- Agent Ross has manipulated John Marston into killing all of his former gang. Ross wants the glory for this, so he plans to kill Marston to take all the credit.
You'd Expect: Ross would just shoot Marston in the back right at the site of the battle with Dutch's gang, or order the Army to kill him right then and there, allowing him to blame the death on Dutch.
Instead: He lets Marston go and re-unite with his family for several days before invading his ranch with a company of trained soldiers. Marston, with the advantage of fighting on his own turf and resting up, kills dozens of them. Marston then dies trying to hold off Edgar and his people and give his family time to escape. Edgar does all this because he wants the glory of having finished off the last member of Dutch's outlaw gang himself (and shooting John in the back right after he'd helped out would've looked bad from that perspective), but this just provokes John's son to return to get his vengeance on Ross (and Ross' family, if the player feels particularly vindictive).
- In the beginning of the game, John Marston is in front of Fort Mercer. Above him is his target, Bill Williamson and at least two other men. All have guns trained on him. During the conversation, it's becoming clear that Bill won't listen to him.
You'd Expect: John Marston accepts Bill's offer to leave while he still had the chance.
Instead: He pulls out his cattleman revolver, but in a split-second, one of the bandits shoots him in the ribs, causing him to nearly bleed to death. He's lucky he was saved soon afterward and that the bandit in question didn't instead shoot him in the head.
- John intended to die there instead of succeeding in killing Bill, this is mentioned by Bonnie in the missions afterwards.
- There's also the matter of in-game cartoon character Beaumont The Burly. He goes to a women's suffrage support meeting, and doesn't agree with it.
You'd Expect: Him to keep his mouth shut.
Instead: He walks up to the speaker, and tells her to quit it, and go home and get ready to make supper. The women attending respond by beating him to a pulp, tying him up, and dumping him on a railway line.
- Allende, leader of Mexico during the Mexican Arc, is not spared this.
You'd Expect: Knowing that Marston only came to Mexico to get Bill Williamson, who is under Allende's protection, Allende would simply give this strange American bounty hunter what he wants and wave him goodbye as he curb-stomps the rebels.
Instead: He repeatedly refuses to give Marston the man he wants, has Marston help him fight a war Marston wanted no part of, orders Marston executed, which causes Marston to fall to the rebels, and after a series of events, Marston ends up helping the rebels secure complete, total victory. Allende's government is overthrown, and Marston/Reyes gets to kill Allende himself. Really, dude? Really??
What An Idiot / Red Dead Redemption