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What An Idiot / Mass Effect

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  • Mass Effect
    • Kaira Sterling is a security officer at Port Hanshan on Noveria. When a firefight breaks out in the Synthetic Insights headquarters, Kaira responds with a squad of about half a dozen. Unbeknownst to her, the Corrupt Corporate Executive in charge of Port Hanshan had shut the company down because the manager had evidence that he was corrupt, even by Port Hanshan's standards. She gets there to find the dozen or so bodies of the team of cops he'd sent to toss the place looking for it, and Commander Shepard's squad coming out of the manager's office.
      You'd Think: Kaira would take a moment to think back on her previous encounter with Shepard, wherein she learned s/he was a confirmed Spectre. Not only does this give Shepard full legal immunity, but it also means that s/he is ranked among the galaxy's most elite tier of badasses and outclasses Kaira in every way that counts, and that the two people flanking Shepard are equally dangerous in their own right. If that weren't enough, there is now a room full of dead bodies as testament to that fact, which Kaira had to walk through to get where she meets Shepard. With that in mind, she would put aside the hostility she's had against Shepard since they landed and just walk away.
      Instead: She refuses to listen to Shepard, attempts a Pre-Asskicking One-Liner, and powers up her biotics. By which point Shepard and squad have already swatted her down with their biotics, disabled her squad's weapons and defenses, and finished them all off with a hail of gunfire.
  • Mass Effect 2:
    • The Blue Suns manage to capture Sidonis, one of Archangel's trusted lieutenants. They threaten him with death, and he finally cracks.
      You'd Think: The Blue Suns learn everything they can about Sidonis' squadmates from him and then pick them out one by one.
      Or: Organize an ambush at Archangel's hideout and kill them all together.
      Instead: They lure Archangel (and him alone) out of hideout and then attack it.
      Then: Archangel assembled his entire team (sans Sidonis) in the hideout, presumable to prepare for a new operation. Sidonis calls Archangel and tells him about a Blood Pack gun running operation.
      You'd Think: Archangel would take his entire team with him, now that everyone's together and ready.
      Instead: Archangel goes alone. Upon finding nobody at the place he was directed to, he doesn't even try to contact either Sidonis or his team, he simply goes back to the hideout.
      Meanwhile: The Blue Suns know exactly where Archangel is going to go.
      You'd Think: They'd ambush and kill him at that place.
      Instead: They attack Archangel's well-fortified base and lose an entire squad here, but manage to eliminate Archangel's group as well.
      However: They could think that Archangel wasn't Too Dumb to Live and would take his entire team with him, so that's why they decided to target his base of operations instead.
      Then: Radio silence doesn't raise any suspicion in Archangel until he reaches the base and hears explosions and gunshots. He kills the remaining mercs and sees that eight of his comrades are already dead, and two more will die very soon.
      You'd Think: He would quickly retreat the way he (secretly?) came in, empty all his bank accounts and hide away, presumably somewhere out of Omega.
      Instead: Archangel collapses the underground entrances and prepares to defend his hideout from the mercs until he drops.
      Finally: Blue Suns, Blood Pack and Eclipse know for sure that Archangel is cornered, and the only remaining exit is through the bridge.
      You'd Think: They'd just set up a round-the-clock surveillance of the building and wait until Archangel falls asleep. Even the most badass turians need sleep sometimes.
      Instead: They assault the hideout, losing a lot of manpower and mechs. They finally do come up with a plan that should've succeeded, but Shepard arrives and thwarts it.

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    • Warden Kuril, the head honcho of the Purgatory prison ship, welcomes Shepard and two other armed companions (who are any of the following ) on board with aims to kidnap them and sell them off to slavers.
      You'd Expect: that Kuril would require Shepard and his/her companions to disarm, in accordance with standard security procedures for guests aboard prison ships, and to refuse them entry if they do not comply. Or, failing that, that Kuril would scrap the whole "kidnap and sell" plan if unable to force Shepard and company to disarm.
      Instead: Although Kuril does make an attempt at requiring the party to disarm, when Shepard refuses to do so, he lets them proceed fully armed (including, possibly, with TACTICAL NUCLEAR WEAPONS) and then attempts to capture them near a security checkpoint. This works about as well as you'd expect.
      Also: He tells Shep and the party what he's up to seconds before they step into a room that would incapacitate all of them. If he had waited another 30 seconds, he would've had all of them safely captured.

  • Mass Effect 3 gets a bunch of them.
    • Kai Leng's special ability seems to be channeling Idiot Balls, since everyone who goes near him starts acting in ways that often seem stupid:
    • Overview: Shepard and his squad are en route via aircar to intercept Cerberus as they move towards the Council members, when Kai Leng suddenly jumps on the roof of their car.
      You'd Expect: Shepard to start swerving the car to attempt to send Kai Leng flying, or make him smack into one of the many underpasses that the car is flying past, and at least heavily weaken his Deflector Shields as he uses them to hang onto the vehicle.
      Instead: Shepard opens the door and starts shooting with a Predator pistol, Kai Leng then sabotages their car and causes them to crash, allowing Cerberus to get a head start on the race to the Council.
    • An in-universe example pops up with the Geth Consensus when they are attacked by the quarian Migrant Fleet.
      Overview: The Geth Consensus is attacked by the Migrant Fleet, which destroys the Dyson Sphere they were building around Rannoch, and their territory is being overrun quickly. The destruction of the Dyson Sphere deletes the majority of the geth "species" and thus reduces their collective cognitive ability.
      You'd Expect: The geth to call for assistance from Shepard to prevent the quarians from overunning them.
      Instead: Following their emergency survival protocols, the geth seek out immediate assistance from the Reapers, who give them upgrades to their coding to render them immune to the quarians' weapons, at the expense of being enslaved or exterminated by the Reapers once their usefulness runs out. If Shepard points out that the geth made a rather poor long-term decision, Legion agrees with that assessment.
    • The quarian Migrant Fleet, in turn, makes its own equally stupid but justified in-universe decision in attacking the geth.
      You'd Expect: The quarians, aware of the Reaper threat, to direct their military buildup to counter the Reapers, instead of launching into a destructive and costly war with the geth.
      Instead: The quarians, sensing a chance to completely destroy their old enemy and recover their homeworld, launch an attack with the new weapons that render the geth helpless. While initially successful, the quarians damage the geth's overall cognitive ability, and the greatly reduced Geth Consensus turns to the Reapers for immediate help. The upgraded geth trap the Migrant Fleet inside the Rannoch mass relay so they can't escape, and even if Shepard brokers a peace between them, the damage both sides suffered in the war reduces their ability to fight the Reapers.
    • The Citadel DLC: A villainous impostor pretending to be Shepard has just seized control of the Normandy with a squad of mercenaries.
      You'd Expect: They would kill all witnesses, ensuring that nobody could report the people inexplicably wearing CAT-6 armour accompanying Shepard, thereby easing the identity theft.
      Instead: The villain just fires Traynor and kicks her off the ship, allowing Traynor to aid the real Shepard in regaining access to the Normandy before it can leave.
      • This one is probably intentional; the villain's whole plan is noted by the heroes to be incredibly stupid and they are portrayed as completely insane.
    • Early on in the game Shepard has captured a disabled Cerberus infiltration unit and has it in storage.
      You'd Think: Knowing that Cerberus has been messing around with Reaper tech, is completely ruthless, and were the ones who built EDI in the first place, Shepard to order it dumped the moment they've gotten all useful info from it, or at least that it should be kept completely isolated from the ship and under guard and EDI would not do anything to mess with it.
      Instead: EDI decides to try to take control of the unit, resulting in the ship malfunctioning, EDI herself temporarily going offline, and Liara forced to leave Shepard's team to try to help. While they're in the middle of a warzone. It's really just good luck that nothing else happened and EDI was able to make use of the unit.

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