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What An Idiot / Pokémon

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  • General
    • In several episodes, Team Rocket has Pikachu, (or a group of Mons), has eluded Ash & co., and is making their getaway.
      You'd Expect: Escaping in something more inconspicuous, such as disguising themselves and driving away in a Jeep once they were out of sight.
      Instead: They slowly float away in a distinctive Meowth-shaped hot air balloon, leaving themselves visible and vulnerable to Ash's Flying-type in that region.
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    • Ash's general stupidity in regards to Team Rocket.
      You'd Expect: Ash, over his many encounters with Team Rocket, to smart up and realize that their weapons/tools/whatever are more often than not designed to nullify electric attacks.
      Instead: Time and again, Ash sics Pikachu's Thunderbolt on their asses as a first attack, with unsuccessful results.
    • On a similar note...
      You'd Expect: Ash and his company to recognize Jessie and James's hair colors, styles, and voices after all the constant encounters, and learn to identify them through such.
      Instead: They fall for the disguises almost every time.
    • Team Rocket's obsession with saying their motto Once an Episode even when it would screw up their plans such when they're supposed to be incognito.
      You'd Expect: Team Rocket to realize that this time they should keep their mouths shut and continue with executing their plan.
      Instead: They say their motto as usual, either blowing their cover and/or leaving themselves open to attack, ruining a plan that would otherwise have gone off without a hitch. (At least one episode showed this to apparently be some sort of actual psychological compulsion on their part when, at one point, Ash mentions some words from the motto to them while they're disguised and they're shown struggling to resist saying it before finally breaking down.)
      • And on the same note...
        You'd Expect: Someone to take advantage of Team Rocket's motto-induced distraction to launch a surprise attack.
        Instead: The heroes stand idly by and do nothing until the motto is finished and Team Rocket has indulged in some Evil Gloating.
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    • Regardless of their bumbling manner and their incompetence, the Team Rocket Trio are still criminals and have repeatedly attempted to kidnap numerous Pokémon. And they keep doing this Once per Episode.
      You'd Expect: For Ash to realize that as long as they are around, Pokémon can get kidnapped and people could be harmed, thus he decides to have Pikachu paralyze them and hand them over to Officer Jenny. That way, they won't ever pester Ash and his companions ever again.
      Instead: He seems to be content with just blasting them off again, over and over, hundreds of times. You'd think Ash would be tired of them by now...
    • Most characters' stupidity when it comes to the type chart and how the different types match up.
      You'd expect: One battler to send out a Pokémon with a type advantage or a resistance to the opponent's moves.
      Instead: They usually send out one with a disadvantage (and sometimes even a 4x weakness) and get curb stomped (Such as Cameron sending out a Ferrothorn, a steel/grass type, against Ash's Pignite, a fire/fighting type, or sending out Swanna, a water/flying type, against his Pikachu, an electric type. All in one battle, too. He could have easily switched the order and sent out Swanna for Pignite, and Ferrothorn for Pikachu.)
  • Original Series
    • "Pokemon, I Choose You": As mentioned by CinemaSins, Ash wakes up late and runs to Professor Oak's lab in his pajamas. He is ready to choose a Pokemon, but most of them have been claimed. All except a disobedient Pikachu.
      You'd Expect: Professor Oak would explain that before Ash chooses Pokeballs randomly.
      Instead: He watches Ash waste his time selecting Pokeballs and finding they're all empty.
      The Result: Ash desperately begs for the last one, even though Pikachu shocks him for giving him a hug, Professor Oak for giving Ash his tools, and Mrs. Ketchum calling the little mouse weird. The two get off to a rocky start, and only mend their bond when Ash prepares to make a You Shall Not Pass! stand against a flock of Spearows that he agitated so as to protect Pikachu.
    • "Challenge of the Samurai:
      • In the beginning of the episode, Samurai comes across Ash while he's busy trying to catch a Weedle.
        You'd Expect: That Samurai would let Ash finish the capture before challenging him to a battle.
        Instead: He attacks Ash with his broadsword, allowing Weedle to escape. Ash, rightfully angry, decides to battle Samurai. Ash uses Pidgeotto and Metapod, while Samurai uses Pinsir and Metapod. Eventually, the two of them are both using Metapod.
        You'd Then Expect: Ash and Samurai would realize that there would be no way either of them could win by just hardening, since Metapod can only use that, and would decide to call it draw.
        Alterntively: Ash could swap out Metapod for Pikachu and use it to battle.
        Instead: Neither Ash nor Samurai realize either of those options and spend hours battle with no result until a swarm of Beedrill show up, causing it to end the battle.
        Misty: You two are more hard-headed than your Metapods!
      • As the Beedrill attack, Samurai calls back his Metapod to keep it away and get out of the swarm. Ash wants to know what type of Pokémon a Beedrill is.
        You'd Expect: Ash would return his Metapod into its Pokéball first and then look up Beedrill using his Pokédex.
        Instead: Ash looks up Beedrill using his Pokédex first. This allows a Beedrill enough time to snatch Ash's Metapod while he's not looking. Granted, he did try to save Metapod, but they end up running into a bunch of Kakuna where Metapod is.
        You'd Then Expect: For the group to save Metapod while they can. Even if they get attacked now, they could have easily prevented a Pokémon from being left behind.
        Instead: The group does nothing, and the Kakuna are alerted by their presence, forcing them to hide in a log cabin. And the Samurai blames Ash for the Beedrill swarm.
    • In "Island of the Giant Pokémon" Jessie and James are trapped on what they feel is a deserted island. They come across a phone booth and decide to call the operator who can collect call Giovanni.
      You'd expect: Having gotten a hold of Giovanni, Jessie and James would ask him to send some sort of rescue.
      Instead: They still decide to introduce themselves to him with their motto, leaving him to hang up feeling they are wasting his time.
    • In "Pokémon Scent-sation!," Ash has been banned from competing in Celadon City's gym so he gets Team Rocket to sneak him while in Disguised in Drag. Not only are Misty, Brock and Pikachu inside, "Ashley" also discovers that Erika, the store manager who kicked him out of her shop, is also the gym leader. After Erika tells a story of how she met Gloom, Misty says that she wishes Ash could have heard it as well.
      You'd expect: "Ashley" to remember that Misty is talking about him as if he isn't there, and at best for him to keep his mouth shut.
      Instead: He forgets that he's in disguise and says in a normal-pitched voice, "I heard it." Misty immediately gets suspicious, which prompts Pikachu to blow his cover... with shocking results.
    • In "The Flame Pokemon-athon!", Lara tells our heroes that Ponyta's mane, despite literally being made of fire, will not burn anyone it trusts.
      You'd expect: Ash to take this into account and try not to touch Ponyta.
      Instead: He tries to pet it and burns his hand as a result. Even worse, he does it again later into the episode!
    • Misty accidentally captures a Psyduck that is borderline useless in battle and a laughingstock. She's not happy about this, although she grows to care for the duck and will defend him with her life.
      You'd Expect: She would capture more Pokemon and transfer Psyduck to a PC, the way Ash did with Crabby and Muck. Or, train the little guy with practice battles and power-ups to become more competent.
      Instead: Misty keeps Psyduck in her bag and doesn't bother training him, except the one time where she thinks he's about to evolve.
      The Result: Misty loses one battle with the biker gang because Psyduck can't activate his psychic powers against Cloister and to add insult to injury, the whole gang laughs at her Pokemon. The only time he's able to do it without needing a headache is when Team Rocket captures Misty and nearly drowns her.
    • In "The Problem with Paras," Ash is trying to use his pokemon to go easy on Paras so it can gain experience to evolve into a Parasect. It seems to be working so far...until Ash decides to use Charmeleon.
      You'd Expect: For Ash to think before he does this. Charmeleon is a fire type which has the obvious advantage over a bug/grass type like Paras.
      Instead: He chooses Charmeleon. Not only did it disobey him, but it curb-stomped Paras, reducing the poor thing to tears.
      Luckily: The second time he does use Charmeleon, it actually does work and Paras evolves.
    • In "The Punchy Pokémon", Ash and his friends encounter a seemingly-wild Hitmonchan, and Ash decides to capture it.
      You'd expect: That Ash would have Pikachu use its tried-and-true Electric attacks to accomplish this goal.
      Instead: He has Pikachu take on Hitmonchan (an opponent three times its size) in a boxing match.
      The result: Pikachu is completely outmatched. The one hit it lands only serves to anger Hitmonchan, who proceeds to utterly clobber Pikachu.
      Even worse: Neither Misty nor Brock see the fundamental flaws in Ash's plan. It isn't until it becomes clear how laughably outmatched Pikachu is that Misty tells Ash to make it stop.
    • "Abra and the Psychic Showdown": It's revealed that Sabrina, the gym leader, was once an innocent little girl who turned her mother into a doll and banished her father after becoming Drunk with Power. Said father becomes excellent at psychic powers but cannot defeat his daughter or restore her to normal. He knows, however, that a ghost Pokemon can combat her Abra who evolves into Kadabra, and they are found in Lavender Town.
      You'd Expect: He would go to Lavender Town, catch a ghost, and use it to restore Sabrina. Maybe put up some warnings saying that Sabrina is not an innocent little girl that wants to play.
      Instead: He stays in Saffron Town. While his reasons are that he needs to make sure all the people who arrive are safe from Sabrina, he really thinks he can dissuade trainers who need the badge from leaving. We know Gary somehow beat her, but no one else has.
      The Result: When Sabrina's child form tells Ash she wants to play with him if he loses, Ash agrees because he's grateful to Sabrina for saving Pikachu from Team Rocket and he logically reasons that playing with a little girl isn't so bad a penalty. This nearly gets the trio and Pikachu crushed in a toy box, with the man showing up at the last minute to save them.
    • "Haunter Vs. Kadabra": Played for Laughs. After saving him from Sabrina a second time, Sabrina's father tells Ash how she became Drunk with Power and shows her a family photo when she was still an innocent child. Ash sees the photo and remembers it was in Sabrina's toybox. His brain starts to make the connection...
      You'd Expect: After Ash gets it wrong that Sabrina's father would correct him.
      Instead: He never does. Ash goes Entertainingly Wrong that Sabrina's father was a photographer (family friend in the original) that miraculously survived her wrath. Which, actually is logical considering the man implied Sabrina killed her parents. Pikachu and the man go You Have Got to Be Kidding Me! and don't bother correcting Ash.
    • In "Pokémon Paparazzi" Team Rocket has successfully captured Pikachu and defeated Ash and Todd.
      You'd Expect: Them to the get the heck out of there.
      Instead: They throw bombs at Ash and Todd and are fooled into posing for a shot, where the bombs blow up in their hands, thus defeating them.
    • "The Ultimate Test": Ash, Jessie and James sign up to take an exam to get into the Pokémon League. The second part of the written session is about identifying Pokémon with the screen showing a black circle for the first question. Ash thinks it's Voltorb while Jessie guesses Electrode.
      You'd Expect: James to answer with a Pokémon, perhaps the guess Ash or Jessie made.
      Or: He could make a bold prediction of Jigglypuff since that's the answer (the black circle turns out to be a bird's eye view of it).
      Instead: "Ah, how simple! It's a Poké Ball without a doubt!"
    • In "The Breeding Center Secret", Ash and friends discover that a Pokémon breeding center is actually a Pokémon stealing center run by Butch and Cassidy of Team Rocket. The two manage to frame the kids and the Team Rocket trio (who happened to break in at the same time) for burglary. In jail, Ash, Todd, and Brock maintain their innocence, and beg Officer Jenny to see the breeding center for herself.
      You'd Expect: Jenny to suspect a possibility that the kids had been framed, follow their advice and check the breeding center out for herself. There, she'd discover the caged Pokémon (the breeding center falsely advertised itself as a resort spa) or, at the very least, Todd's camera and incriminating photos that Butch swiped.
      Instead: Jenny doesn't listen to them, saying that their attempts at sympathy won't work and that the judge will throw the book at them. It is only thanks to Misty who, along with Pikachu and Togepi, avoided capture and recovered Todd's camera and photos (along with Misty's Psyduck) that clears the boys and gets Butch and Cassidy arrested.
    • In "A Friend In Deed," Team Rocket has a truck containing ALL the Pokémon of the top 16 competitors of the Indigo League. After being chased by Ash and Ritchie, they escape along a river.
      You'd Expect: That they just keep driving, taking shifts if they needed to. That way, they can return to the boss's headquarters and finally get recognition.
      Instead: They sleep on the side of the road causing Ash and Richie to find them the next morning. They sneak into the truck and find the bag of stolen loot.
      You'd Then Expect: To wait until they exit the van, and have Meowth attack them before stealing it back. Then, James can have Weezing to smoke them before driving off.
      Or: Throw a net at them, then throw them out of the truck.
      Instead: They do the WORST THING POSSIBLE and lock them in the van with the bag. Guess what happens.
    • During the Indigo League, Ash is late for his battle against Ritchie (as in, ultimately, several hours late) During the time that Ash is a no-show, Misty angrily confronts Ritchie about a call he supposedly made, telling Ash to meet him at such-a-place and insulting Misty. Ritchie tells her that he never made that call. (It was actually Team Rocket using a voice synthesizer.)
      You'd Expect: Misty to put two and two together and realize that if Ash was told to go somewhere by someone impersonating Ritchie and he's currently nowhere to be found, he might be in serious danger.
      In Addition: This is just hours after Team Rocket impersonated league officials and stole many trainers' Pokémon, indicating that the league has some major security problems.
      You'd Therefore Expect: Somebody—anybody—to assume the worst and put the match on hold while they dispatch search-and-rescue teams.
      Instead: Nobody. Does. Anything. Thousands of people just sit on their hands while Ash goes through insane amounts of crap to fight his way out of Team Rocket's clutches and return to the stadium in their balloon. By the time he does, half his team has been exhausted.
      You'd Then Expect: That after everything Ash has been through, and after he entered the stadium in a balloon widely recognized by every Officer Jenny in the stadium, his battle with Ritchie would be postponed until tomorrow, giving him some much-needed time to rest.
      Instead: The battle takes place as scheduled. Ash loses to Ritchie.
      • Ash can be just as much to blame for his loss as Team Rocket is. This is due to Ash not being very bright regarding his choices with his Pokémon.
        You'd Expect: For Ash to use Kingler or Muk in lieu of Charizard (and leave Charizard back at Professor Oak's lab,) since those two Pokemon were revealed to be competent battlers and they actually listen to him. Plus, Kingler had a type advantage and has defeated an Exeggutor, a grass type.
        Instead: Due to his arrogance, Ash never considers that Charizard would be completely disobedient and will be a hinderance to him. This bites him in the ass when he's forced to use it as a last option and loses the league for the first of many times to come.
    • In "Pallet Party Panic,'' Team Rocket show up to ruin the party and steal Pikachu.
      You'd Expect: For Ash to use Pidgeotto to rescue Pikachu.
      Instead: He commands Squirtle to use a Water Gun attack. It can't reach the balloon, giving time for Team Rocket to throw down bombs at everybody.
      Fortunately: Ash gets the memo and sends Pidgeotto. Unfortunately, Team Rocket have a bac up balloon and quickly float away again. Jessie then sends out Arbok to use Poison Sting on Pidgeotto. So Ash has no choice than to send out Charizard.
    • In another episode, Ash is fighting Misty in the Whirl Islands Tournament. When Misty tries to use her last Pokémon, Psyduck comes out. Ash has his Kingler out on the field. However, Psyduck has a tendency to go into a Psycho rage when it gets a headache. Ash knows this; he has seen it on numerous occasions.
      You'd Expect: Ash to command Kingler to tickle Psyduck, or better yet, nudge it into the water.
      Instead: Ash commands Kingler to use Vicegrip On Psyduck's head. That doesn't work and a few seconds later, Ash's face comes in contact with it thanks to Psyduck's Psychic powersnote .
    • In the episode “Nerves of Steelix,” Ash and co see a giant Wobuffet Machine that promises a prize if you leave any of your Pokémon on a gold plaque.
      You’d Expect: For Ash to be suspicious of the fact that a giant Wobbuffet machine is standing in their path, see that it may be a sham, and to NOT put any of his Pokémon on the plague.
      Instead: Ash just leaves his Pikachu on the plague & Team Rocket successfully catches Pikachu. If not for Jasmine intervening, Team Rocket would have gotten away with Pikachu.
  • Advanced Generation
    • In "All Things Bright and Beautifly", Jessie is participating in her first contest using her Seviper.
      You'd Expect: In preparation for the Appeal round, Jessie would look up what kind of moves Seviper can learn, or at least try to use common sense and determine what sort of moves Seviper can learn.
      Instead: She enters the contest unprepared, and during the Appeal round, she tries to make Seviper use Sacred Fire (which it can't learn). When Seviper predictably doesn't use the move, she gives it a bunch of other suggestions that don't work (including telling Seviper, a snake, to use Blaze Kick and Dragon Claw). Eventually, Meowth finally suggests telling Seviper to use Poison Tail (which it already knows), but by then, the damage is already done, and Jessie ends up losing.
    • In one episode, James comes across the scammer who sold him a Magikarp when he is at the festival at Fortree City trying to buy a Chimecho. James immediately finds out he's the same scammer. The scammer claims that he turned over a new leaf.
      You'd Expect: For James to inspect the Chimecho and see that it has office tape all over it.
      Instead: James buys the Chimecho without hesitation. He pays for this later.
    • In "Candid Camerupt", the group is having a friendly battle with the Winstrate family. Max is up and he's up against the youngest family member, Vivi, who he has a crush on; he's borrowing one of Ash's Pokémon and wants to go easy on her.
      You'd Expect: He'd pick Pikachu or Treecko, who not only have Type-Advantages over Marill, but have generally calm personalities and will likely listen to him.
      Instead: He picks Corphish. Said Pokémon doesn't listen and beats up her Marill. While Max won the match, it caused Vivi to hate him and ruining any chance he had with her.
    • In "A Double Dilemma", Team Rocket decides to capitalize on the hero worship that the citizens of North Petalburg have for Gym Leader Norman by dressing up as him and his family. So, while James and Jessie dress as Norman and Caroline (and do an almost passable job of it), Meowth and Wobbuffet dress as May and Max.
      You'd Expect: The townsfolk to notice that ten-year-old "May" is suddenly knee-high to an adult and speaking with a sudden Joisey accent, and that the even younger "Max" is both blue as the midday sky and almost five feet tall.
      Instead: Not one person sees through perhaps the thinnest Paper-Thin Disguise in Team Rocket history.
    • And while this is going on, two citizens learn that Ash intends to challenge Norman to a gym battle.
      You'd Expect: For them to let him carry out his challenge — since that is, after all, how things work in every Pokémon League.
      Instead: They decide that Ash can't be allowed to battle Norman (even though he has every right to make that challenge and it's Norman's job to field such challenges) and take him on themselves. Yes, they lose, but this leads to more trainers launching an all-out Zerg Rush on Ash.
  • Diamond and Pearl
    • Barry is battling Ash. Ash's Chimchar defeats Barry's Staraptor.
      You'd Expect: Barry to send out his Empoleon, taking advantage of Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors and the fact that Empoleon is a fully evolved Pokémon with powerful attacks, unlike Chimchar.
      Instead: He sends out his Roserade, giving Ash an Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors advantage.
    • Another one with Barry is when he has his Hitmonlee out against Paul's Ursaring.
      You'd Expect: That Barry would have Hitmonlee use Fighting-type attacks, which are strong against Ursaring. And no, this isn't a case of this only being true in games and not in the anime. Barry outright states that this the case; it's the entire reason he sent out Hitmonlee in the first place.
      Instead: Partway into the fight, Barry arbitrarily decides to have Hitmonlee start using the Fire-type Blaze Kick for no apparent reason. This ends up inflicting a burn on the Ursaring, which causes its Guts ability to kick in, resulting in Hitmonlee getting pulverized. Sure, Barry's a bit scatterbrained, but he's not this stupid.
    • During the three-episode Enemy Mine tournament arc where Ash and Paul are forced to work together, Ash comes across Paul's intense training methods and how injured Chimchar was, all in the name of harnessing Blaze—the whole reason Paul caught Chimchar in the first place and kept him as long as he did, and the whole reason he's even in the tournament at all (this is already a big strike against him). Keep in mind that this is the night before their next match. Chimchar is taken to the Pokémon Center, and Paul is explicitly told by Nurse Joy that Chimchar would be far too worn out to battle tomorrow and would need rest. He is also aware that his next match involves a Zangoose, and that Chimchar fears this particular species.
      You'd Expect: Paul to take her advice and have Chimchar sit this one out. You know, since she IS a doctor for Pokémon and knows what she's talking about. Not only would this give Chimchar a chance to physically and psychologically recover, it would also ease Ash off his case. And who knows—maybe Blaze could come out the following round?
      Instead: Paul disregards Nurse Joy's warning and uses Chimchar in their battle the next day. Not only that, he then has Chimchar attack knowing that his moves would end up hurting Ash's Turtwig as well and finally, fed up with its "weakness", leaves Ash to finish the battle solo. After the fight, he abandons Chimchar without a second thought, just like several other Pokémon he once handled.
      Taking the Stupidity Even Further: The kind of trainer Paul was meant to represent would know better than to send into an important match a Pokémon that clearly needs bench time, professional opinion or otherwise. Furthermore, anyone with even a shred of empathy would know that throwing a Pokémon against something it flat-out fears is more likely to petrify it than to trip Super Mode. And yet, despite such flagrant disregard for both his Pokémon and his teammate, especially in front of such a massive audience, Paul was not reprimanded one whit, either on-the-spot or in hindsight. Were it not for his leather pants and the author's praise for him, this would be the moment that destroyed any sympathy he deserved.
  • Best Wishes
    • In Dazzling the Nimbasa Gym!, during Ash's gym battle against Elesa, his Palpitoad is knocked out by her Emolga. This creates a problem for Ash, as Emolga's typing (Electric/Flying) gives it an advantage over most of his team (read: Oshawott, Tranquill, Snivy, Scraggy, and Swadloon.) He suddenly has a Eureka Moment and rushes to the PC.
      You'd Expect: For Ash to send out Roggenrola, who has an advantage over Emolga.
      Instead: He sends out Snivy instead, who as mentioned above, has a type disadvantage against Emolga. Snivy is promptly beaten by Emolga, leaving Ash to fight Elesa's remaining team with just Pikachu.
      Even Worse: During the battle, he has Snivy use Attract, which doesn't work against Pokémon of the same gender, which is a fact he needs pointed out to him immediately afterwards.
      Still worse: After Palpitoad is taken down, it is revealed that Palpitoad and Pikachu were the only Pokémon he bothered to bring with him (leaving the rest behind at the Pokémon center) - the "strategy" he had been working on was to rely on Paliptoad to easily defeat Elesa's entire team. Even if Ash's unprecedented stupidity could be overlooked there, one would assume that Ash would have been used to carrying his full team with him out of force of habit.
    • In the episode , Iris is going against Montgomery who is using Throh.
      You Would Have Expected: For Iris to use Emolga, a flying type, against Throh, a fighting type. While Emolga may not have known any flying type moves, it would have done a good job resisting Throh’s fighting moves.
      Instead: Iris uses Excadrill, a steel type, that is weak against fighting types like Throh. Excadrill is easily defeated and Iris loses the battle.
    • Stephan wins a tournament to make a wish that is guaranteed to come true.
      You'd Expect: He'd wish to win the Pokémon League, which is the biggest tournament in Pokémon
      Instead: He wishes to win an upcoming tournament that has nothing to do with the Pokémon League.
    • Ash's final battle with Iris in one of the Club Tournaments,
      You'd Expect: Ash would know Iris saved her Excadrill for the final battle, so he'd use Palpitoad.
      Or: For Ash to either use Oshawott, a water type, or Scraggy, a fighting type. Both have the advantages against Excadrill.
      Instead: Ash sends out Pikachu, who's two most powerful attacks (Thunderbolt and Electro Ball) have no effect on Excadrill AND Excadrill resists his other moves (Iron Tail and Quick Attack). He loses the Club Tournament as a result.
  • X and Y
    • In "Friend And Faux Alike", Team Rocket has a mecha-Heliolisk that they gleefully proclaim can repel electric attacks.
      You'd Expect: Ash to order Pikachu to use Iron Tail or Quick Attack, or for him to use one of his other Pokémon.
      Instead: He calls for Thunderbolt, which gets absorbed.
      You'd also Expect: Ash to learn from this and use a non-electric attack.
      Instead: He calls for Electroball, with the predictable outcome.
    • Korrina is separated from her Lucario during a run in with a flock of Noibat in a cave.
      You'd Expect: Her Lucario to use aura to locate her immediately before sunset.
      Instead: It doesn't even think about using it and instead relies on the then-imperfect method of using the Mega Stone itself the next day, leading to an unnecessary moment of tension as Korrina is forced to fight Team Rocket using Ash's Pikachu.
      You'd Also Expect: Korrina to use her other Pokémon to fight.
      Instead: She doesn't.
    • In "A Not-So-Flying Start", Hawlucha brings Ash a Pokémon egg, and it shows signs of hatching shortly thereafter.
      You'd Expect: Ash to draw upon his personal experience with Phanpy, Larvitar, and Scraggy, and/or his experience with his companions (Misty, Brock, May, and Dawn had all hatched Pokémon from eggs during their respective travels), to know what to do with the egg.
      Instead: He panics, and next thing you know, almost everyone and their Pokémon are group-hugging the egg unnecessarily to keep it warm.
    • In "All Hail the Ice Battlefield", Ash is challenging the Snowbelle Gym, and he hasn't yet learnt to control the Ash-Greninja technique.
      You'd Expect: Either Ash to perfect the Ash-Greninja technique before challenging the Gym, or for him to rely on tried-and-true methods to battle.
      Instead: He uses the Ash-Greninja technique but is still unable to control it. He passes out and loses the battle.
    • In "A League of His Own", as Ash is headed to his first Kalos League Championship battle, he is challenged by Everett to an impromptu match and reminded of his promise to challenge the other trainer "next time".
      You'd Expect: Ash to quite reasonably remind Everett that he has a League Championship battle coming up that he can't afford to miss, and to agree upon a set time for him and Everett to have their battle. After all, promise or no promise, Everett is being unreasonable in insisting on a battle right then and there; he can't reasonably expect Ash to keep his promise when Everett sets up a situation where anyone with common sense would decline to do so. (Lying in wait to intercept Ash just before a crucial battle, rather than challenging Ash at a more reasonable time.) For all Ash knows, Everett could quite conceivably be a saboteur in league with a rival, out to ruin Ash's chances.
      Instead: Ash chooses Honor Before Reason and accepts the challenge. He avoids forfeiting his League battle by arriving at the last second, and is unable to use one of his most powerful Pokémon (Pikachu) He is fortunate that he wins the battle.
    • Alain works for Team Flare while being lied to that he was doing so for the good of humanity.
      You'd Expect: Alain starting to doubt their motives after scuffling against innocent Legendary Pokémon doing their jobs, with one of them being damaged and captured because of him.
      Instead: He never doubts them once and leads to the implied genocide of Lumiose City. Cue very brief Heroic BSoD.
    • Alain is completely sure bad things happen because he lacks power.
      You'd Expect: Alain to realize his Poor Communication Kills issues keep making things worse.
      Instead: Nope. It's totally his fault his power is too weak!
    • Still in the same vein, the fact everyone uses their Pokémon to fight the monster.
      You'd Expect: Everyone tossing every single Pokémon they have at it (except for Ash's group sans Greninja and Pikachu, and whom had been slaughtered by Lysandre's Mega Gyarados).
      Instead: They only use their aces, unnecessarily complicating the battle for the sake of action.
    • Still in the same vein, Alain's league team.
      You'd Expect: Alain to spam Bisharp Guillotine or at least use anybody else for the battle.
      Instead: He forgets he even has an Unfezant.
    • Even further, in another vein, Alain wants to battle Ash a third time while the Leauge is coming up. He has previously stated that he doesn’t want to participate in the League.
      You’d Expect: Alain to wait until the League has concluded and then challenge Ash to another battle.
      Instead: Alain decides to participate in the League to battle Ash again regardless, not taking into account that the fights are chosen randomly between all the participants and he might not fight Ash at all, because either of them can be eliminated from the League before getting the chance to face each other.
  • Sun and Moon
    • Professor Kukui announces a tournament in Alola and says that anyone can join.
      You’d Expect: Kukui to put some restrictions on this statement.
      Instead: He doesn’t. As a result, Team Rocket, Guzma, and Plumeria, known criminals, are able to enter the League. While Team Rocket has the excuse of using disguises, Team Skull literally enters without any disguises and somehow aren’t kicked out! Fortunately, none of the criminals win the League.
  • Journeys
    • In "The Sinnoh Iceberg Race!", the filler character Lauren's glasses constantly fall off.
      You’d Expect: She'd invest in a glasses strap that keeps them on her face.
      Instead: She doesn’t.
      Result: She keeps losing her glasses, to the point of them falling into the sea. Had it not been for a friendly Piplup, Croagunk, and Psyduck, she may have lost her glasses forever.


  • Pokémon: The First Movie:
    • Mewtwo, having been persuaded to work with Giovanni, is still wondering what his purpose is.
      You'd Expect: Giovanni would keep in mind Mewtwo is one of the strongest Pokémon ever, and can take down multiple opponents all at once, AND that prior to this, he destroyed an entire laboratory and all those inside in a fit of rage over the scientists not caring about him, just what he is. Thus he should be careful not to offend/anger Mewtwo.
      Instead: He tells Mewtwo that, as Mewtwo was created by humans, his purpose is to serve them and not question it. Mewtwo promptly causes an explosion and takes off.
      But wait, there's more! It was this moment that convinced Mewtwo that humans cannot be trusted and nearly leads him to cause The End of the World as We Know It. Way to go, numbnut.
  • Pokémon 2000:
    • The villain Gelarden has just captured Moltres and Ash & co accidentally.
      You'd Expect: The villain to keep Ash and friends imprisoned, or just for kicks, dump them into the sea.
      Instead: He lets them go as he monologues. A few minutes later, his flying base is in ruins and the two birds he captured have escaped. Nice work, moron.
  • Pokémon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew:
    • Lucario needs to use his Aura power to heal the World Tree, but the amount of Aura required would be fatal to him.
      You'd Expect: Lucario to ask Ash, who has recently been revealed to have Aura power, to help him heal the tree, thus preventing a senseless loss of life.
      Instead: Lucario does it himself and dies a tragic, pointless death. And he still needs Ash's help.
  • Pokémon: Zoroark: Master of Illusions:
    • Grings Kodai, the antagonist, sees a vision of the future. Part of the vision tells him his assistant will betray him.
      You'd Expect: He would lock her up in some way, ensuring that she won't be able to do anything to keep him from his goal.
      Instead: They conduct business as usual.
  • Pokémon: Kyurem vs. The Sword of Justice:
    • Scraggy is accidentally left behind on a train station...and the train is leaving
      You'd Expect: Ash to just recall Scraggy and send him out again.
      Instead: Ash tries to get Scraggy to jump onto the moving train. Scraggy fails, and has to be caught by Snivy's vines.


  • In Pokémon Adventures:
    • Jasmine is traveling through Ecruteak City when there's an earthquake.
      You'd Expect: She run somewhere she won't get crushed.
      Instead: She runs to what has to be the most structurally weak building in the area: A crumbling, 700-year-old wooden tower! Not just inside it, either, but to the top!
    • Matt uses a bound-and-gagged Flannery as a hostage to lure Sapphire into an airtight cable car, which he locks and then floods with his Azumarill—but not before knocking out Chic and putting an air bubble around his head to make certain he can breathe in the flooded car.
      You'd Expect: Matt to let the water do the work. He can breathe; they can't. The entire situation, at that point, was engineered so he couldn't hope to lose.
      Instead: not only does he summon a Sharpedo to expedite the killing, but even after its teeth are broken off, he flagrantly violates Rule 6 of the Evil Overlord List, with some of the gloating going straight into Tempting Fate. Yes, Sapphire can hold her breath that long, and she does, up to the point she manages to cut a hole in the glass with the same teeth she just broke off!
    • Alexa has info on a major incident that no other news outlet appears to have.
      You'd Expect: It's common sense applying to almost any situation. In case of emergency, make copies or have backups for any important documents that you have.
      Instead: She doesn't, so when her editor-in-chief reveals himself to be evil and burns her report, there's nothing she can do about it. She later berates herself for being so excited over the info that she wasn't thinking straight.

Video Games

  • Pokémon Gold and Silver
    • Silver (your rival) is able to steal one of the Pokémon from Professor Elm's lab. On his way out of New Bark Town, he finds you at the entrance of Cherrygrove City, and notices you also have a Pokémon from the lab.
      You'd Expect: For Silver to simply leave you alone. If he doesn't interact with you, he can make it out of town unscathed.
      Instead: He challenges you to a battle, and after it, regardless of the outcome, he reveals his intentions and his name.note 
      As A Result: You're able to provide the police information on the case and chase him down.
    • In the Team Rocket hideout in Mahogany Town, there's a scientist in the first floor (the one with the Persian statues) with three Magnemites. After you defeat him, you can talk to him. What does he say?
      You'd expect: That the scientist would just mention what Team Rocket has in store involving the Radio Tower. Or something involving their plan, anything except...
      Instead: He tells you that the computer on his desk can turn off the alarms set in the Persian statues, and for you to not push it. But, being the hero that you are, of course you're gonna do that...unless you prefer to pass the statues anyway to fight the Grunts for EXP.
  • Pokémon Diamond, Pearl and Platinum:
    • You have team Galactic. Not a single grunt, whole team. At one single point in the games, their Eterna City hideout. First is a grunt who wants a donation of Pokemon.
      You'd expect: Since they're trying to look good, he would politely tell the player to return when he'll decide to donate for Team Galactic.
      Instead: He tells the player to "scram", yelling at him for wasting his time, losing his chance for any donations he would get from anybody the kid could know.
      Second is the way whole team wants to show you which way to the top.
      You'd expect: Not guarding at all, or guarding both of the stairs, at all three floors of the building.
      Instead: There are signs talking about "the right way leading you to success" or something, obviously showing right way. A sign near every single good staircase. Talking about right way.
  • Pokémon Black 2 and White 2
    • After Team Plasma blasts Opelucid City with ice created by Kyurem, you defeat Zinzolin to get him out of the way of the Opelucid Gym, and Drayden, the Gym Leader, meets with you back there. With the coast seemingly clear, he returns to the Gym, and has something revealed to be the DNA Splicers.
      You'd Expect: Considering how important this item is and that Drayden knows it's what Team Plasma is after, for him to leave it in the Opelucid Gym until the time would come that it was needed.
      Instead: Drayden takes it out of the Gym, gives it to you, says that it's what they're after and it's fortunate they didn't get it, and then the Shadow Triad show up and take them from you, stating that they knew what better hiding place for them than the Gym. Drayden even says that he never would've guessed that they would use Zinzolin, one of the Seven Sages, to scope them out!
  • Pokémon Sun and Moon
    • During your raid on Aether Paradise, you come face to face with Faba, who'd taken extreme measures to try and keep you from getting to Lillie, Nebby, and Lusamine. At a certain point, he and several employees are in front of a locked door.
      You'd Expect: Faba to leave the key in a safe place and not mention where it is.
      Instead: When Hau asks him if he has it, he not only says where it is, but reveals he has it on him. Hau even calls him out on this.
  • Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon gives Faba another one of these moments.
    • Before the Team Rainbow Rocket Invasion:
      You'd Expect: Him to turn over a new leaf regarding his actions during the main game, and side with the player on the upcoming threat.
      Instead: In order to gain more power for himself, he sells Lusamine and the Aether Foundation out to Team Rainbow Rocket.
      Result: He gets demoted to an intern after the incident. Even Guzma isn't surprised on how stupid Faba is.

  • Pokémon Sword and Shield:
    • Chairman Rose wants Leon's help in containing Eternatus, which he plans to release to solve a perceived energy crisis, but Leon wants to have his match with the player trainer first to satisfy the crowds that had gathered in Wyndon.
      You'd Expect: Rose to wait just one more day; not only would the crowds have dissipated and returned to their homes (as well as the Gym Leaders, who might be better able to respond to a crisis in their home towns), but he'd have the full cooperation and strength of the two best trainers in the region focused squarely on keeping Eternatus contained.
      Instead: He interrupts the championship match by announcing that he's released Eternatus and started a second Darkest Day, and it predictably defies all attempts to control it, both forcing Leon, Hop and the Protagonist to rush to confront the beast and Chairman Rose and puts countless people in needless danger.
      For Bonus Stupidity Points: While that perceived energy crisis is in fact a real issue, it is rightly pointed out that the dilemma was such that it would take a thousand years for the Dynamax energy reserves to be fully depleted. Chairman Rose's impulsiveness and ego pulled the trigger nine-hundred and ninety-nine years early, and for what?
    • Leon has defeated Eternatus, and is ready to capture it.
      You'd expect: Leon to capture the very obvious legendary with at least an Ultra Ball, as it probably has a very low catch rate (and it does).
      Instead: He tries to catch it with a regular Poké Ball
      Result: Eternatus breaks free, and it's up to Hop and the protagonist to defeat it now.

  • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Explorers of Time/Darkness/Sky:
    • You're sent to gather Perfect Apples, though you're ambushed by Team Skull who takes all the Perfect Apples.
      You'd expect: Chatot to give you a chance to explain what happened.
      Instead: Chatot gripes you out without giving you a chance to explain what happened and sends you to bed without eating, and later in the game, he complains that you wouldn't be able to do the job properly.
      Bonus Idiocy: Team Skull show up later with a Perfect Apple they saved for Wigglytuff. Yet no one questions where they could have gotten it.
    • Grovyle is a Pokemon from a Bad Future whose objective is to collect the Time Gears and bring them to Temporal Tower to prevent The End of the World as We Know It.
      You'd expect: Grovyle to politely explain who he is and what he's doing, earning the cooperation of the authorities.
      Instead: He runs around stealing the Time Gears and gets labeled a criminal.
    • Dusknoir is a Pokemon from the same Bad Future whose objective is to capture Grovyle so that The End of the World as We Know It can continue unhindered. He eventually tricks the heroes into aiding him and manages to capture Grovyle.
      You'd expect: Dusknoir to thank everyone for their help, take Grovyle back to the future, close the time portal, and promptly slit his throat.
      Instead: He kidnaps the player and the partner, ties them up, and has his Sableye minions dispose of them.
      The Result: The three of them escape, Grovyle reveals the truth, and they all get back home and thwart Dusknoir and Primal Dialga's plans.
  • Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon:
    • Before the mine dungeon early in the game, three Drilbur try to prevent you and your partner from entering, when your partner suddenly says, without any kind of warning, "Hey, all you Drilbur! Look at that! A delicious-looking Apple tree just sprouted up over there!"
      You'd Expect: The Drilbur to say that they are not going to fall for the trick, which would render your partner's trick completely useless.
      Instead: The Drilbur decide to just take a look, and they let their guard drop.
      Result: You and your partner enter the mine.
    • During the first field trip at the school, you are with your partner and Goomy. At the end, you and your partner realize Goomy is missing.
      You'd Expect: Your partner to say, "Hey, Insert Player Name Here, let's go and get Goomy."
      Instead: Your partner, eager to have their team win, goes on ahead without Goomy, and you are left with no choice but to follow.
      Result: Goomy gets left behind, and your partner is scolded.

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