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What An Idiot / My Brave Pony: Starfleet Magic

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Like the show it's based on, My Brave Pony: Starfleet Magic and its original version have several moments that could have been avoided with a bit more thought. Unlike FiM however, these moments transcend simply being a silly pony and outright disallow common sense, making us wonder if belief really does make you stupid.

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  • The villains all want to collect energy, destroy Starfleet and/or conquer the Dimensional Universe.
    You'd Expect: Them to summon/create as many monsters as possible to counter Starfleet's soldiers. Even if the bad guys're using the monsters to primarily gather energy, more monsters means more energy acquired faster with them giving members of Starfleet a harder time as a bonus.
    Instead: They summon/create only one monster at a time for no reason.
    You'd Then Expect: The bad guys to attack Starfleet while they're transforming or scanning them.
    Instead: They wait for the heroes to finish either.
  • A lot of the time, fights are instigated by the villains, with Starfleet having no idea what's going on until then.
    You'd Expect: The villains to use the element of surprise to their advantage and catch the heroes unaware.
    Instead: They announce their presence and enact whatever evil plan they currently have in front of the heroes, giving them ample opportunity to prepare.
    Furthermore: The villains generally have a habit of explaining to the heroes exactly what they're doing, making it that much easier to stop them.
  • At the end of season 1, it's revealed that Celestia and Celesto can combine to become the Grand Celestial Ruler, a being of immense power that can restore planets and change ponies to be more humanoid, essentially capable of possibly doing anything.
    You'd Expect: For them to use this form to destroy any and all enemies as soon as they show up and restore pretty much whatever life they want (including Twilight Sparkle).
    Instead: The fusion only occurs in the season finales.

    Season I 
  • In "Evil's Return: Part 2", Lightning comes across Violet Swamp and has to make it across.
    You'd Expect: Lightning to make it out, no problem. Sure, he doesn't have magic, but he was specifically trained by the Grand Ruler himself and should be able to easily traverse this swamp.
    Instead: He cowers in fear until Starfleet manages to find him.
    Better Yet, You'd Expect: That if Violet Swamp is so treacherous, Lightning (and by that logic, the rest of Starfleet) would just fly over the swamp. They're all alicorns with functioning wings, and it'd save them a lot of time. In fact, they do just that in "The Great Army Showdown: Part 1".
    Instead: They all go through the swamp by foot.
    Even Worse: Having learned nothing, Lightning once again cowers in front of Titan who, just to recap, kidnapped Krysta in front of him. This is a guy who's been implied to have had Training from Hell for a good part of his life, and his best and only friend for a time was taken from him by this one guy. In fact, she's the reason Lightning is going to Blacktop Mountain to begin with. And yet he still cowers twice in his adventure, and only mans up when Titan captures Starfleet and begins draining more of their magic. Titan must have been onto something when he said "I don’t know why the Grand Ruler chose you of all creatures to be his student, but I’d say he made a poor choice.”
    • In the same chapter as the above, when approaching the top of Blacktop Mountain, Lightning and his teammates come across a door that mysteriously swings open.
      You'd Expect: Them to find another way into the shrine or at least try to enter as quietly as possible.
      Instead: They go in through that way and announce their presence.
  • In the episode "Rollin' Rocks", Lightning tuckers himself out delivering supplies around town, and only then realizes that it's a mandatory fitness day.
    You'd Expect: Since he's already exhausted as it is, Lightning would try and get himself excused for the sake of his health; given what he's been doing and the fact that he's Grand Ruler's student, it shouldn't be too hard.
    Instead: He participates without saying anything. As a result, he collapses from exhaustion and ends up in a hospital bed.
  • "It's Raining, Evil's Pouring/Wetter Works": Another member of the trio, Mysterious, creates a water monster called Vapourizer to take on the heroes. However, as it's made of water, it is susceptible to extreme cold, and the waterworks where the fight takes place does in fact have temperature controls. In addition to that, Mysterious, being a Living Shadow, is susceptible to the light.
    You'd Expect: For Mysterious to bust all the lights in the building and either keep watch over or sabotage the temperature controls as he'd have the advantage now that the group can barely see their surroundings, especially with the fog Vapourizer emits.
    Instead: He does none of the above and simply joins in the fight, allowing Lightning to turn on the lights and weaken him, making him tell everyone his weakness, and the temperature controls are reached by Brain of all ponies.
  • Titan isn't immune to this, either: in "A Friend in Need/Double Trouble", he chooses to get rid of Lightning, but needs a hostage to bring him to submission and finds Krysta to be a perfect candidate.
    You'd Expect: That Titan would simply capture Krysta while no one is looking and have Lightning (and possibly the others, for extra convenience) meet him in the caverns where they'll be.
    Instead: He decides to simply lure Krysta away from the group, with his own voice, which would have failed horribly if not for the below.
    • On her end, Krysta is sad about being the only known fairy (which we find out to not be the case, later on), to which Titan chooses to bait her to him by promising information on her origin.
      You'd Expect: Krysta to recognize Titan's voice (since, you know, he captured her five chapters ago), and to attempt to flee.
      Instead: She follows the obvious villain voice into a cave where she's captured and used as a hostage against Lightning Dawn. It's only thanks to Dyno and Mite that they make it out of this one.
  • Mysterious does it again in "Sweet Nightmares/Nighty Nightmares" when he conjures up a fire monster responsible for inducing nightmares in ponies.
    You'd Expect: That he'd wait until everyone was asleep to work his plan.
    Instead: He only waits until the normal curfew; as a result, certain ponies like the Grand Ruler and Artie aren't affected.
    You'd Then Expect: For him to either summon him away from any water source (since you know, it's made of fire) or try and divert any water from reaching Yellow Hills where they're stationed.
    Instead: Like his last appearance, he does not think of doing this, and when the ponies confront their fears, they manage to use a nearby fire hydrant to douse the flames.
  • In "Up, Up and In a Balloon", Rep-Stallion goes to fight without Titan's permission and, even though his monster is unsuccessful, Lightning used up his energy summoning the Uniforce.
    You'd Expect: Titan to let Rep-Stallion finish him off before punishing him. Without Lightning, everything falls apart which, as stated above, is something he himself admitted back in "Double Trouble". Better yet, he could just swoop in and Kill Steal right then and there.
    Instead: He thinks it better to leave Lightning alive and allows him to fight another day. It's never explained why he needs him alive, or what benefits he could gain from having him alive, aside from draining his magic which he could do with just about any of the other Uniforce-wielding ponies anyway, such as their prison warden Cerise (who hasn't been introduced yet, but still) or the Grand Ruler himself.
    Result: Literally two chapters later, Titan is defeated. Not for good, but he still gets blown to smithereens.
  • In "Realization: Part 1", Titan learns that Celesto will be leaving his castle to attend a party.
    You'd Expect: Titan to attack Grand Ruler while he's either en route to the party or travelling back to his home after the party's over so that there'll be as few adversaries as possible to deal with.
    Instead: He and his minions confront Celesto at the party which is being attended by the warriors who keep defeating his monsters and aforementioned minions.
    The Result: Titan gets killed (if only temporarily).
  • In "Dangerous Discoveries", Grand Ruler reveals that he created four/five objects called the Rainbow/Star Stones long ago and realized what damage they could do if used for evil.
    You'd Expect: That he would've kept them nearby so he could watch over and protect them easily or even had them integrated into his forces' arsenal.
    Instead: He sent them away to unknown places. Supposedly, it prevents villains from getting their hands on the stones or even from guessing of their existence but instead it leaves them open for the dark forces to grab at will.
    Result: Due to Grand Ruler's negligence, they're all missing when he needs them, and he has to track them down all over again. To make it even worse, Titan managed to claim half a stone while another ended up in the hands of Serpent-Tyrant/Serpentari.
  • In "Face to Space", Brain creates a spray paint that turns whatever it's used on invisible (it was intended to strengthen Starfleet's armor, but no one's perfect). Dementia, naturally, shows up to rob Brain for it and use it on a monster which she then looses on Lightning, Dyno, and Myte.
    You'd Expect: Since Brain just demonstrated the paint for them and they're now fighting an invisible monster at Brain's house, someone would realize that Brain's paint is at work here. Since it washes off in water, they'd try to apply water to the monster and make it visible.
    Instead: They fail to make the obvious connection and get their butts handed to them until Krysta frees Brain, who then spells it out.
    • Then, when Brain enters the picture, he devises a plan to deal with the monster.
      You'd Expect: Him to have a way of washing the paint off the monster, or at least cover it in something to make it visible.
      Instead: He uses the paint to make everyone invisible. Including Dyno and Myte, who need to be able to know where each other are in order to use their attacks. And only then do Lightning and company realize that they can hear the monster's footsteps. Not to mention that he apparently needed to remind Krysta that her fairy dust can be used to reveal the monster.
    • Fortunately, the idiocy is greatly toned down in the rewritten chapter "To See or Not to See". Lightning and company realize quickly that they can track the monster by sound, but this time it can fly, so that doesn't work for long, and they have nothing that can be used to reveal it. When Brain shows up, he simply goes for the more sensible strategy of splattering the monster with ordinary paint. Still that issue of no one thinking of using water, though.
  • In "The Fallen World of Elfaron", Buddy and Artie are sent to a doomed world to retrieve one of the Rainbow/Star Stones, and are outfitted with a return spell so they can come back once the duty is done. After finding the Stone and a little girl named Ilia, they're soon attacked by Arc Villain Serpent-Terror/Serpentari, the one responsible for the planet's current state.
    You'd Expect: Buddy and Artie to take the Stone and Ilia, tap their insignia 3 times in a row like instructed, and get back to Unicornicopia to get the rest of Starfleet to help them out.
    Instead: They stay and fight, with Serpent-Terror/Serpentari's minions nearly killing Artie in the process. They still manage to win, but this whole fight could have been easily avoided.
    Furthermore: This willingness to stay and fight such a powerful opponent is contradicted in Season 3 when they don't go after Raven.
  • "Fight in the Dimesnion[sic] of Darkness PT 1/The Great Army Showdown: Part 1" has Penny sedate Lightning as a way of helping him recover from his lack of sleep. Krysta knows about this. However, Titan's minions call for Starfleet to meet them for a big battle.
    You'd Expect: Either Lightning or Krysta to tell their teammates about it before they jumped into the next fight.
    Instead: They never do anything of the sort. Apparently, they forgot that sedating someone makes them drowsy, and Lightning falls into a temporary coma, leading to the moment below.
    • In Part 2, the bad guys get some upgrades which allow them to get an upper hand on the heroes. The heroes retreat into the ruins of Titan's old fortress to regroup and try to wake up Lightning from his coma.
      You'd Expect: The villains to pursue them; the heroes are trapped, their leader is unconscious, and the bad guys have the upper hand in power.
      Instead: The bad guys wait patiently outside because the castle is the only keepsake they have of the currently dead Titan. This gives the heroes enough time to regroup, sneak out of the castle, and drive the bad guys away.
      Double Subverted in the Rewrite: They do go inside and corner the heroes, but the crystal that powers their knight forms is still below the castle. They manage to get the crystal, and are about to finish the job when Lightning pulls a "Take Me Instead" as a ploy to trick them into letting their guards down.
      You'd Expect: The trio to know something is up; it's unlike the hero to just suddenly give himself up in the middle of a battle.
      Instead: They take the bait, hook, line and sinker. As a result, their knight forms are eventually destroyed and the heroes escape, leaving the villains' fates unknown for two more chapters.
  • In "Histories Untold", during Grand Ruler Celesto's backstory, he enters a tournament to become Celestia's right-wing captain. Also competing is foalhood bully Dusk Shine, who only wants the position to boost his popularity.
    You'd Expect: Dusk Shine, due to being in front of so many ponies across Equestria, to act as polite as possible to those surrounding him and mask his ulterior motives.
    Instead: He continues to insult Celesto, even in front of Celestia, and when he's caught as a cheater, he not only doesn't hide it, but outright admits that he had to to prevent Celesto from being accepted. Once again, to Celestia's face.
    The Result: He gets stripped of his knighthood, thrown in the dungeon for the evening, and Celesto becomes captain.
  • "A Visit to Equestria" involves Rhymey going to Equestria to retrieve another Star Stone, which is somehow in the possession of Fluttershy.
    You'd Expect: Rhymey to leave with the Star Stone the very next morning and come back later to see Fluttershy. Celesto, in spite of his infamous later reputation, has been shown to be at least understanding of his own Unicornicopian subjects and supporters, and would happily let him go back.
    Instead: He stays in Equestria for Majesty knows what reason, leading to the next moment.
  • "Two-Way Invasion": Since Equestria was the location of a Star Stone earlier, it's prone to invasions from other worlds. In addition, the planet's been suffering some pretty nasty earthquakes as of late, and fairly frequently too, implying it's not natural. And according to backstory, Celesto still has memories of Equestria, especially Celestia.
    You'd Expect: For Celesto to take this time to reveal himself to Equestria, reunite with Celestia, and lend his services, possibly his armies and even some members of Starfleet, to assist them should a new threat arise.
    Instead: He, of course, does not.
    Result: Nightmare Moon enslaves Equestria, and he fails to realize this until the fairies are notified about it first.
    • In the same chapter, Nightmare somehow manages to destroy Twilight Sparkle's wings and revert her to a unicorn.
      You'd Expect: Nightmare to get rid of everypony else's wings, pegasi and princesses alike, maybe even take the horns off of the unicorns as well, go full-on Discord over here since she can apparently do that.
      Instead: She never does this with anypony else, only this oddly specific pony who just recently got her wings.
      Later, You'd Expect: For Celestia to restore Twilight's wings at the first opportunity she can.
      Instead: Nobody even mentions the wings again, except to explain, near the end of the season, that Twilight has to "earn them again". She does, offscreen.
  • In "Decisive Actions", it turns out Serpentari, who is attacking the heroes, has the last Star Stone on her forehead, which she uses to control her powers and heal herself should she ever take damage.
    You'd Expect: Since the Star Stones can apparently join together and power up the heroes, that Celesto would hurry on over with the Star Stones and give the group their much-needed power boost.
    Instead: He decides to be fashionably late. Another second too late and Lightning and Starla would have been melted cheese.
    • In the same chapter as the above, Krysta arrives in Equestria with several other fairies and frees Celestia, Luna, and Twilight, giving them a way to Unicornicopia. They then go to the other Mane 5 and Spike to tell them they're okay.
      You'd Expect: For the fairies to also bring them along with them, maybe even bring their family and friends under Nightmare Moon's nose, not just for emotional relief but also to gain more allies to fight the threat.
      Instead: They leave them in the cell to save later on and trust that nothing bad will happen to them.
  • Later in "Reunions and Unions", they explain that Equestria is going to crumble into nothing from all the tremors, and come up with a plan to evacuate everyone on the planet.
    You'd Expect: Them to use the same method they used before to save the princesses to evacuate anyone they can while holding off Nightmare Moon so it can happen.
    Instead: They propose actually taking out Nightmare Moon, a process that could potentially be even more time-consuming than the above.
    Even If It Had To Happen: They propose getting the Elements of Harmony (remember season 4 onward is apparently non-canon in this universe) and combining them with the Star Stones to easily beat NMM back. They do this by sneaking in and retrieving them which, again, could have been done to save at least some of the Equestrians earlier.
    Also, You'd Expect: Them to at least give it a shot right away.
    Instead: They turn in for the night, wherein the situation could potentially get much worse.
  • In the season 1 finale, "What Believing Means", Titan has returned, destroyed the Elements of Harmony and the Star Stones, and eaten Celesto and Celestia to become even more powerful. Now he's far more of a match for the heroes than ever before.
    You'd Expect: For him to keep this victory going by simply, y'know, killing everyone right away with his full power.
    Instead: He gloats and only bothers attacking Lightning with non-fatal blows, and by the time he does decide to finish him off, Krysta appears and manages to stun him with his own attack, letting everyone on Equestria escape and allowing the heroes to go inside of Titan to find their respective rulers.
    You'd Then Expect: For Titan to either blast them with the Uniforce (which he not only has access to due to eating Celesto, but also a stronger version of it due to having Celestia), or conjure up new minions like the Terrible Trio he had before to try and stop them. He may be stunned, but he's still got magic inside of him, and since the heroes are literally inside the now-giant sorcerer, who can now use pretty much limitless magic, he can probably just wipe them all out in the blink of an eye, or better yet assimilate them so that he has even more abilities at his disposal; more Uniforce power from Lightning, Twilight's magical expertise, Luna's night powers, you name it.
    Instead: He does nothing but gloat about how their efforts are pointless, even as Lightning and Twilight make it to their mentors.
    Result: The rulers are freed and become the Grand Celestial Ruler, the heroes harness the power of believing, and a giant belief beam blasts the Big Bad into the sun. Thus, he has failed a second time to conquer Dimensional Space. Once again, not for good, but still.

    Season II 
  • In "Squabbling Siblings", as Rainbow Dash convinces Skye that her brother Ace Ray still loves her in spite of his hatred for Starfleet, a changeling lurks in the distance and wishes to feed off of Skye's love for her brother.
    You'd Expect: That the changeling would sneak around, find Ace Ray, take on his appearance without being seen by Starfleet, and try and get Skye's love that way.
    Instead: He trots up and tries to get love from her, in front of Rainbow Dash who, despite her Flanderization, is still as Hot-Blooded as ever.
    Result: The changeling fights Rainbow Dash, Skye calls for help, Ace Ray tries but fails to save the day, Lightning and Starla show up and stop the changeling, and Lightning hits him with his new Shrink Ray.
  • After the events of "To Teach the Teacher", Starfleet now knows of the changelings' new tactic, which is to possess other ponies and drain the love they have, causing them to act Out of Character in the process, of which Cheerilee was the first victim. Thankfully, Twilight has a spell which expels the changelings from the ponies' subconscious.
    You'd Expect: That the public would be notified immediately; even if a public outbreak was a significant risk, Twilight could easily quell that by telling them of their cure. As such, the ponies will know to be aware of signs of possession and contact Starfleet or the Elements of Harmony, the changelings' plans will be foiled and season 2 could possibly come to an early close thanks to their efforts.
    Instead: They don't and risk even more changeling possessions in the future.
    You'd Then Expect: That Chrysalis and Captain Fratello would capitalize on the above stupidity and send multiple changelings to possess anyone they can, try to make the ponies they're possessing act as in character as possible, all while draining enough love to feed about a dozen hives.
    Instead: They keep on possessing a single pony at a time and acting as evil as possible, which results in them always getting foiled and turned into Super Smash Bros. trophies.
  • In the Filler episode "A-B-C... DD", we see Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon throwing paper balls at the new student, Daphne Dil (the titular DD), while Cheerilee's back is turned, which the Cutie Mark Crusaders bear witness to.
    You'd Expect: For them to get Cheerilee's attention and tell on the girls.
    Instead: They prepare to do the same thing to Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon, which gets them busted instead.
    • Later, DD manages to actually make a name for herself during the class project by questioning the very concept of cutie marks, which Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon are clearly not happy about.
      You'd Expect: For them to just quietly walk away in annoyance. Or, if they must, get DD back when Cheerilee's not looking.
      Instead: They attempt to throw more paper balls at her, which stick to their hands and get accidentally thrown at Cheerilee. No points for guessing what happens to them next.
  • In "Operation Emergency", Fluttershy is carted off to Dr. Penny Sillion's ER at night with acute appendicitis (don't ask).
    You'd expect: Penny would prepare to operate right away to minimize the risk to the patient's life.
    Instead: She decides to put the operation off until next morning, at which point the situation could potentially become much worse. Seems they never learned from Nightmare Moon above, did they?
    Furthermore: When she does decide to operate immediately while being possessed by a changeling, it is seen as unusual by the other staff, implying that this isn't the first time she's put off an operation like this.
    • Following up on that, Starfleet takes note of Dr. Penny acting strangely, but haven't confirmed that she's been possessed.
      You'd Expect: They'd put a different surgeon in charge of the operation, thus getting the operation over with while playing it safe. This would also give them a chance to confront Dr. Penny and confirm whether she's possessed.
      Instead: They replace Fluttershy with a magical imitation, which would be more troublesome in the long run as it's not any more effective at spotting a potential Changeling and would risk Flutttershy's condition getting worse (not to mention that they still have to get the operation done later). It's like they're trying to get her killed at this point.
    • Following up from that, the operation itself has the possessed Penny trying to cut into parts that she's not supposed to.
      You'd expect: Another member of the staff (or, better yet, one of the half-dozen Starfleet members overseeing the operation) would step in before any serious harm occurs.
      Instead: They're hesitant to do anything until after everything's gone horribly wrong. Thankfully, the Fluttershy the changeling was operating on was the aforementioned imitation, but still; that's pretty dang reckless.
  • "Metallic Menace" involves a robot sent by the changeling captain attacking a dam.
    You'd expect: Somepony to realize almost immediately that it is a robot or at least not a living creature. The characters know of the existence of robots, the characters can see that it's made of metal and Starfleet's visors show its life readings are "off".
    Instead: Nopony does and is reluctant to destroy it (well, Twilight is) until its wiring is exposed.
    • During the above fight, nothing the fighters do seems to even remotely succeed in destroying the robot from the outside. Pinkie Pie is present and disobeys orders to stay put.
      You'd Expect: For her to be creative and try and distract the robot or use her Party Cannon as per her usual Pinkie Pie flare, thus proving that sometimes going against the grain can be a good thing from time to time.
      Instead: As per usual with Equestrian ponies in MLU, she tries to attack it head-on. Twice. She's lucky she survived, but Starfleet continues the old adage of "follow orders no matter what" that we'll see later in the fic.
  • The episode "Trial of Misjudgment" is just a massive cavalcade of idiocy. The premise is that Starla exchanged a secret with Lightning and later saw him talking about something she thought was said secret.
    You'd Expect: That Starla would confront him and hear him out.
    Instead: She sadly leaves and doesn't say anything, and brushes Lightning off when he wonders what's wrong, causing a near-breakup.
    • Later on, Chrysalis sees the tension between them and decides to take advantage of this.
      You'd Expect: Given the current future of their relationship, she would have a changeling possess either one of the two; even though Starfleet officers are trained to resist such tricks, the couple's current mental state should be susceptible to outside influences, and they must still have some sort of affection for each other. Lightning would be the best candidate, as he's A) the strongest pony of the bunch barring Celesto and Celestia, B) has access to the Uniforce, and C) is, at this point at least, the only one of the two actually trying to amend their relationship.
      Instead: She has a changeling possess Cup Cake, who is freed incredibly easily by Twilight.
      You'd Then Expect: That the group would immediately capture the changeling.
      Instead: Starla insists on fighting alone and the others don't do anything to fix that, and then she gets her flank kicked, resulting in Lightning and Starla continuing to squabble on the job, causing Dyno and Mite to become injured and the changeling to get away.
    • The changeling and Chrysalis are both notified by the captain of separate things: the former is notified of a chance to fight the enemy with his queen, while the latter is told the changeling has captured some of their forces.
      You'd Expect: Them to not fall for such a ploy and find something up with all this news; Chrysalis is still regaining energy, and the changelings thus far were nowhere near that successful. The changeling even finds something up with the former.
      Instead: They don't see anything wrong with it and meet up in United Equestria where they're cornered by Starfleet.
    • Finally, on Starfleet's end again, they confront the two in question.
      You'd Expect: For Starfleet to finally apprehend the changeling, as well as Chrysalis for a massive blow to the enemy forces.
      Instead: Starla and Lightning fight the changeling and Chrysalis by their respective selves, leading to Dyno and Mite to sustain even more injuries trying to save them until they finally get their acts together and capture the damn changeling, though Chrysalis manages to escape.
    • The Collective Result: Twilight, Dyno, Mite, Celestia, and Celesto are pissed at the two, Chrysalis is still at large, and the episode begins as a Courtroom Episode.
  • At the very beginning of the "Goddess of Gold" two-parter, Artie finishes painting Rarity in her latest dress.
    You'd Expect: For Rarity to literally do anything but what she ends up doing.
    Which Is: Hugging the painting as it was still wet.
    • After her designs are insulted by some snobby ponies, Rarity is informed that Zecora might know of a treasure that not even Celesto is in possession of. At this, Rarity leaves for her hut at once with Lightning following after her.
      You'd Expect: For Twilight to come along with, or better yet hold her in place with her magic.
      Instead: She simply facepalms and presumes the worst.
    • When Rarity gets there, Zecora conjures up a spirit that knows where it lies, but it warns Rarity that others have sought this treasure and paid the ultimate price.
      You'd Expect: Rarity to just say "buck it" and walk away.
      Instead: She still seeks the treasure anyway.
      Result: Anyone who's heard of King Midas knows where this is going.
    • In part 2, Spike goes to find Rarity, whose golden touch (Platinum in the original, and even some parts of the rewrite) has led her to leave the town and die alone, and tries to comfort her.
      You'd Expect: For him to stay put and try and reason with Rarity with words, or at least touch any part but her hands, which are the only things turning everything into gold.
      Instead: He runs up and touches her hands, causing him to be turned to gold. Thankfully, the curse is lifted and he's returned to normal, but Celestia dammit Spike...

    Starfleet Magic: The Movie 

    Starfleet Humans 
  • Throughout the fic, Lightning keeps telling the human versions of his friends that he's a pony from another dimension.
    You'd Expect: Them to start believing him when he demonstrates his powers, especially in P.E. Even if the "pony from another dimension" theory is a bit too far-fetched, you'd think they'd at least accept that he's not a normal person.
    Instead: They chalk up his abilities to him being super athletic and don't believe him until Krysta (who's been transformed into a bird) speaks to them.
  • In "Snaps", Lightning learns that Starla has been kicked out of the play by Celestia due to photographic evidence of her trashing the props.
    You'd Expect: Him to investigate and find some clues proving her innocence or at least calmly explain to the principal why Starla couldn't have done such sabotage.
    Instead: He barges into Celestia's office like he owns the place, yells at and insults her and even states that it's a good thing her pet horse is dead.
    Result: Celestia attacks Lightning but, due to his superior strength, he doesn't feel any of her strikes.
    You'd Then Expect: Lightning to just let Celestia attack him futilely until she runs out of steam, hold her still until she calms down or walk away.
    Instead: He flips her off of him then shoves her off of him when she attacks him again hard enough to cause her to crash into a shelf then finally smashes a cup of hot coffee into her face, burning her.
    Result: Celestia is fired and Lightning is suspended.

    Season III 
  • In "Rom-Antics", Celestia and the Grand Ruler receive a death threat from some third party villain.
    You'd Expect: Them to let their castle guards know of the danger, or perhaps get Lightning and friends to stick around a little longer between missions in case the villain makes a move.
    Instead: They tell no one except the guards until the 10th episode because they're afraid that telling someone else will endanger them as well. Naturally, it takes Shining Armor nearly dying from accidentally drinking from a cup of Celestia's that had been poisoned (thereby proving that their loved ones are in danger whether they're told or not) to make them come clean.
  • In "Twi-Lightning", Raven reveals she has the ability to hypnotize people.
    You'd Expect: Her to brainwash some of the palace guards, have them wait until Celestia and Celesto are asleep, then sic them on the former.
    Instead: She brainwashes a bunch of civilians and guards and has them march to the palace while repeatedly chanting "Kill Celestia" while both she and her husband are awake.
  • In "Love for my Life", having learned the identity and appearance of Raven, the planet's put on wide alert for her.
    You'd Expect: Civilians to be told not to fight her if possible and members of Starfleet to combat and apprehend her if she's spotted.
    Instead: Everybody is told to not confront her under any circumstances because she's extremely powerful and Starfleet is stupid enough to think that, since she's interested only in Celestia, she won't target anyone else unless confronted, won't change her mind and/or modus operandi or isn't planting a red herring so she can target someone else unimpeded.
  • In "Win, Lose, or Die", Raven shows up in front of the entire team and Celesto.
    You'd Expect: Grand Ruler to command them to attack as they outnumber her 5 to 1 and have her surrounded, have her use up her Uniforce one-hit spell (Which, as established, leaves one weak) and then begin to wail on her.
    Instead: Even though he uses his magic to temporarily trap her, Grand Ruler stands by his earlier decree to not pursue Raven and even attempts to order Twilight to return when she pursues Raven.
    Result: Let's just say a certain purple unicorn isn't so lucky.
  • In "Everybody Freeze", Frost-Eye tries to freeze United Equestria over from a frozen cave with a Power Crystal and then retrieve the incomplete Crystal Heart.
    You'd Expect: Since United Equestria doesn't know what's causing the freezing, has no way to fight it, and can't evacuate thanks to Sombra's magic, Frost-Eye would simply leave them to chill out and then retrieve the Crystal Heart shards at his leisure.
    Instead: He shows up to gloat in front of them, giving them exactly the information they need to break the spell and put an end to Frost-Eye once and for all.
  • In "Wedding to the Stars", Lightning and Starla are getting married.
    You'd Expect: That as many of the guards attending the wedding as possible would keep an eye out for trouble.
    Instead: Only two notice Sombra's ship approaching.
    You'd Then Expect: Them to sound the alarm the second they spot it.
    Instead: While one of the guards wants to do so, his partner insists on waiting because nothing has happened yet and he wants the ceremony to finish.
    Result: The protagonists are practically caught unawares. Even Celesto is cross with the two guards next chapter.
  • In "Revelations and Regulations", Starfleet is pondering ways to rescue Starla after she had been kidnapped by Sombra who had demanded the last Crystal Heart shard in exchange the previous chapter.
    You'd Expect: Starfleet to create a fake shard using their advanced technology and magic that would be convincing enough to fool him, like they did a previous episode.
    Instead: They rush headlong into battle with the real shard in tow.

    Season IV 
  • In the entirety of this season, Esroh Dab keeps acting like a alien. He has no knowledge of how the world works and no idea on how things are.
    You'd Expect: Somepony to figure out he's at least not from around these parts.
    Instead: Nopony does.
  • Throughout this season, Lightning Dawn worries about his Enticorn form going out of control and killing good guys.
    You'd Expect: Him to go to an uninhabited planet and practice controlling it there.
    Instead: He doesn't and risks going berserk every time he transforms.
  • In "Feather Blusters", it is revealed that Brain had been working on experiments to make Starfleet's suits and weapons more powerful but the unstable results cause explosions which shake the lab and the castle.
    You'd Expect: Him to have just moved to a lab outside the palace where he could conduct his experiments in a safe and secure environment.
    Instead: It never occurred to him to do so, which lead to his project getting shut down.

    Starfleet Humans: Starpops 
  • In "Hidden Skills", Blaze is destroyed but the other Demonites resurrect him and he also comes back stronger than before.
    You'd Expect: The Demonites to not tell the protagonists that, if one of them is killed, the others can revive him, in order to make themselves seem practically invincible/immortal and to drive the heroes to despair.
    Instead: They tell them.
    You'd Then Expect: The protagonists to quickly realize that the only way to truly defeat the Demonites is to destroy them all simultaneously.
    Instead: They continue to fight and keep killing the Demonites one at a time for several paragraphs. It takes Blaze reiterating their powers to finally give Lightning the bright idea of destroying them all at once.

    Starfleet Humans: Starfleet Events 

    Starfleet Movie: Human in United Equestria 

    Season V 
  • In "Bugs and Barriers", a planetary shield that Brain just happened to develop prior to the Insecto Invasion is used to deflect their Orbital Bombardment and destroy a portion of their fleet; however, one of the orbiting shield projectors is disabled by wreckage from one of the destroyed ships, leaving a hole in the shield.
    You'd Expect: King Pinsar would have his ships ram the projectors to destroy them and take the shield down. Given his We Have Reserves mentality and the size of his fleet, he'd brush off any losses incurred and then bombard United Equestria into a molten wasteland.
    Instead: He leaves his massive fleet twiddling their thumbs in orbit and sends his commanders in through the hole one at a time, each with only a handful of Stingars, falling afoul of the "one monster at a time" problem all the villains have. It should go without saying that this doesn't work very well.
  • For most of this season, Cadance is pregnant, her MIA husband is possessed by an evil alien force and she's in danger of being attacked.
    You'd Expect: Starfleet to send her to a vacation planet with a little security detail (make this low profile), hidden in an illusion spell, and make sure she is safe.
    Instead: They do nothing to guarantee her safety, because Cadance must suffer for being happily married.

    Season VI 
  • In "Escape From Starfleet", the monitors and alarms are down at the prison planet of Conva, which is filled with creatures who have been imprisoned by and have a grudge against Starfleet.
    You'd Expect: For Starfleet to have guards on it twenty-four seven, while the monitors and alarms are hastily repaired.
    Instead: There are just two guards, and both randomly decide to go on coffee break.
    Result: Brass Bolt proceeds to free every single prisoner.
  • In "Color You Surprised", the Villain of the Week Spectrum uses a power crystal to absorb energy from the populace of United Equestria and power himself up.
    You'd Expect: Spectrum to keep the crystal well-protected or at least well-hidden, considering that it's the root of his power.
    Instead: He just puts it on the roof of Canterlot Castle, out in the open, with no protection whatsoever. Predictably, Princess Luna stumbles across the thing and shatters it, leading to Spectrum's downfall.
  • When fighting a Villain of the Week in "Glue for Three", Applejack, Rarity, and Mykan Stevens end up rupturing a container of super glue and thus getting stuck to each other by the hands. The pony hauling it mentions that the company behind it also has a solvent that can remove the glue.
    You'd Expect: The company to have some in reserve just in case accidents like this one happen, and that the heroes would be able to pick some up quickly and get themselves loose.
    Instead: They don't have any since it's somehow never happened before, and as such, Applejack, Rarity, and Mykan have to be stuck to each other for three days as they make a fresh batch, thus kickstarting a plot that could've been avoided with application of common sense. Even Starla points out how idiotic this is.
  • In "The Truth and Freedom", Windy Bag's attempt to use a de-brainwashing device on the Equestrian population has been foiled, and Pony!Mykan Stevens shows up to settle the score with her.
    You'd Expect: Mykan would go after Windy Bag directly, given that she's the object of his grudge.
    Instead: He attacks her machine, causing it to explode. This deals considerable collateral damage to the surroundings and kills Mykan himself. Even by Revenge Before Reason standards, it comes off as spectacularly poor judgment.

    Power Rangers Starfleet/Super Starfleet 

    Season VII 

    Season VIII 
  • In "Strength of Evil: Part 1," disgruntled ex-Starfleet member Striker bursts in on a meeting between Grand Ruler, Celestia, and the ruler of an allied planet, who are in the middle of discussing a Sealed Evil in a Can.
    You'd Expect: As Striker has intent to cause harm and is not in his right mind, Grand Ruler would order the guards to detain him. Better yet, he could detain Striker himself, as he's a lot more powerful than Striker. Or both, since you can't be too careful when a demon in a box is involved.
    Instead: Grand Ruler decides to not call the guards and trusts Lightning alone to handle the situation, with no backup plan in case that doesn't work. Evidently, Grand Ruler's never heard of "better safe than sorry."
    • Following up on the previous entry, Lightning is able to defeat Striker in a one-on-one fight.
      You'd Expect: Lightning to take Striker into custody for being a danger to himself and everyone around him.
      Instead: Lightning simply tells Striker to Get Out! and expects him to comply.
      Result: Striker does not leave quietly, and the resulting chaos leads to the season's Big Bad breaking free.

    Starfleet Humans: A Tale of Two Sunsets 

    Season IX 

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