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What An Idiot / Sonic the Hedgehog

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Sonic: You know, pals? There's three ways not to be stupid. One, stay in school. Two, stay in school. Three, don't forget one and two!

Sonic may be the fastest thing alive, but his world isn't exactly inhabited by the smartest people alive.

Sonic X has its own page.Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW) has its own page.

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  • Dr. Eggman/Robotnik has, time and time again, created mecha upon mecha to put a stop to Sonic's plan-foiling once and for all. Yet every time he faces the Blue Blur (or really, anyone else for that matter), his contraptions always get thrashed.
    You'd Expect: Eggman to wise up. He could pick environments that don't give Sonic an advantage, keep his cockpit out of reach so Sonic can't hit him, and/or stop using attacks that end up hurting his own mechs.
    Instead: He keeps making the same mistakes, time and time again, in both the Classic and Modern eras.
  • Ever since his introduction, and in most media, Knuckles is tricked by Eggman.
    You'd Expect: Knuckles would outright stop listening to Eggman, or at least adopt a "shoot on sight" policy with Eggman. Additionally, some of the other characters would spell it out to Knuckles that Eggman is not, and never will be a trustworthy individual.
    Instead: Knuckles continually falls for Eggman's deceit, and often frequently messes up his friends attempts to save the world.
  • Frequently, many villains try to manipulate or persecute Shadow the Hedgehog.
    You'd Expect: For said villains to realize that trying to antagonize a Person of Mass Destruction with a Hair-Trigger Temper who's perfectly willing to kill if necessary is not a very smart idea.
    Instead: Naturally, Bullying a Dragon occurs. The result? Humanity almost got nuked, the Black Arms were wiped out entirely, the GUN Commander was humiliated, and Mephiles was literally erased from existence after getting curb-stomped.

    Video Games 
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (8-bit)
    • Dr. Eggman has kidnapped Tails (who incidentally, made his debut in this version), meaning the latter can't fly Sonic to safety. In Under Ground Zone Act 3, Sonic ends up taking a deadly wrong turn and is about to fall into boiling hot magma. This bears repeating: there's no one to save Sonic this time.
      You'd Expect: Eggman to let his arch-nemesis die a fiery death, knowing full well that if he loses his life here and now, there will be no one to get in his way any longer.
      Instead: He swoops in and saves his arch-enemy so he can make him fight his Antlion Mecha. Who Eggman proceeds to accidentally destroy anyway. Nice going, Egghead!
      However: Sonic did have the first Chaos Emerald, and that's why Eggman saved Sonic. Could have done without destroying his own mech, though.

  • Sonic Adventure:
    • Eggman is trying to collect all the Chaos Emeralds so he can transform Chaos into Perfect Chaos. Each Chaos Emerald he consumes makes him stronger and stronger.
      You'd Expect: That after Sonic and Tails hears this, they make sure to not only get the Chaos Emeralds before Eggman does, but keep them secure so he can't take them away. Not only that, they keep a look-out for Eggman in case he tries to follow them.
      Instead: They don't take any precautions when searching for the emeralds. After getting the grey emerald in Casinopolis, Eggman immediately ambushes them, leading to Sonic and Tails dropping the emerald and getting knocked out by sleeping gas.
      You'd Then Expect: Sonic and Tails to make sure they keep an eye out for Eggman, or at the very least stop dropping them or holding them in plain sight of Eggman, like what happened with the first two emeralds.
      Instead: They don't do any of that, leading to Sonic and Tails dropping the other two they got in the fight with Knuckles, which was orchestrated by Eggman.
      As a Result: Sonic and Tails delivers four out of seven Chaos Emeralds to Eggman, allowing Chaos to transform into Chaos 4, and eventually Chaos 6 when Eggman gets the emeralds from Amy's Flicky and Froggy. The only reason Eggman doesn't win right then is because the seventh emerald was the power-source for the Tornado 2.

  • Sonic Adventure 2:
    • Rouge is an agent of G.U.N. who is investigating Project Shadow and the "Ultimate Life Form" while acting as The Mole and "joining up" with Eggman and Shadow. G.U.N. has three of the Chaos Emeralds hidden in Prison Island's Security Hall, and Rouge knows this. They arrive at the island with the intent of collecting them, with Eggman having Shadow plant a bomb on the island that'll be set to blow in 15 minutes.
      You'd Expect: Rouge would let her affiliates at G.U.N. know about the situation so that nobody ends up getting hurt/blown up.
      Instead: She apparently never thought of doing this and sneaks around the place, eventually duking it out with G.U.N.'s Flying Dog mech and getting trapped, leaving Shadow to have to save her.
      You'd Also Expect: Since Rouge is investigating Shadow, and is working near the black and red hedgehog that they mistook for Sonic, that she'd tell them they got the wrong guy.
      Instead: Once again, Rouge never does this. She may not know Sonic personally at this point in the series, but still.

  • Shadow the Hedgehog
    • Shadow, still suffering amnesia due to his fall to Earth, decides to search for clues to his past. As of the end of Heroes, he has become Fire-Forged Friends with Rouge the Bat, who not only knows most of the story of Shadow's creation, but was nice enough to take him under her wing when she freed him in Eggman's base. Also, most of the cast knows about Shadow's past thanks to the Info Dump at the end of Adventure 2.
      You'd Expect: Shadow would ask her help in uncovering his past, given their former relationship. This way, Rouge can tell Shadow everything she knows and Shadow would decide what to do from there. Alternatively, he can tell any of his past acquaintances given their own knowledge of Shadow's past.
      Or At Least: True, Shadow's not the kind of guy to ask for help and he doesn't know these guys too well. But in this case, he would go it entirely alone.
      Instead: Not only does he not tell any former allies he's confused about his past, but the guys he does turn to are Eggman, a pathological liar and infamous villain, and an ALIEN INVADER.
    • The game introduces the G.U.N. Commander, who apparently was there when Gerald and Black Doom created Shadow, which traumatized him for whatever reason and made him think he had something to do with the ARK's destruction. 50 years later and he's... well, the commander of G.U.N. and sees that Shadow has been spotted with the Black Arms.
      You'd Expect: A sensible commander would try to launch an investigation and try to ask Shadow (as potentially difficult as that may be) about what he's doing. Since this is Shadow we're talking about, he'll brush them off and then they'll have no choice but to hunt him down.
      Instead: He lets his anger towards his memory of Shadow get the better of him and declare him a threat, citing them to shoot at Shadow if he's seen with the Black Arms. This apparently includes any times when Shadow is seen doing the "Hero" missions where he's helping them, accompanied by any one of the other well-known heroes including, among others, their own agent Rouge, the Chaotix Detective Agency, Tails who's already a national hero for saving Station Square, or even Sonic himself.
    • Speaking of the G.U.N. Commander, one of the story branches has him personally confront Shadow, revealing his grudge, and intending on killing him.
      You'd Expect: For the Commander to either have some kind of high tech weaponry, or even the Powered Armor Diablon mech that he actually uses in Final Boss battles to aid him in doing so. He knows that its not some normal human criminal that he's attempting to apprehend, but a widely known Person of Mass Destruction, that has in this game alone, taken down hundreds, if not thousands of his forces, Black Arms, and Eggman robots combined.
      Instead: He shows up with no armor or weaponry save for a single handgun, apparently deluding himself into thinking it will be enough.
      Result: Shadow easily dodges said bullet, offhandedly, with a Flash Step (assuming it could have killed him to begin with), and the Commander has the gall to be surprised at this. Fortunately for him this isn't an Evil Shadow event, (as the hedgehog has other things on his mind), or Shadow would have easily killed him.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (2006):
    • This game introduces Princess Elise, a Damsel in Distress who gets captured by Dr. Eggman multiple times in the same chapter. After Sonic saves the princess yet again, she returns to Soleanna and sees that Eggman is attacking the city.
      You'd Expect: The princess would send out her army/guards to defend the city and run to safety herself or at least go in hiding.
      Instead: Elise decides to surrender herself to Eggman in order to spare the city from further destruction, citing that "it's her duty as a princess to protect her country", knowing full well that the mad doctor wants to take over the world and use Elise's power to achieve that goal. To make matters worse, the airship that Elise and Eggman are on malfunctions and crashes into the mountainside, killing them both before Sonic could arrive in time to save her. If it wasn't for Silver's idea to have Sonic go back in time so he could prevent the princess' death, the story would have ended right there.
    • Dr. Eggman relentlessly chases Princess Elise throughout Sonic's story, and Sonic makes it his mission to protect her from him. After losing Elise three times to Dr. Eggman, Sonic once again reunites with her, and they manage to lose Dr. Eggman's robots through Tropical Jungle.
      You'd Expect: Sonic would keep a tighter leash on Elise this time, considering everything that's happened so far.
      Instead: Sonic decides to dump Elise at her castle without any protection whatsoever, and he is nowhere to be found while Dr. Eggman threatens Elise with the destruction of the town. At least the first three times that Elise was recaptured were out of Sonic's control. Here, he willingly leaves her alone.
      Even Better: Amy manages to break Elise out of Dr. Eggman's base in Silver's story...only to also leave the princess alone in her castle.
      Result: Dr. Eggman easily recaptures the princess both times, unsurprisingly.
    • Silver attempts to kill Sonic after Sonic and Elise manage to escape Dusty Desert. Later, after Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles were transported into the future by Dr. Eggman, they overhear Silver's, Blaze's, and Mephiles's plan to kill a "blue hedgehog." They also note that Mephiles has a striking resemblance to Shadow.
      You'd Expect: Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles would try to warn Shadow about Mephiles, who seems to want Sonic dead for some reason.
      Or At Least: Team Sonic would discuss among themselves the murder plan they've just overheard and try to find ways to deal with it.
      You'd Also Expect: Elise would mention to Sonic (or Silver, for that matter) that she has seen Silver before from the Solaris Incident ten years ago (which shouldn't have been possible, but still).
      Instead: Everyone keeps their mouths shut about the entire murder plan. No one ever talks about it, despite its being brought up a total of three times in Sonic's story. The topic is forgotten as quickly as it is brought up.
    • Silver has learned that while Iblis isn't killable, he can be sealed inside some sort of member of royalty (ie: Elise). Then, not long thereafter as Silver helps Sonic try to save Elise from Eggman again, his ship crashes and Elise and Eggman both die as mentioned above. Silver and Sonic then resolve to travel back an hour into the past to save her.
      You'd Expect: Silver, Blaze, Sonic and others to band together to save Elise, deal with Eggman and, if Mephiles is on the way, maybe deal with him too (not that Silver even remotely warns Sonic about him in the first place).
      Instead: Sonic tosses his own Chaos Emerald to Silver in confidence that he can do it alone, and Silver just lets him do it. Sonic then gets killed not long after rescuing Elise because of a distraction and no one to help him.
    • Big Bad Mephiles the Dark's main goal is to fuse with Iblis, a lava monster who was sealed within Princess Elise when she was a little girl. Mephiles has the power to freely travel through time.
      You'd Expect: Mephiles to travel back in time to when he and Iblis were first created and separated, and fuse with him there, unless doing so would Grandfather Paradox everything up. If so, he could either travel to Silver's time, where Iblis has been unsealed for several years and fuse with him there, or remain in Sonic's time and work on undoing the seal himself.
      Instead: Mephiles manipulates Silver into going back in time to kill Sonic, knowing that doing so will cause Elise to cry, and thus release Iblis. While Silver does come close to killing Sonic twice, on both occasions he's stopped by one of Sonic's friends, and on the second occasion, Shadow is able to warn Silver of Mephiles's true intentions, thus turning Siver against Mephiles.
      Bonus Idiocy: The game's last story starts with Mephiles killing Sonic with minimal effort, thus proving that he never needed Silver's help in the first place.
  • In Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, Imperator Ix, after taking a thrashing from the entirety of Sonic the Hedgehog's team, taps the Villain Ball long enough to blurt out how he plans to conquer the world like he tried four thousand years ago. Procurator Shade, who has demonstrated tactical competence up to this point, happens to be within earshot and immediately questions his motives.
    You'd expect: Ix to apologize to Shade, grab the Master Emerald, return to the Nocturne with Shade in tow, and explain to her the necessity of such actions.
    Instead: Ix firmly grasps the Villain Ball, cuts her off with a very loud "SILENCE!!", and blasts her off the island. He gets away with the Master Emerald anyway, but Knuckles saves Shade's bacon, having recovered from the shock that the Nocturnus are still alive after all this time. This incident gives Shade all the reason she needs to switch allegiences.
  • Sonic Lost World
    • Early on, we get a cutscene in which Sonic and Tails find out that Eggman is controlling the Deadly Six with a magic conch shell called the Cacophonic Conch.
      You'd Expect: Sonic to listen to Tails while he figures out what the Conch is.
      Instead: Sonic runs up to Eggman and kicks the Conch away. The Deadly Six rebel against Eggman, forcing him into working with Sonic.
    • Towards the climax, the Deadly Six capture Tails when they had intended to capture Sonic for roboticization. Zavok then adapts his plan to roboticizing Tails in order to makes Sonic lose the will to fight.
      You'd Expect: Knowing how smart Tails is, Zavok would:
      A. Change his mind and kill Tails, since leaving him alive, even as a robot, wouldn't do the Deadly Six much good.
      B. Knock Tails unconscious, leaving the fox defenseless against being turned into a robot.
      C. Have someone supervise the process to make sure everything goes according to plan.
      Instead: Zavok not only chooses to roboticize Tails while he's still awake, Zavok and the rest of the Deadly Six leave Tails alone on the machine.
      Result: Tails hacks the computer and messes with the roboticization process, allowing him to keep his free will after being roboticized.
  • Sonic Forces
    • After years of countless defeats at the hands of the Blue Blur, Eggman has managed to do the impossible and finally defeat Sonic with the help of a mysterious being known as "Infinite" and has managed to conquer 99% the world.
      You'd Expect: Eggman to immediately kill Sonic so he can not only be rid of his longtime nemesis, but also be rid of the only opposition to his plans.
      Instead: Eggman bearhugs the Villain Ball with open arms and decides to keep Sonic prisoner on the rebuilt Death Egg, torturing him for six months just so Sonic could see him win completely.
      Result: By the time he finally decides to kill him by jettisoning him into space, Rouge, who had been spying on the Death Egg, manages to inform the Resistance (who had initially believed Sonic to be dead) that Sonic is alive on the Death Egg, prompting them to steal a shuttle to break him out of jail.
    • Infinite gets several of these moments throughout the game due to his overwhelming arrogance and sadism.
      • Infinite is fighting a group of Resistance soldiers and defeats them all handily, leaving only one alive, the Avatar, who is clearly too scared to continue the fight.
        You'd Expect: Infinite to just kill the Avatar and be done with it.
        Instead: In an act of Cruel Mercy, he lets them go just so he can listen to their screams of terror.
        Result: The Avatar would later join Knuckles and the others and would become a key player in overthrowing Eggman. In other words, Infinite created his own worst enemy.
      • Infinite has managed to once again defeat Sonic in their rematch at Mystic Jungle.
        You'd Expect: Infinite to just kill Sonic and be done with it.
        Instead: He deems Sonic Not Worth Killing and flies off.
        Result: Sonic continues to dismantle Eggman's control of the world and eventually becomes strong enough to defeat him.
      • Later in Green Hill, Infinite tells Eggman that he has destroyed all of the Phantom Ruby prototypes. However, in his earlier fight with Silver in Mystic Jungle, he accidentally dropped one of the Phantom Ruby prototypes he was supposed to destroy.
        You'd Expect: Infinite to remember that, fly back to Mystic Jungle, find the prototype and destroy it.
        Instead: He completely forgets about it.
        Result: The Avatar would later find that same prototype, allowing them to survive Infinite's illusion during their fight in Metropolis and ultimately allowing them to foil Eggman's plan to incinerate the Resistance with a Virtual Reality construct of the Sun.
        Even Worse: During the aforementioned fight, the Avatar drops the Phantom Ruby prototype in full view of Infinite and Infinite completely fails to notice it. Even when the Avatar survives his illusion, it never dawns on him that they might be using a Phantom Ruby prototype. note 
    • While Sonic is busy fighting Shadow, Knuckles learns that Eggman's army is undermanned in his home base in Metropolis and decides to launch "Operation Big Wave", a plan he admits he came up with in a minute and a half that basically consists of... a full frontal assault.
      You'd Expect: Someone with some degree of common sense to tell Knuckles how blatantly idiotic this plan is. Even if Eggman's army is undermanned, they still have to contend with Infinite, who is an army unto himself.
      Instead: Everyone pretty much goes with the plan with no objections whatsoever.
      Result: Once the attack gets underway, everything quickly goes to hell when Infinite arrives and uses the Phantom Ruby to create giant illusions of himself, throwing the Resistance into total chaos. By the time they finally decide to retreat, 80% of the Resistance has been wiped out. Way to go, Knucklehead.

    Cartoons and anime 

Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog

  • This particular Sonic cartoon gives us Dr. Robotnik's goons Scratch and Grounder. Rarely do they properly implement any attacks on Sonic that work, and even when they do, they find a way to screw things up royally.
    You'd Expect: That Robotnik would either build new robots or use other ones like Coconuts occasionally, as some of his robots outside of Scratch and Grounder seem to be relatively effective. At the very least, you'd think he'd realise that Scratch and Grounder themselves are the main problem with many of his schemes, and that he would therefore assume they are no longer worth using or demote them.
    Instead: He keeps rebuilding the same failures over and over, always wondering where he's going wrong, and constantly sending them to do more dirty work.
  • Virtually every villain, ESPECIALLY Scratch and Grounder, cannot see through Sonic's disguises despite them usually never hiding his face or his blue color and spines.
    You'd Expect: Someone would pick up on the suspicious blue hedgehogs everywhere with the exact same voice as being the same guy.
    Instead: Nobody ever realizes it, and when someone does, they rarely are close enough to stop the idiots that don't.
  • Many during the first episode.
    • During the story that Sonic tells Scratch and Grounder, we see Sonic walk into the bounty hunters convention, sit in the front row, and boo sarcastically alongside all the other booing robots as they look at images of Sonic.
      You'd Expect: At least ONE robot or Robotnik would hear Sonic or notice him sitting in the front row.
      Instead: Robotnik doesn't even realize Sonic's there until Sonic draws sarcastic attention to himself.
    • Later on, Sonic rushes past multiple robots and runs up to a large green one, then points in the opposite direction and says "I'm over there".
      You'd Expect: The robot would chase Sonic.
      Instead: He actually looks in the direction Sonic points, and continues looking until he gets run over by a robot stampede.
    • Later still, Sonic runs past two robots and gives them a pair of ropes and tells them not to let go, before running off.
      You'd Expect: That a smart person would let go before anything happens.
      Instead: They keep holding on to the point where they are slammed into everything before finally colliding with a wall.
    • And towards the end, Coconuts shows up, trying to take credit for Sonic's capture. Sonic tells him that if Scratch and Grounder get away, he'll be in trouble.
      You'd Expect: That since he tied Scratch and Grounder up, that he'd simply tie them up harder or with more rope.
      Instead: He takes Sonic's advice and tries to put them in the cage with Sonic, inevitably resulting in Sonic getting out and putting Coconuts inside with Scratch and Grounder.
    • And later still, Robotnik shows up in person to take Sonic and Tails to his dungeon personally, only to be in a surprise dust storm (that Sonic caused). Sonic then uses Grounder's phone to contact Robotnik and pretend to be a nearby control tower. Tails points a red flashlight into the dust storm at Robotnik, and Sonic convinces Robotnik that if he can see the lights, he is three feet above the ground and should cut his engines.
      You'd Expect: That Robotnik would either recognize Sonic's voice and realize he got away, or at the very lest question why a Mobius control tower would want to help such a hated villain. Furthermore, you'd think Robotnik would question the fact that a control tower told him to shut off his engines and simply plummet three feet, and would instead slowly lower to the ground until he made contact.
      Instead: Robotnik heeds the advice of the mystery control tower man (never realizing it's Sonic), and cuts his engines. He is then entirely surprised when he falls over 30 feet to the ground, collides with a cage, destroys Scratch, Grounder, and Coconuts, and ruins his Egg-o-Matic Hovercraft.
  • Much of the episode, "Birth of a Salesman" involves Dr. Robotnik buying a series of hedgehog-hunting gadgets from Wes Weasely.
    You'd Expect: Dr. Robotnik to use the gadgets himself, since he is the only one competent enough to use them (or in the case of the final attempt, at least more competent than Scratch and Grounder).
    Instead: He sends Scratch and Grounder to use the gadgets to catch Sonic every single time. Being too dumb to use the gadgets properly, they fail miserably every single time. Robotnik pins the blame on Weasely, accusing him of selling defective products, and demanding refunds. As Weasely points out, his gadgets work too well, and are in incompetent hands.
    • During the first situation, Scratch and Grounder attempt to slow Sonic down by activating the Darkenator, which darkens everything. They were also given two pairs of infrared goggles so they can see in the dark while Sonic can't.
      You'd Expect: Scratch and Grounder to put on the infrared goggles before activating the Darkenator.
      Instead: They activate the Darkenator first. Scratch then asks Grounder to put on the infrared goggles, but Grounder tells them it's now too dark for them to see where they are. As a result, Sonic (who is ducked under the dark cloud) is able to take advantage of the situation by tying them together with a rope, and tricking them into thinking they're parked in a red zone. This causes Grounder to roll away and pull Scratch down, causing them to destroy the Darkenator and themselves in the process.
    • During a later situation, Scratch and Grounder go ahead and use the Gravity Stopper given to them by Weasely to catch Sonic in an "anti-gravity net" which will result in him being stuck in the air. They succeed; however, Sonic begins stating that Tails can fly them away far better, but if one of the robots comes up to get them, he admits loudly, then they won't get away.
      You'd Expect: Any reasonable individual to assume Sonic is either full of it as he is tricky, or that the device doesn't work since the two would just get away, and try something else.
      Instead: Scratch takes off his 'Self gravity boots", tries to catch Sonic, then gets stuck himself. Sonic tells him they'll be trapped forever, and Scratch panics and tells Grounder to shut the device off. Grounder is crushed by Scratch as the latter falls from the air, and Tails and Sonic get away.
    • During the final attempt in the same episode, Robotnik buys the De-atomizer, which has an untested red switch.
      You'd Expect: After the last three failures, Robotnik would go along with Scratch and Grounder to supervise them and ensure nothing can go wrong, or more effectively, take matters in his own hands and go by himself.
      Instead: He sends Weasely to supervise Scratch and Grounder. Scratch presses the red button, which clones Sonic. After Sonic and his clones chase him and Grounder away by creating a giant popcorn ball, Weasely declones Sonic, and tells him about his experience with Robotnik, convincing Sonic to help him get back at him.
  • In "Musta Been A Beautiful Baby", Sonic, Tails and Dr, Robotnik have been turned into babies and eventually wind up at a daycare center. Robotnik comes up with a plan to leave a trail of jelly beans to a merry-go-round rigged to go off when a dog tied to it starts running. It gets foiled when the owner forces Sonic and Tails to brush their teeth.
    You'd Expect: Even in his baby form for Dr. Robotnik not to fall for his own prank.
    Instead: When he sees the trail of jelly beans, he starts eating them and gets tricked into getting spun on the merry-go-round when the dog wakes up.
  • In the episode, "The Magic Hassle", Coconuts buys a series of magical supplies from Wes Weasely, one of which is a mastadon bone that can cast a spell that turns things into stone. Coconuts succeeds in turning Sonic and Tails into stone with it, then calls Robotnik from a nearby phone booth to tell him the good news. An impressed Robotnik asks Coconuts if there is a way to reverse the spell, and Coconuts tells him the only way to do that is to hang up a phone. Upon hearing this, Robotnik tells Coconuts not to hang up the phone and to wait until he comes by to collect Sonic and Tails.
    You'd Expect: Coconuts not to hang up the phone.
    Instead: Coconuts merely tells Robotnik he won't hang up the phone, then hangs up the phone anyway. Almost immediately afterwards, Coconuts realizes his mistake, but by this time, the spell is broken and Sonic and Tails are turned back to normal. Coconuts tries to recreate the spell, only for Sonic to snatch the mastadon bone from him and toss it into the road, where it gets run over by a cola truck, destroying it.
  • In "Slowwww Going", Robotnik invents the Slow-mo Ray, which slows down anything it zaps for one hour, which is powered by a Mobian Mega Crystal. By the end of the episode's first act, Scratch and Grounder successfully zap Sonic with it, then lock him in a cage in a cave behind the waterfall. Then they call Robotnik to report their success, with Robotnik telling them he'll be there soon to collect Sonic. Meanwhile, Tails attempts to rescue Sonic.
    You'd Expect: One of the robots to hold onto the Slow-Mo Ray in case Tails attempts to rescue Sonic.
    Instead: They leave the ray unguarded while they tease and torment Sonic.
    As a Result: Tails gets ahold of the ray and attempts to zap Scratch and Grounder with it. Grounder swats the ray out of Tails' hand, but it falls to the ground and the crystal breaks as a result. Scratch puts the broken crystal back in the ray and attempts to zap Tails, but Sonic manages to pull on Scratch's tail feathers, causing Tails to escape with the ray. When he brings it to the Sloth family, Rocket falls on the ray. He gets zapped by it, and due to the crystal breaking, the ray's effects are reversed and Rocket temporarily becomes faster. Tails zaps Rocket's family, and they help him rescue Sonic. When Sonic is returned to normal and Scratch and Grounder are defeated, Robotnik catches Tails holding the ray and demands he return it. Tails instead aims the ray at Robotnik.
    You'd Expect: Robotnik to move out of the way.
    Instead: He tells Tails not to shoot him, expecting to be slowed down a third time, having already been zapped twice by Scratch and Grounder earlier in the episode.
    As a Result: Tails zaps him with the ray, temporarily making him faster.
    You'd Expect: With his newfound speed, Robotnik would use it to catch up to Sonic and capture him.
    Instead: He flies his Egg-O-Matic hovercraft into a mountain.
  • Even Sonic and Tails aren't immune to these, such as this example where they scope out Robitnik's Casino Night Zone in "High Stakes Sonic". While fighting Scratch and Grounder, they pass by a nursery in the casino. While the nursery has a babysitter, there are no kids to be found.
    You'd Expect: Both of them to remember that the Casino is owned by Robotnik and to think twice about a possible ruse.
    Instead: Sonic instructs Tails to hang out in the nursery while he fights Scratch and Grounder, thinking it will be safe. Tails discovers that the babysitter works for Robotnik too little too late. She charges Tails 1,000,000 Mobiums for spending ten minutes in the ball pit, and when Tails tells her that he doesn't have that kind of money, she presses a button that opens a trap door in the ball pit.
    You'd Expect: Tails to remember that he can easily fly over the trap door and out of harm's way.
    Instead: Tails forgets he can fly and is sent down the trap door, leading to Robotnik capturing him.
  • There's also "Tails' New Home" where Sonic decides to have a family adopt Tails. They pass by a billboard with a missing child message and a picture of Tails as a baby on it. Scratch speaks through the billboard, saying whoever finds Tails can bring him to his parents at an address. The billboard uses another picture of the parents in obvious disguise.
    You'd Expect: Sonic and Tails to be suspicious about all this.
    Instead: Tails is excited about the thought of meeting these "parents" and coaxes Sonic to take him there. Sonic meanwhile is reluctant, not out of doubt but more upset at the thought of leaving Tails behind.
    You'd Expect: When they get there for Sonic to study the mannerisms of these "parents" and confirm they're imposters. Sonic should also remember that Tails' real parents would call him his birth name, Miles, and not the nickname Sonic gave him.
    Instead: Sonic raises no fuss when the couple doesn't refer to Tails as Miles. It takes a flashback of Sonic giving Tails his nickname on the day they met to realize that Tails has been kidnapped.

Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM)

  • In "Sonic Racer", Sally, Bunnie and Antoine are at one of Robotnik's factories. Antoine accidentally falls on a conveyor belt and turns it on by pulling its lever at the same time. Then he gets carried by it towards the machinery, and is too petrified with fear to get out of the conveyor belt. Sally and Bunnie to the rescue.
    You'd Expect: Them to simply turn the conveyor belt off by pulling the lever, which was just by their side.
    Instead: They try to stop the conveyor belt by grabbing and pulling it. Needless to say, they fail, so they resort to calling Sonic for help, who has to arrive and save the day at the last moment.
  • In "Sonic and Sally", Robotnik catches Sally and creates a robotic duplicate of her to impersonate her so that Sonic takes it to Knothole and Robotnik finds out the hidden village's location.
    You'd Expect: Robotnik to put a tracer on Robo-Sally.
    Instead: He just puts a camera on her eyes, apparently with the intention of seeing the path to Knothole, even though this one is hidden in the middle of a large forest.
    Even Worse: Robotnik's computer overloads and causes him to lose access to the camera on Robo-Sally's eyes. However, when you think about, his plan still wouldn't have worked even without the malfunction, considering that Sonic has a tendency of taking Sally back to Knothole by carrying her while running really fast. So even if Robotnik had successfully received the camera's images, he wouldn't have been able to see the path with all the blur.
  • Another facepalm Robotnik moment in "Sonic Past Cool": Robotnik and Snively have the Freedom Fighters trapped in a force field, and are hovering over them in an aircraft, ready to drop a cage over them and imprison them. Snively asks "Shall I throw the cage, sir?", and Robotnik's response is: "Negative. Let them sweat a while. There is no way for them to get through that force field. Even the hedgehog is trapped."
    You'd Expect: For the force field to be impenetrable. Robotnik is supposed to be arrogant, but not stupid. He wouldn't risk giving Sonic extra time to break out of it for not reason if that wasn't the case.
    Instead: It turns out that by merely using his Spin Attack (his signature move), Sonic is able to not just easily penetrate it, but also open a hole large enough for the Freedom Fighters and a small dinosaur to go through, which stays open long enough for everyone to escape. Wow. No wonder this continuity's Robotnik isn't a (mad) scientist, nor was ever shown to be capable of building any robots by himself...
  • A major facepalm occurs in "Game Guy": Sally and Dulcy manage to infiltrate Robotnik's base in order to rescue Sonic from a deathtrap. They break into Robotnik's own control room, catching Robotnik completely off guard, whereupon Dulcy immediately freezes him and Snively solid with her ice breath.
    You'd Expect: For Dulcy to have forgone ice and breathed fire instead, or for her and Sally to either tie up, incapacitate, or kill the frozen duo, which would not only save Sonic, but completely win the war. If not, then to at least ransack his, again, central control room, for any and all vital technology and components.
    Instead: They leave the two villains to go save Sonic at a different location, resulting in them thawing out and continuing to be a threat.
  • Dulcy does it again in her self-titled episode. When Sonic is captured and surrounded by several robots, and Robotnik himself, she flies down and blitzes Robotnik's forces, freezing all of them solid with her ice breath, and then flying Sonic out of there.
    You'd Expect: Dulcy to have again, breathed fire and fried Robotnik, or for Sonic to tell Dulcy, "Turn back around and lets finish them."
    Instead: Sonic congrats Dulcy for saving him, and the two return to Knothole, allowing Robotnik to thaw out.
    The Result: Robotnik, having witnessed Dulcy firsthand, now realizes that some of the dragons are still free, and then sets out to find and roboticize the rest, and nearly succeeds.
  • "The Void":
    • Sonic is trapped between the opening of an interdimensional portal to the Void (a sort of limbo) that is a few meters next to him, and Robotnik's army's fire.
      You'd Expect: Robotnik to order his robots to shoot and kill Sonic.
      Instead: He makes them aim their attacks a few centimeters away from him from the opposite direction of the portal, so that he's trapped and the portal sucks him in. It works, but why not just shoot him and get rid of him once and for all instead?
      Even Worse: Sending him into the Void was pointless, as it turns out that Sonic can escape it by merely using his super speed. Scratch that, it was worse than pointless. As Robotnik knew, at the same time, the Void was the prison of most of his enemies, namely Sally, Bunnie, King Acorn, Ari, and Naugus, the latter being the only person Robotnik was truly afraid of, and someone who had a grudge against him. Sonic helps them all escape, and now Robotnik has to deal with a vengeful Naugus, who proceeds to make Robotnik his bitch. The only thing that saved Robotnik in the end was a Diabolus ex Machina that forced Naugus and King Acorn back into the Void. And even then, the others are still free from it, King Acorn got to give Sally a list of Freedom Fighters groups that can aid them, and Ari (who also knows about other Freedom Fighters) is there to help them as well. Then a few episodes later, they use the newly acquired information to contact the other groups and join together in their fight against Robotnik, forming a network of Freedom Fighters. Nice going, Robotnik.
    • Naugus and Robotnik had originally teamed up to investigate the Void. The plan was that Naugus would go into it and explore it, while Robotnik was in charge of keeping the portal open. Fearing that Robotnik would betray him and leave him trapped, he decided to threaten him by showing him what he can do with his magical powers, changing his head into that of a crow.
      You'd Expect: To leave him like that until he returned from the Void as a warranty. Surely the prospect of staying like that forever would discourage Robotnik from betraying Naugus.
      Instead: He changes his head back to normal before entering the Void. So Robotnik betrays and strands him in the Void, after which Naugus can't do anything, as his magic can't normally reach people in another dimension.
  • ""Drood Henge":
    • The episode's plot involves the Freedom Fighters and Robotnik searching for the Deep Power Stones, two halves of a powerful artifact. By the end of the episode, Sonic and co. have one, while Robotnik has the other, (however, the Freedom Fighters have tricked him into believing that their half is destroyed.)
      You'd Expect: For Robotnik to keep his half on hand at all times, or under extremely heavy guard. Legend has it that the stones power could potentially destroy the planet, after all, not something you want to leave to chance. Additionally, even if he believes the other half is gone, research could yield positive results to further power his projects. You'd also expect for Robotnik to be more skeptical of the ruse the FF pulled over on him, and keep in mind the mere possibility that his noticeably crafty nemesis could still have the other half.
      Instead: He simply places it an easily accessible location in his (currently vacant) base, seemingly having put the stone completely out of mind.
      The Result: In "The Doomsday Project", Sonic literally walks right into the unguarded base, steals the stone, and with Sally, unites the two halves. This in turn gives them power needed to completely destroy the Doomsday Project, and defeat Robotnik (who up to that point had the upper hand) once and for all.
    • One more for Dulcy: Sonic is once again surrounded by Robotnik. His evac plan is Dulcy divebombing Robotnik and getting him out of there.
      You'd Expect: Dulcy to use her fire breath to roast Robotnik when he's within distance.
      Instead: She only gets Sonic out and this allows Robotnik to continue with his plans, notably enacting his Doomsday Project. Even worse, she was carrying Tails and Sally while she made the rescue, and they should've realized this!

    Archie Comics 
  • In Issue 1 of the original mini-series, Sally and Rotor concoct a plan to reverse-engineer Robotnik's roboticizer: have Sally meet with him to strike a deal to have her father released. Knowing that Robotnik would backstab her and attempt to roboticize her, she would be equipped with special boots designed to jam the machine and collect its data, allowing Rotor to analyze it.
    You'd expect: Them to confide said plan with the rest of the team.
    Instead: Sally simply claims that she's going to strike a deal with Robotnik and leaves. Even though Sonic and the others met with her while she was on the way to Robotropolis and asked her reasons, giving her plenty of opportunities to let them in on the plan, at no point does she reveal her true intentions, instead rudely telling them to mind their own business.
    Result: Sonic and the others follow her to Robotropolis, knowing that Robotnik would backstab her, and rescue her right before this attempt to roboticize her, botching the plan.
    You'd then expect: Sally to realise she screwed up by leaving her teammates in the dark and lying to them for no good reason and apologize.
    Instead: She blames them for the plan's failure and storms off.
  • In the "Iron Dominion" arc, Eggman has gone insane, growing increasingly distant and regressing farther back in his mental history each second, to the point where he completely forgets the events of the past couple of years, and believes things to be how they were, before the Great War happened.
    You'd expect: If not kill him, than either the Freedom Fighters and the Iron Dominion would keep this delusion going; it would do neither of them any good to snap him out of it (as it means having to fight him again, and the Iron Dominion having to give up their claim to his empire), and the Freedom Fighters could use this mental regression to "re-educate" him into a possible good guy and ally.
    Instead: They let him live and continue to refer to him by his current persona and even mock him with the events that drove him to madness, in the first place, which invariably breaks him out of his insanity and returns him to his old self.
  • Similarly, the Freedom Fighters have had their asses handed to them twice by the Iron Dominion, both a result of one of their cyborg allies getting controlled by the Iron Queen's Magitek. Both times, they only survive by using a Power Ring to break the spell. They also know the Iron Dominion is hell-bent on besieging New Mobotropolis - a nanite city in control of NICOLE, a sentient computer program.
    You'd expect: The Freedom Fighters to realize a pattern to this, and equip not just their cybernetic allies but NICOLE as well with Power Rings, as a safety precaution against the Iron Queen's powers.
    Instead: They do nothing, assuming everything will be fine with NICOLE. Predictably, she gets Magiteked, and the only solution they can think of to avoid the same thing happen to the people they've already encountered this with is to evacuate them at the last moment. Even more idiotic, when you consider that NICOLE's been hinted in-comic to be able to control the rate at which Power Rings emerge, leaving no excuse for them not to have any Rings available for such a contingency.
    Also: The Iron Queen should've clearly been able to tell she could manipulate NICOLE and the nanites in New Mobotropolis during her first successful breach into the city, as her Magitek was clearly shown affecting both in an adverse way — even if she was too busy to see the effect her powers had, she surely should've sensed it through those same powers.
    Instead: She completely ignored this and acted blithely ignorant about the mere prospect, requiring Snively to come up and tell her that.
  • There wee a number of powerful masters of mystic arts in the comic, from the villainous Mammoth Mogul to the more noble Merlin Prower (Tails' uncle) to the neutral Brotherhood Of Guardians (Knuckles' dad and other relatives). They are all aware that Dr. Robotnik/Eggman is a major threat, who doesn't mind causing genocide in order to rule the planet.
    You'd expect: One of them would kill him. For Merlin and the Guardians, their homes and families (Tails and Knuckles) have been endangered by the guy multiple times before issue 50. At least Mogul could use the act to gain the heroes trust to further his own plans. Merlin actually has a spell that allowed Tails to use his Super Mode, so he could just sic Super Sonic on Eggman and win in two seconds.
    Instead: They don't do a damn thing to stop him. By this point in the book, Eggman has rewritten reality twice and played an indirect part of the near genocide of the echidna race. It's like Sonic's status as the embodiment of chaos is just someone getting a counter for Eggman's insane luck. And most of them were erased from the current comic continuity.
  • Geoffrey St. John, who pulled off a years long game of Xanatos Speed Chess to get his master Ixis Naugus installed as king of the Republic of Acorn, learns without a doubt that Naugus is in fact evil. He also knows that Naugus was becoming increasingly ill as a result of Dr. Eggman's Genesis Wave, but he can't just tell anyone because the fallout of his trickery has destroyed any trust people had for him.
    You'd think: He'd use that cunning to play lackey while getting proof of Naugus' illness to convince the council to get Naugus to step down as king. Even if Naugus is still too strong to force out of power, Geoffrey could still convince Naugus to play along to keep the council on his side.
    Instead: He tries to convince Naugus to ask the council for help. Naugus realizes that Geoffrey isy still under contract with him and possesses Geoffrey's body to escape his failing one.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog/Mega Man: Worlds Collide: The day is saved as Super Sonic and Super Mega Man defeat the Egg Wily Machine X and set to prepare to restore Earth and Mobius via Chaos Control. Wily mopes in defeat as Eggman decides he's not through and refuses to surrender.
    You'd expect: Wily to get through to Eggman and just wait it out.
    Instead: Eggman rams Super Sonic, then blasts his Chaos Control shot, completely futzing up Mobius. On the plus side, the Freedom Fighters will be back to full force, not to mention Eggman eliminating any competition seeking to usurp him.
    Alternatively: Sonic could've remembered he's in Super Mode and just fly around Eggman's ship, or wreck what's left of it, so he's not distracted.