thus is in danger every time she leaves Avengers headquarters, and unlike the others, including Black Widow who has "red in her ledger" and Hawkeye who was brainwashed into assisting with mass murder, she doesn't have a low profile.
      Instead: Tony decides how to handle it on his own, despite having resigned from the Avengers following his failure with Ultron. He orders Vision to keep Wanda in the HQ without telling her until she offers to buy spices for Vision.
      The Result: While the punishment is light considering the collateral damage Wanda caused and that the HQ is a Gilded Cage with appropriate protection, his lack of communication drives further rifts in the team. Wanda takes offense at being treated like a naughty child, Captain America is furious that Tony enforced the house arrest without telling anyone, including Wanda, and Hawkeye finds the situation absurd when he comes to bust her out.
    • Falcon recruits Scott Lang aka Ant-Man to help Captain America take down super soldiers. Falcon also tells Scott that this trip is an illegal endeavor due to the Sokovia Accords and if they get caught then Scott is back in jail.
      You'd Expect: Scott to have talked the trip out with Hope and Hank, since Hank wants to hide the Pym Technology from the world for fear of others exploiting its military potential, and Hope agrees with her father on this one. Also, as Hope later mentions, if she had gone with Scott, he wouldn't have been busted or imprisoned.
      Instead: Scott went without talking to either family member because it's freaking Captain America asking him to join the Avengers. After the airport battle, he gets jailed and then busted out by Cap, who lets him go home to his family rather than seek sanctuary in Wakanda.
      The Result: The Pym technology gets outed, forcing father and daughter on the run, and Hank gives a What the Hell, Hero? to Scott about it. Hope also calls out Scott, saying that at least he could have given her the choice to accompany him.
  • Doctor Strange (2016)
    • Stephen Strange is currently driving in the middle of a roadway while it is dark and rainy, and has received a phone call from his colleague regarding three potential patients that he can operate on.
      You'd Expect: Being the genius surgeon he is, that Strange realize that texting in the middle of driving is a really, really, really bad idea and just tell the caller he is currently driving and could not respond at the moment. Or if he really want to respond, he find some place to park so he can reply safely with little risks of an accident.
      Instead: Strange decides to text while driving in the middle of a tight road and in a bad weather condition.
      The Result: Strange gets into a bad accident, severely damaging his hands, and begins the Trauma Conga Line that is to follow.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2:
    • The film begins with the Guardians battling a massive space monster. The team eventually notice that the monster's skin is too tough to cut, and so Drax allows himself to be swallowed by it in order to...
      You'd Expect: ...target the monster's internal organs.
      Instead: He tries to cut the monster's skin from the inside. As pointed out by Peter and Gamora moments later, the skin's just as thick on one side as it is the other.
      Result: Drax is left fruitlessly hacking away at the monster's skin, before Peter and Gamora kill the monster without any help from him.
    • After the exchange is made for Nebula's life, Rocket nearly gets the team killed by insulting the Sovereign. They walk out, lucky to have avoided a fight.
      You'd Expect: Once the job's done, the Guardians would just take Nebula and leave, right?
      Instead: Rocket decides to steal some very valuable anulax batteries from the Sovereign, simply to get back at them for their snobbery, and because he felt like it. This after he called Drax out for siccing Ronan on the Guardians for the sake of his personal revenge in the last movie.
      Result: Rocket's pointless idiocy does nothing but cause massive problems for him and his friends. The Sovereign are incredibly offended by the theft, and respond by sending an entire fleet after the Guardians. In the resultant chase, the Guardians crash land on a random planet. The Sovereign then hire Yondu and his Ravagers to go after the Guardians, and thanks to the busted ship, he manages to capture both Rocket and Groot. The only reason the other Guardians aren't captured is because they all left with Ego earlier. And while Yondu has no intentions of handing the Guardians over to the Sovereign, his reveal of this leads to a mutiny within his crew, in which Yondu is overthrown, his loyalists are all executed, and the new leadership has no intention of being nice towards the Guardians. And as a bonus, the Sovereign show up during the final battle and nearly screw things up for the Guardians and as a result of their attack, Peter's mask is damaged and Yondu has to sacrifice his life to save him when Ego is destroyed, not to mention contributing to the deaths of thousands when the Sovereign attack delays their destruction of Ego's brain, allowing the expansion to continue.
    • After their successful mutiny and takeover of Yondu's ship, the Ravagers lock him and Rocket together in the brig. Yonu's crest is damaged, so he can't use his arrow against the mutineers. However, he does still have a prototype crest in his quarters as a backup. The Ravagers not only know about the crest, but also know exactly where Yondu keeps it.
      You'd Think: The Ravagers would have destroyed that crest, too.
      Instead: They don't. Fortunately, they do raise the alarm immediately upon waking up and finding it missing. Unfortunately, the crest has already been installed on Yondu's head by that point, and "Come A Little Bit Closer" has started to play over the ship's PA system...
    • At the end of the movie, after they've had time to reconcile and battle out their frustrations, Nebula tells Gamora that she intends to go and kill their father. Gamora tells her that Nebula could stay and become part of the team, to build a new family the way that Drax has.
      You'd Expect: Nebula to take the offer. While she thinks that the boys spend all their time competing makes them ridiculous and shortsighted, they all just survived an apocalypse. Also, if they do have to face Thanos, they will face him as a team so that Nebula won't be alone..
      Instead: Nebula turns down the offer. Gamora reluctantly lets her go, after hugging her and promising they will always be sisters.
      The Result: In Infinity War, Thanos reveals that he has taken Nebula hostage after she sneaked onto his ship in a bid to assassinate him. He tortures Nebula in front of a captive Gamora, to get Gamora to reveal the location of the Soul Stone. Gamora, who feels guilty that she didn't protect Nebula from the forced cybernetic upgrades when they were children, can't bear to see her sister ripped limb from limb and leads Thanos to the right location. It ultimately means that Gamora dies instead of Nebula, who when she finds out has a My God, What Have I Done? expression.
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming:
    • The beginning of the movie reveals that Tony recruited Spider-Man to help with a "crazy" Captain America. After the mission, and Peter's been badly concussed, Tony tells Peter to call Happy as a liaison guy. Happy is less than amused since Peter took an embarrassing video of him and he has to move Avengers headquarters upstate.
      You'd Expect: That even with the Civil War fracas that Tony and Happy would keep tabs on Peter and prepare him for more challenging missions than bicycle thieves in Queens. Avengers headquarters would have a training field, and there are lots of weird stuff happening all over the country. Or, even better, recruit Pepper for her advice and help since she knows how to ground uncontrollable people. If no one is available, Tony could find someone who would be a more suitable liaison.
      Instead: Tony and Happy leave Peter in the lurch, neither returning his calls or texts for two months. Happy refuses to listen when Peter reports the high-tech bank robbery. Tony appears via a remote suit when the Vulture nearly drowns Peter, and pretty much shuts him out of the strange case. Peter is understandably annoyed that both men are treating him like a kid; while he is one, he is also more than capable. When he realizes that Peter disabled the suit's tracking device and is going after the Vulture alone at Staten Ferry, where the FBI are waiting, Peter hangs up on him while preparing to attack. Spider-Man and everyone on the ferry nearly die from the ensuing fight. Tony somewhat lampshades that he's become like his late, distant father, but he doesn't change his ways.
    • Peter also wants to become an Avenger. Tony refuses and wants Peter to stay "close to the ground".
      You'd Expect: That Tony would explain that since Peter is a minor, if he joined the Avengers he'd have to sign the Sokovia Accords. Since he's a minor, that would mean Aunt May would have to sign for him. This is a plausible explanation, since Peter doesn't want Aunt May to know. It's obvious by the end that Tony can override this legal problem, but Peter doesn't know that.
      Instead: Tony just goes Because I Said So. Peter thinks that he has to prove to Tony that he's good enough to be an Avenger. This leads to the Staten Ferry fiasco, and to him getting locked into a Damage Control warehouse.
    • Peter wants to tackle something a little more challenging than grand theft bicycles, as well as prove himself to Tony for the awesome factor of being close with other heroes, but can't find anything simply patrolling the streets of Queens.
      You'd Expect: Peter would start patrolling worse neighborhoods in New York, which are many now thanks to the destruction caused by the Incident, where he can probably stop more serious, but still not very dangerous to him crimes and/or try to reach out to publicly known heroes like Matt Murdock and Luke Cage, who have both tackled real supervillains and huge crime syndicates, despite having only a fraction of his power. That way, he'd be earning himself a rep quickly, and could even prove himself to Tony by having his own sort of-Avengers team.
      Instead: He keeps patrolling Queens and helping old ladies who buy him churros, and then calls Happy and Tony to tell them about his mundane adventures everyday, ensuring they don't take him seriously. A real threat in the form of Vulture's weapons eventually leads him to make himself known and he proves himself, but nearly dies several times in the process, and gets no help from the other New York heroes.
    • After school, Peter changes into his Spider-Man suit so he can go on patrol and stuffs his street clothes and personal items in his backpack.
      You'd Expect: Peter would use his powers to go up to one of the building roofs and leave his backpack there where no one will find it.
      Instead: He leaves his backpack next to a dumpster in the alley and by the time he gets back, it's been stolen.
      Worse: This is the fifth time it's happened.
    • After skipping the Prom, Peter tracks down Vulture who is revealed to be Liz's dad Adrian to his hideout and learns that he's planning to rob a Stark Industries cargo plane. Pete confronts Vulture and webs his left hand to a table to keep him from moving. While he's webbed up, Adrian tries to justify his crimes with a speech about how the rich "don't care about people" like himself and Peter.
      You'd Expect: That Pete wouldn't waste time listening and web up Adrian's other hand and his feet (and maybe his mouth so he can shut up) and immediately call the police, pretty much defeating him right there.
      Instead: Peter gets distracted and stalls long enough for Adrian to summon his Vulture suit.
      The Result: Vulture uses his suit to collapse the building and trap Spider-Man underneath the rubble. Pete only survives due to his super-strength and sheer willpower. He does eventually catch Vulture, but only after an insanely dangerous battle aboard the cargo plane that nearly gets both of them killed.
    • Tony returns the suit he gave to Peter, who doesn't want Aunt May to know his superhero alter ego.
      You'd Expect: Peter to close and/or lock his door when putting the suit on in case Aunt May comes in.
      Instead: He leaves it wide open, allowing Aunt May to see him wearing the suit and letting her know he's Spider-Man.
  • Thor: Ragnarok
    • Eons ago, Odin had a daughter, Hela. They conquered many worlds together until Odin either no longer found her useful or had a Heel Realization. Hela didn't agree with his newfound approach to peace, so he sealed her away. She will be freed when he dies, and she will claim her birthright in Asgard.
      You'd Expect: Odin would have warned his sons way before his death. They had all the time in the world to prepare for this battle.
      Instead: Odin didn't, finding Hela's legacy shameful.
      The Result: Hela curbstomps her younger brothers before they can even put up a decent fight. She then invades Asgard and starts slaughtering anyone who goes against her. Heimdall is the Only Sane Man who starts rescuing the Asgardian ctiizens and hiding them.
    • Loki has been impersonating Odin between movies.
      You'd Expect: He would keep his ego in check.
      Instead: Loki starts up Bread and Circuses while ordering Asgard to mourn the fallen trickster, building statues and performing dramas of his (faked) death. He also banishes Sif, who would have seen through the ruse.
      The Result: Thor busts him. Also, as the only positive consequence, Sif is spared when Hela emerges and slaughters Thor's friends and allies, only to be wiped out by Thanos's fingersnap.
  • Black Panther (2018)
    • Prince N'Jobu has been sent to the United States to spy on the world. He realizes how many black people are suffering in the United States, and how the police and FBI crack down on their attempts at organized resistance and community building. His brother, King T'Chaka, and the Wakandan council would never agree because of the Wakandan policy to keep their technology and wealth a secret.
      You'd Expect: N'Jobu would use his assets as a wealthy prince to surreptitiously fund communities in need of breakfasts, proper education and such, the way his nephew T'Challa does later on as the king with his community centers. And that whoever he chooses as a partner won't have beef with Wakanda.
      Instead: N'Jobu sells out Wakandan vibranium to Klaue, an arms dealer who holds a grudge against Wakanda thanks to his family getting killed.
      The Result: Klaue kills thousands of Wakandans while stealing the vibranium and reneges on the deal with N'Jobu. T'Chaka busts N'Jobu and demands an explanation, and kills him on the spur of the moment when N'Jobu threatens the spy that ratted on him. No one wins, except Klaue.
    • N'Jobu also fathered a child out of wedlock. The woman is currently imprisoned and later executed for her supposed crimes; N'Jobu raises his son Erik alone, with maybe "Uncle James" aka Wakanda War dog Zuri for help. Due to the Wakandan secrecy policy, the Council would be against the child coming "home".
      You'd Expect: N'Jobu would have prepared paperwork to assign Erik a proper guardian, send him to his mother's family, or demand that his brother legitimize Erik as a potential heir to the throne. As a spy, and as someone who has committed treason, he has to think of his child's well-being if the worst-case scenario happens.
      You'd Also Expect: Knowing that he has a nephew, that T'Chaka would make some arrangements for Erik to have a guardian, or take the child with him when demanding N'Jobu return to Wakanda to explain why he sold out the vibranium to Klaue.
      Instead: Unless Uncle James was Erik's godfather, we don't see any forward planning apart from Erik's glowing Wakanda tattoo. Thus, when T'Chaka and Zuri abandon Erik, he has no one. Erik as a preteen suffers the worst of Adult Fear when he sees the departing ship, senses something is wrong and runs into his apartment. He finds his father dead from panther claw wounds. It means he grows up without anyone looking out for him in Oakland, not even his mother.
      The Result: The military recruits Erik, and he becomes scarily efficient at deposing governments, while obtaining a degree at MIT. This knowledge and experience, combined with Erik's drive for revenge, causes him to nearly destroy Wakanda and twist what his father ultimately wanted. N'Jobu in the afterlife realizes this when Erik talks to him, in child and adult form. T'Challa, Erik's cousin, is beyond furious when he hears what his father and Zuri did and decides to end the Wakandan isolationism.
  • Avengers: Infinity War:
    • Earth is being attacked by aliens, again, and both Vision and Iron Man are MIA. Sec. Ross is videoconferencing with Col. Rhodes (the last Avenger around) when Cpt. Rogers and several other former heroes on the run due largely to administrative disputes show up along with a damaged Vision in Rhodes's office. Cpt. Rogers tells Ross that he's not looking for forgiveness, but he's going to fight the aliens and Ross can either stay out of the way or fight them. Col. Rhodes also points out that while he signed the Accords, he's coming slowly to disagree with them after battle damage paralyzed him.
      You'd Expect: At absolute worst, a fair bit of posturing. Demand of information and cooperation in exchange for a pass on shenanigans to date or perhaps a head start once the current mess is dealt with. This would reflect poorly on Ross from an objective viewpoint, but at least indicate a grasp of the bigger priorities.
      Instead: Ross orders Rhodes (who is out of his armor, outnumbered, and can only walk with difficulty) to arrest the lot immediately. Rhodes quite predicable hangs up in the man's face.​
    • The Guardians of the Galaxy have teamed up with Thor to stop Thanos before he can obtain all the Infinity Stones. They plan to split into two groups; Thor and two others will go to Nidavellir to obtain a weapon capable of killing Thanos, while the other three will go to Knowhere to get the Reality Stone from the Collector before Thanos can. Gamora meanwhile knows the location of the Soul Stone, and realizes that Thanos will want to question her about it.
      You'd Expect: Gamora to join the group heading to Nidavellir, a place where Thanos has no reason to go. If he's not in the same place as her, he can't get the stone's location from her.
      Instead: She joins Quill and the others to Knowhere, which puts her at risk at being kidnapped by Thanos, seemingly because she wanted to kill Thanos personally to atone for the crimes she committed as his daughter, and to avenge the abuse that she and Nebula suffered as children.
      Result: Thanos leads the group into a trap and captures Gamora, and forces her to lead him to the Soul Stone's location by torturing a captured Nebula, and then he throws her off a cliff in order to obtain the stone. This ends up biting the heroes further down the line; when Quill learns about Gamora's death, his rage ends up making him wreck an attempt by Dr. Strange, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Mantis and Drax to get the Infinity Gauntlet off of Thanos' hand, thereby allowing Thanos to beat the group, take the Time Stone from Strange, and leave, leading to the example below.
    • At the film's climax, Thanos has just assembled all of the Infinity Stones and inserted them into his gauntlet, when Thor suddenly appears and buries his axe deep into Thanos' chest, leaving him critically wounded, but still alive.
      You'd Expect: Thor to immediately withdraw the axe while Thanos is reeling from his wound, then decapitate him and end the threat once and for all, or use the axe to bludgeon him repeatedly.
      Instead: He stands over Thanos, gloating about having gotten revenge for Thanos's murdering half of the surviving Asgardians.
      Result: Thanos proceeds to grin, lampshades this trope through the infamous line "you should have gone for the head", and then use the Infinity Gauntlet to obliterate half the population of the universe, Winter Soldier, Black Panther, Falcon, Scarlet Witch, Star Lord, Drax, Groot, Mantis, Dr. Strange, Spider-Man, Nick Fury, Maria Hill, Betty Ross, Sif, Hank Pym, Hope van Dyne, Wasp, Shuri and Hawkeye's entire family included.
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp
    • Hope and Hank are on the run, and trying to save Janet from the quantum realm. They reluctantly recruit Scott, who is under house arrest, when he calls them and says he had a dream that was Janet's memory. He's trying to help them discreetly so that the FBI agent supervising his house arrest won't bust him or arrest the Pyms. At one point Luis is calling him because they need to fix plans for an account they're hoping to land for their security firm. Scott promises to come help as soon as he helps the Pyms.
      You'd Expect: He would agree to meet Luis at a discreet location far from the Pyms.
      Instead: He tells Luis where the Pyms are and where to come.
      The Result: The FBI gets a tip after Sonny Burch interrogates Luis and the others with truth serum. They succeed in arresting the Pyms, and endangering Janet's return to the human world..
  • Captain Marvel
    • Vers is a trainee soldier for the Kree. She wants to prove herself, but her commanding officer Yon-Rogg fears she is too emotional and impulsive. Eventually, the Supreme Intelligence gives her permission to fly with her squad. It's revealed that Yon-Rogg actually kidnapped "Vers" aka Carol Danvers from Earth, wiped her memories and brainwashed her to become a super-weapon for the Kree. The Supreme Intelligence knows this.
      You'd Expect: The Supreme Intelligence would send Vers and her squad on a mission far from "Earth" or the Skrulls. She is a newbie to actual combat, after all. If Carol were ever to learn what Yon-Rogg did, which she does, the Kree's new super-weapon could turn against them.
      Instead: They send the squad to a Skrull refugee camp to extract a spy, on a planet relatively close to Earth.
      The Result: It's a trap; the Skrulls capture Carol by having one of their own shapeshift into the spy who knows the secret codes. They then examine her memories and realize it's full of holes. When Carol escapes, she makes herself and the Skrulls crash onto Earth.
    • Meanwhile, on Earth, Nick Fury from S.H.I.E.L.D. gets a call about a strange woman in a laser-tag suit crashing into a Blockbuster and raiding the Radio Shack next door for parts. He finds her talking on the payphone and apart from a half-hearted He Went That Way ploy she's honest that she's from another planet and trying to stop an alien invasion.
      You'd Expect: Nick would tread carefully, even with Arbitrary Skepticism. She did crash through a building but doesn't look visibly injured, apart from possible head-trauma.
      Instead: He tries to arrest her for property damage and burglary.
      The Result: Carol makes her getaway after saving him from a Skrull assassin that happened to be on the building nearby. Nick and Coulson are astounded at how far she gets, and Nick makes much more headway by simply talking to Carol in a bar.
    • The Skrulls aren't much better; it's revealed that Talos is trying to find his wife and daughter, who were Skrull refugees. And soon his team learns that the Kree kidnapped Carol, the last person to work with Mar-Vel, a Kree scientist trying to protect the Skrull.
      You'd Expect: That when they find Carol, they seek out a truce from the start and Never Hurt an Innocent for naive life forms. Carol suffers a terrible Heel Realization on finding out the Skrull aren't colonizers but rather genocide victims, on seeing Talos's family.
      Instead: They spend most of their initial time on Earth firing at Carol, trying to kill Nick after he's served his purpose, and impersonating various S.H.I.E.L.D. agents.
      Predictably: Carol at first doesn't want to help. When they finally get a chance to talk with Carol, they have to show her the black box that Talos recovered to get her to listen. Talos lampshades that he hasn't really helped his case.
  • Avengers: Endgame:
    • To facilitate their plan of traveling to the past to get the stones, remake them and undo Thanos's fingersnap, Captain America splits the teams into three groups: one will go to New York, when the Avengers were battling Loki; another will go to Morag and the death planet, and a third will head to Asgard in the past.
      You'd Expect: Nebula to go with the team to the time and place where her father and past self won't be nearby. She knows Morag best, but she also knows her past self wouldn't yet betray Thanos for mutilating her again and again until Ronan offered her an out.
      You'd Also Expect: Iron Man to remember that Hulk threw a temper tantrum on using the stairs in the past.
      Instead: Both parties forget these important bits.
      The Result: Past-Thanos discovers Future-Nebula through her past self's neutral connection, which allows Past-Nebula to pose as her future self and usher her father's army to the future. Past-Hulk's tantrum knocks away Ant-Man and Future Iron-Man just as they get the Cube; Loki grabs it and manages to vanish. This necessitates Future Cap and Iron Man to need to head to another point in time to get the Cube as well as more Pym particles.
Spider-Man: Far From Home
  • Quentin Beck is a disgruntled former Stark employee who lost his job either due to workplace issues, or Tony "stealing" his invention that was featured in Civil War. It's unclear who is telling the truth. Regardless, he managed to retain his team and has a second chance after the Snap and when it's undone, and Tony's death.
    You'd Expect: He would do what Toomes did and sell modified versions of the tech under the radar to willing customers. It's enough to Mind Rape people, deceive them, and reveal their worst memories. All valuable in the criminal world. Toomes managed to do this for eight years without getting caught, and Quentin has his whole life ahead of him.
    Instead: He creates a Fake Ultimate Hero ploy where he lies about being Mysterio, a sorcerer from another dimension that is fighting beings called the Elementals. The plan is to establish himself as Iron Man and Thor's replacement and use special effects to "rescue" people.
    Predictably: The only reason the ruse goes on for so long is that he's dealing with a child co-hero and a Skrull impersonating Nick Fury, with Nick's permission. Another child, Michelle Jones, finds evidence that Quentin is a fraud and shows Peter Parker, her classmate whom she knows is Spider-Man. This ends up leading to Quentin's downfall, especially when a Made of Iron Peter returns from Quentin's murder attempt to save Michelle and his other friends.

TV Shows:

  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:
    • In "Yes Men", the team have to capture an Asgardian criminal named Lorelei. Lady Sif warns them that Lorelei can use magic to bend any man to her will - for most men, the sound of her voice is enough - but her powers have no effect on women.
      You'd Expect: Agent Coulson would arrange for an all-female assault team before moving on Lorelei. Note that he does do this later in the episode, after what we're about to describe here.
      Alternatively: If that isn't feasible given the time frame, he should at least have the male agents stay back and deal with Lorelei's minions from behind cover, while the women (May and Sif at a minimum) go to catch Lorelei herself.
      Or At The Very Least: Issue a "shoot on sight" order since his team both has stun guns and real guns, and Asgardians are far tougher than a human.
      Instead: For some bizarre reason, Ward goes around the back without any backup, orders the superhuman seductress to stand down instead of just shooting her outright, and gets himself seduced by her and placed under her control. Coulson at least learned his lesson the next time he tried it.
    • In "The Only Light in the Darkness", Erik Koenig, trained S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, expert interrogator, and Nick Fury's hand-picked housesitter, is interrogating the members of the team to determine if any of them are enemy agents of HYDRA. One character starts giving vague answers that set off every alarm on Koenig's super-sensitive lie-detector, to the point where he draws a gun on the suspect and demands answers. Unfortunately, The Mole (Grant Ward), uses Exact Words to give an evasive explanation that turns off the alarms. What's worse, the Exact Words in question are that he's there for Skye. That's not really a great innocent explanation either for why he should be there if he wasn't a mole.
      You'd Expect: Koenig to either keep the suspect under detention and get further clarification on the matter. Or, at a minimum, talk to Coulson or another already-established-as-trustworthy S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and have them watch the suspect for any signs of treasonous behavior.
      Instead: After the alarms turn off, Koenig lets bygones be bygones and gives the suspect full access to everything, no (further) questions asked.
      The Result: The Mole, Agent Grant Ward, kills Koenig offscreen after May leaves the team, and while Coulson, Fitz, Simmons, and Triplett are occupied with protecting Coulson's cellist friend, Audrey Nathan, in another location.
  • Daredevil (2015):
    • In "Into the Ring", having narrowly escaped being both framed and murdered by Fisk's men, Karen Page has to get a thumbdrive of evidence against her employers at Union Allied.
      You'd expect: Her to find someone else to go or get an escort, or at least let someone know what she's up to, so that if she goes "missing", people won't assume she fled.
      Instead: She sneaks off in the middle of the night to her apartment alone, only to be attacked again. If Matt hadn't have followed her, she'd have died there.
    • Karen does this a lot. Another instance is in "Stick" when she is going off alone to investigate Elena Cardenas's tenement case.
      You'd think: She'd bring someone else with her, or at least be prepared for trouble, given she's investigating men menacing people on the very block she's investigating.
      Instead: She goes on her own.
      As a result: She is jumped by the same goons she was asking about. This time, she's saved by Foggy. Now, in fairness, Karen did have a pepper spray can when she went there, but she should've had it more easily accessible or assumed that the men in question could've jumped her.
    • "In the Blood": Anatoly Ranskahov, the leader of the Russian gangsters, decides to accept Wilson Fisk's offer from Fisk's right-hand man James Wesley.
      You'd think: Anatoly would leave it up to Wesley for making the arrangements in solidifying a partnership so the Russian gangsters have better funding from Fisk's resources and organization.
      Instead: Due to the Russians' kidnapping of Claire and Matt's subsequent rescue of her, Anatoly rudely barges into Fisk's dinner with Vanessa.
      End Result: Fisk is enraged by Anatoly's intrusion into his private life, then beats Anatoly unconscious, then decapitates him with a car door.
      As a result: Anatoly's younger brother Vladimir mourns for his death and swears vengeance against Fisk.
      Furthermore: Fisk then has the Russians' hideouts bombed, and corrupt cops sent in to finish off the survivors, to prevent further retaliation for their leader's death.
      Related: When Fisk is beating down on Anatoly, Anatoly gets the brilliant idea to try and slice at him with his switchblade (which doesn't do anything other than damage Fisk's suit due to his armor). You know, because apparently running for his life or begging for forgiveness would've made too much sense (although this would likely mean Fisk's bodyguards would shoot him in the back before he could get too far). If Anatoly was expecting Fisk to show him mercy, he lost it at that point.
    • "Condemned": When a non-crooked cop, Officer Sullivan, finds Matt with Vladimir in an abandoned building, Matt overpowers him, and tells Officer Sullivan to tell dispatch it was a false alarm.
      You'd think: Matt would let Officer Sullivan know the situation, as the cops in this precinct are overwhelmingly corrupt. He is, after all, trying to convince the cop to waive any hope of backup coming for him, a dangerous proposition given he's alone with the "Devil of Hell's Kitchen."
      Additionally: If he's not going to agree, you'd think Matt's Living Lie Detector abilities would let him know that Sullivan is preparing to speak loudly.
      Instead: Matt tells him to tell dispatch without giving him any context, and only ominously to let the cop go "eventually."
      As a result:: Matt lets the cop speak into his radio... and he immediately shouts his location. Matt is forced to knock the cop out. Sure enough, the ESU team that eventually enters the building is one in Wilson Fisk's pocket, and sure enough, they kill the incapacitated Officer Sullivan by stabbing him in the neck.
    • "The Path of the Righteous": Wesley is threatening/negotiating with Karen Page, trying to get her to join him, or at least stop opposing him and Fisk.
      You'd think: Wesley would restrain Karen in any way, as even if he has a gun, if she runs, it's less convenient if he shoots her in the back. Or at the very least, that he might take a couple of henchmen with him.
      Instead: Wesley leaves the loaded gun on a table in reach of an unrestrained Karen.
      As a result: When he's distracted by an incoming call from Fisk, Karen grabs the gun and points at him. When he tries to talk her down, he even asks her if he would be dumb enough to make such a mistake. Apparently he is. She shoots him to death.
      To Make Matters Worse: He never told anyone, not even Fisk, of where he was going, who he was going to talk to, or what he was doing. Thus causing him to take the valuable intelligence he had on who knew Fisk's secrets straight to his grave. He even told Karen this, unintentionally telling her that she's pretty much off the hook if she kills him.
    • Frank Castle goes to a pawnshop in "Dogs To A Gunfight" to buy a police scanner. At his request, the pawnbroker leaves himself completely vulnerable, selling Castle the shells from his shotgun, and disconnecting the video camera (and giving the tape to Castle). Considering the incredibly illegal sale he's just conducted (of stolen police equipment), this is already pretty dumb.
      You'd Expect: That the owner would now just let Castle go.
      Instead: As Castle is walking out, the owner tries to upsell him, offering DVDs of increasingly extreme porn, culminating in child pornography. Which is dumb in two ways: 1) Castle has demonstrated literally nothing to indicate that he's interested in buying anything else from the man, certainly not extreme BDSM porn, and definitely not child pornography. All he's demonstrated is that he's a professional criminal. 2) Many real criminals despise child molesters and child pornography in general. So if the buyer was the average criminal, this probably wouldn't end well for the seller. But this is The Punisher.
      End Result: The seller is so dense that even as Castle turns around and flips the sign in the door to "CLOSED" to prevent any witnesses from walking in, he still thinks he's making a sale, not about to get beaten to death with a baseball bat.
    • In "Penny and Dime", Frank Castle is tortured by Finn Cooley and his Kitchen Irish goons. He gives up the location of a stolen briefcase of money to them. A couple of guys are sent to retrieve it.
      You'd Expect: That when they open it, they consider the possibility that it might be booby-trapped.
      Instead: They don't. And indeed, Frank had stuffed a bomb under the money, which explodes once someone tries to grab some cash out of the briefcase.
      At the Same Time: Castle had pointed out that Finn was little too interested in getting his money back, so this sort of thing could be overlooked.
    • In "Guilty as Sin", Karen visits Matt's apartment. She manages to make it to Matt's room, where he's talking to Elektra.
      You'd Expect: That in the time between Karen showing up at the door, Stick letting her in, and presumably bringing her to the door, Matt would realize that it's Karen and know that seeing Elektra in his bed is a bad idea and try to shoo her away.
      Instead: He doesn't. So Karen sees Elektra in Matt's bed, recovering from the injuries she took in that fight with the Hand.
      You'd Now Expect: That because Karen knows Matt is a reasonable, sweet, and overall decent man, she would notice that Elektra was clearly not well. The fact that he was at her bedside, and not say, lying in it with her seems like a pretty big tip. And again, Stick was right outside the door and she met him on her way in, so Matt wasn't even alone. And also perhaps, on Matt's end, that he would explain what was going on, even if this meant having to admit he was Daredevil.
      Instead: Instead of even considering he and Stick were taking care of a friend, or even asking "What the hell is going on here?" and demanding answers, Karen instantly assumes he's a sleaze.
    • In "The Perfect Game", Fisk decides to leverage the FBI for the return of his personal possessions by accusing Matt of being an old accomplice of his.
      You'd Expect: That Nadeem would research first and consider it very suspicious that Matt was part of the firm that took down Wilson Fisk. And since anyone with any sort of common sense would find it ridiculous to believe that Matt would have served Fisk in any way, consider the possibility that Matt is someone Fisk might have a personal vendetta against.
      Instead: He doesn't, and as a result, he ends up falling further and further into Fisk's traps while Karen, Foggy, and Matt have to deal (separately) with the repercussions.
    • In "Upstairs / Downstairs", Karen decides to visit Wilson Fisk with the intention of provoking him into attacking her in front of the FBI so he'll violate his house arrest and go back to prison. At first, she tries to do this by disclosing her visit to his mother, but when that fails, she instead resorts to admitting to James Wesley's death.
      You'd Expect: That Karen would arrange for someone to come with her who can ensure an intervention before Fisk can hurt her too much. And that she'd call Foggy to tell him why she wasn't going to be at the forum where he planned to call out Tower for his inaction against Fisk.
      In Addition: Even though Karen doesn't know at this point that the imposter Daredevil is an FBI agent, she knows Fisk has corrupted law enforcement officials, between the attempt on her in jail during the Union Allied case as well as the handling of Carl Hoffman's case, and thus assume that some of the agents in the penthouse might be working for Fisk.
      Instead: Neither of those things happen, and Fisk comes narrowly close to choking Karen to death, only not doing so because Foggy shows up just in time. Karen walks out alive, but Fisk retaliates by sending Dex after her. And furthermore, since the agents are indeed working for Fisk (not just Dex), it's likely that had Foggy not intervened, Fisk would've killed her and they would've deleted the footage.
    • Also from "Upstairs / Downstairs", Fisk decides to have Dex's girlfriend Julie Barnes killed so that Dex can't rely on her as a "north star".
      You'd Expect: That Fisk would have her body immediately disposed of so that no one can find it or be able to link him to her death.
      Instead: Fisk keeps her body (and the bodies of her assassins) in a walk-in freezer. This allows Dex to quickly find the body and be given reason to turn against Fisk after Matt tortures this information out of Felix Manning and relays it to him.
    • In "Revelations", Nadeem decides to visit Hattley's house with Agent Winn to inform her of his suspicions about Dex.
      You'd Expect: For Nadeem to, having found out that the imposter Daredevil is Dex, realize that where there's one corrupt FBI agent, there's likely a bunch of others as well, especially considering (again) how many NYPD cops were in Fisk's pocket, and be extremely careful when approaching Hattley with this information.
      Instead: He thinks Dex is a lone individual, and walks right into a trap, as Hattley is working for Fisk as well. She abruptly kills Winn, and then she and Felix Manning blackmail Ray into working for Fisk as well.
  • Jessica Jones (2015)
    • "AKA 99 Friends": Hope has been commanded by Kilgrave into shooting her parents. Jessica wants to prove that she was under Kilgrave's control at the time of the shootings. So she and Jeri Hogarth decide to find people who've been mind-controlled by Kilgrave in order to have them testify in Hope's trial.
      You'd Expect: That they subpoena the staff from the restaurant that Kilgrave took Hope to. AKA people who have very little reason to lie and can positively say "that woman right there walked in with a creepy British guy who made us do things we didn't want to do."
      Instead: They just go out and get a bunch of random people who at best can only testify that someone exists who can force you to do stuff (no proof that Hope was under his influence) and at worse are all mentally unstable or have good reasons for wanting to excuse their actions by lying about someone else making them do it.
    • So a bunch of Kilgrave's victims are located and brought in.
      You'd Expect: That Jessica and Hogarth would work to isolate each victim, so that they could be interviewed separately and without anyone or anything around to influence them.
      Instead: They put the victim all together in a support group, thereby weakening all their stories because they've had time to be influenced by each other.
    • "AKA 1000 Cuts": Kilgrave attempts to make a deal with Hogarth: busting him out of his Tailor-Made Prison in exchange for doing Hogarth a favor.
      You'd Expect: Hogarth taking Jessica's warning seriously since Kilgrave is very dangerous, and there's no guarantee that Kilgrave will keep his promise after he's free. Plus, Hogarth doesn't have anything to keep Kilgrave from backstabbing her.
      Instead: The temptations of harnessing mind control is too irresistible for Hogarth. She vouches for the easy way to get her ex-wife Wendy to sign the divorce papers - double-cross Jessica, spring Kilgrave, and take him to Wendy.
      As a result: Kilgrave does use Mind Control on Wendy.....to order her to kill Jeri through Death By A Thousand Cuts. Jeri nearly bleeds to death, and her mistress Pam shows up in the nick of time to kill Wendy. Jeri regrets her choice since Pam is disgusted by her actions and gets thrown in jail.
  • Luke Cage (2016)
    • "Code of the Streets": Cornell "Cottonmouth" Stokes' enforcer Tone, and Shades, have been instructed to track down Chico and recover the money he, Dante and Shameek stole from Cottonmouth and Domingo's guys during an attack on an arms deal. Shameek is captured and beaten to death by Cottonmouth. Cottonmouth tells Tone to go after Chico if he's slipping.
      You'd Expect: Since Tone was present for Shameek's murder, he'd know that Cottonmouth can be unhinged when he's angry. And subsequently, that Tone run a plan by Cottonmouth first before going out to look for Chico.
      Instead: He does run a plan by Cottonmouth, sure. But since Cottonmouth seems non-committal, Tone decides to make an executive decision. Leading to....
      Then: After Turk Barrett tips them off, Tone and Shades see Chico at Pop's Barber Shop. Shades wants to wait, and Tone wants to go in and kill him.
      Now You'd Expect: That Tone listen to Shades, call Cottonmouth, and ask him what he wants to do.
      Alternately: Walk in with a pistol and just shoot Chico in the head.
      Instead: Tone proceeds to light the barbershop up like the Fourth of July with two submachine guns. Luke Cage manages to shield Chico and Lonnie from the bullets, but Pop is killed by a stray round to the neck.
    • Following the shooting, Tone and Shades return to the rooftop of the nightclub to converse with Cottonmouth and Mariah.
      You'd Expect: That Tone calmly explain what happened (he opened fire, Pop was accidentally hit and killed by a stray). Maybe even show remorse for killing Pop or provide some justification for shooting up the place. Or just let Shades do all the talking.
      Instead: He brags about going all Django Candieland shit for real, and callously dismisses Pop's death as "a casualty of war". And he calls Cornell "Cottonmouth" TO HIS FACE, despite having lectured Shameek in the previous episode about how Cornell HATES being called that.
      End Result: By this point, it's not a matter of if it is going to end badly for Tone, but how badly it's going to end for him. Cottonmouth throws him off the roof to his death.
    • "Suckas Need Bodyguards": Misty's partner Rafael Scarfe is secretly in Cottonmouth's pocket and feeding him inside information. When sneaking seized weapons and money out of evidence, he gets the idea to squeeze Cottonmouth for $100,000.
      You'd Expect: Given that Wilson Fisk killed corrupt cops who became problems for him, that Scarfe would consider that being crooked means his badge may not protect him, and thus have some sort of insurance on hand, like mention that Internal Affairs is investigating him and if he turns up dead, they'll find out Cottonmouth was responsible.
      Instead: Scarfe goes to meet with Cottonmouth, and tries to shake him down. Cottonmouth responds by attacking him, manages to wrestle his gun away, and shoots him.
      Now You'd Expect: That upon emptying the gun, Cottonmouth would walk behind the car and finish off Scarfe by bashing his head in/strangling him/something, seeing as those bullets failed to kill him.
      Instead: Cottonmouth gets back in his own car and drives off. Scarfe manages to make it back to Pop's Barber Shop and tell Luke everything he knows before he dies.
    • "Soliloquy of Chaos": Zip has been ordered by Diamondback to assassinate Shades. After Zip and a few of his henchmen get Shades into a freight elevator, Zip carries out his attack....
      You'd Expect:....by just shooting Shades in the head.
      Instead: ...by garroting Shades from behind, while his henchmen just stand there doing nothing...
      End Result: ...and Shades, a former street brawler, manages to fight back, grabs one henchman's gun, and uses it to kill both of Zip's men. He then leads Zip out onto the roof, and pistol-whips him into admitting to Diamondback's complicity. Shades, unimpressed, then shoots Zip in the head.
    • Towards the end of season 1, Candace Miller decides to come clean with Misty Knight and admit to being paid off by Mariah Dillard to lie about Cottonmouth's murder and programs the number of a burner to contact Candace from.
      You'd Expect: That Misty would password protect her phone, in case she loses it. And, in addition to that, use codenames for her informants when putting them in her contact list.
      Instead: Misty doesn't do either of those things. So when her phone is stolen by Shades in the ruckus of the fight between Luke Cage and Diamondback, he has a direct line to Candace and can call her out of hiding to get killed.
    • On the subject of Candace: during Mariah's interrogation in "You Know My Steez", her forensics friend Bailey interrupts, pulls Misty out, and informs her that Candace has been found dead.
      You'd Expect: That Misty would pull Inspector Ridley out, quietly explain the situation to her, and then gone back in and used anything they could to trick Mariah into confessing on tape. Police can lie, they know and are trained in exactly how to lie to elicit a confessionnote .
      Instead: Since Misty gets irrational when she loses control of situations, she just goes in and just announces their witness is dead. And gets rightfully chewed out by Inspector Ridley for her mistake.
    • Diamondback opens fire on Misty Knight when she tries to take him in at Harlem's Paradise for killing a police officer. Luke carries Misty to safety even as Diamondback's men open fire on him.
      You'd Expect: That since there are lots of witnesses who clearly can see people shooting at Luke, not Luke shooting at others, Diamondback take Shades' suggestion and withdraw from the club before the police show up.
      Instead: Diamondback, due to his absurd amount of hatred for Luke Cage, decides to improvise a Hostage Situation.
      End Result: Once the situation is over, the police know Luke isn't the hostage taker since there are lots of contradicting statements from the witnesses. Additionally, Shades and Mariah choose to cut ties with him due to Diamondback's recklessness.
    • Domingo and his men decide to go to Diamondback's warehouse to kill him. After a brief exchange, Domingo and his men pull out their guns...
      You'd Expect: ...and shoot Diamondback on the spot.
      Instead: ...and Domingo monologues, long enough for Diamondback and his men to get the drop on them and open fire.
    • Mariah Dillard is a councilwoman who happens to be cousin to Cottonmouth, a known organized crime figure.
      You'd Expect: Since a nosy reporter in the likes of Karen Page or Thembi Wallace might turn up evidence of her dirtiness, that Mariah would have some sort of PR plan if allegations that she's in bed with her cousin's criminal activities ever come up. Especially considering she regularly hangs out at Cottonmouth's nightclub. And she knows the stuff Cottonmouth does isn't exactly family friendly material. Even something like "That's my cousin. Not me. I do this pretty Harlem stuff."
      Also: Wait until the heat from Luke's attack on Crispus Attucks has died down before doing the TV piece.
      Instead: She doesn't. She effectively is ambushed by the reporter doing the interview, and all Mariah can do is end the interview and kick the reporter and her camera crew out. There are calls then from the public and fellow city councilmen for her resignation, which are only silenced when she kills Cottonmouth and pins his death on Luke.
    • In the second season finale, Mariah finds herself in prison and is set upon by two other inmates who prepare to kill her, but are taken out first by Sunflower, who is the leader of the prison's black clique, and a childhood rival of Mariah. After making it clear that she wants Mariah's servitude in exchange for having just saved her life, Mariah asks for Sunflower's shiv so that she can carve her initials into the corpse of one of the women who just tried to kill her.
      You'd Expect: Sunflower to point out that this would be an extremely stupid thing for Mariah to do, as it would instantly get her fingered for a murder she didn't even commit, and end any remote chance of her escaping conviction for the multitude of murders she actually has been responsible for some way.
      Instead: She happily hands over her shiv, and is rewarded with a slit throat for her trouble.
  • Iron Fist (2017)
    • "Snow Gives Way": Danny Rand has made his way back to New York City after 15 years in K'un L'un. He decides to go seek out Rand Enterprises to reintroduce himself to the Meachums.
      You'd Expect: That Danny would stop at a local shelter to get himself cleaned up and presentable with some donated clothing beforehand.
      Instead: He doesn't. As a result, Ward and Joy rebuff him because even though he's saying things they ought to remember (like Ward's bullying), he comes off as an insane homeless acrobat, called "Cirque de Psychopath", and they're not willing to believe him.
    • The Meachums have a bit of this too in reference to the above:
      You'd Expect: That Joy or Ward would ask a few questions only Danny could answer.
      Instead: Due to Ward's stubbornness and Joy's paranoia, on top of Danny's appearance, neither of them do. It isn't until the third episode that this is done by Jeri Hogarth, and using this trick, it literally only takes her about a minute to believe him.
  • The Defenders (2017):
    • "Mean Right Hook": Danny and Colleen are in a warehouse where they've found the bodies of recently killed Chaste soldiers. A group of cleaners including Cole enter the building carrying acid and a spray hose to dissolve the bodies. Danny and Colleen reveal themselves and engage the cleaners.
      You'd Expect: That the cleaners would try spraying them with acid.
      Instead: They put their acid cans down and instead fight Danny and Colleen with their fists.
    • "Royal Dragon": After fleeing Midland Circle and hiding in a Chinese restaurant trying to keep their presence a secret, Matt, Jessica, Luke and Danny are found by an injured Stick who explains that he found them because Danny tried to call Colleen. Stick smashes Danny's phone and reminds him that the Hand can trace their calls.
      You'd Expect: That they relocate to another safe place, probably somewhere like the Bulletin or Matt's apartment, before the Hand can get to the Royal Dragon.
      Instead: They stay put, and the Hand are able to follow them there.
      • Also from this episode: Matt has just recognized Elektra is still alive and has been brainwashed into being the Hand's top assassin.
        You'd Expect: That Matt, remembering how he burned his bridges with Karen and Foggy as a result of keeping them in the dark about what he was doing with Elektra during Daredevil season 2, as well as the closure of Nelson & Murdock, would immediately come clean with the other Defenders about who Elektra is and his attachment to her.
        Instead: He and Stick make it their little secret, meaning that when Elektra shows up for the fight at the Royal Dragon, the other Defenders are quite baffled when Matt splits off from them to fight her one-on-one. And things don't go over well when Matt is eventually forced to come clean about his ties to Elektra when interrogating Sowande.
    • "Ashes to Ashes": Stick, Matt, Luke, and Jessica decide that if Danny were out with them he would be easier to kidnap, so they need to hide him away.
      You'd Expect: That they listen to Danny's side, that hiding him away isn't a smart move, and let him have a say in the decisionmaking.
      You'd Also Expect: That Danny would keep his emotions in check so that the others might be more willing to listen to him.
      And You'd Also Expect: That since the four know the Hand had a habit of popping up when least expected, that Elektra could very likely find them and try to capture Danny.
      Instead: Between being shut out of the discussion, and not keeping his anger reined in, Danny lashes out at the group, forcing Matt, Luke and Jessica to tie him up.
      End Result: Elektra is able to capture Danny without him being able to defend himself, and she also ends up killing Stick and knocking out Matt, Luke and Jessica in quick succession.
      Even Moreso: Even if Danny had just cooperated and stayed behind willingly, it's unlikely that he could have stopped Elektra from capturing him if he fought her alone.
    • "Fish in the Jailhouse": Once Danny's kidnapped and taken beneath Midland Circle, Elektra outright tells him that the Iron Fist is needed to open the barrier.
      You'd Expect: That Danny realize that the one thing he shouldn't do during the subsequent fight with Elektra is summon the Iron Fist.
      Instead: He does. This leads to Elektra bullfighting him into punching the barrier with the Iron Fist. Granted, he spends most of the fight using his regular martial arts, and only activates the Iron Fist when Elektra pushes him to do it by taunting him.
  • The Punisher (2017):
    • "Cold Steel": After most of Dinah and Sam's backup have just been taken out by Billy Russo's men, Sam Stein manages to corner Russo at gunpoint.
      You'd Expect: That Sam wait for backup to arrive before trying to approach Russo. Given that Russo had just shot another SWAT officer literally seconds before Sam drew on him, doing so would guarantee that Russo wouldn't be able to make a sudden move on him.
      Instead: Being overly arrogant and emotions running high, Sam walks up to Russo and gets close enough to rip off Russo's ski mask. Which gives Russo the opening to pull out a retractable knife and stab Sam to death.
    • "Front Toward Enemy": Lewis, having set off bombs in Manhattan, chooses to address a manifesto to Karen Page, as she's previously been an advocate for Frank Castle.
      You'd Expect: As Lewis is clearly unhinged, has just blown up an office building, and he literally threatened the Bulletin, that Karen get police protection. Especially since this isn't a resourceful person like Wilson Fisk or the Hand targeting her, but a single individual acting alone; and also since Matt is not around and there's no guarantee Frank could help either.
      Instead: She comes out calling him a coward on the radio.
      End Result: Lewis responds by targeting Karen and Senator Ori personally at the hotel, while Karen's working relationship with Ellison gets put on thin ice after he learns she was secretly aware Frank has been faking his death this whole time.
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