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What An Idiot / Spider-Man

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Western Animation

    Marvel's Spider-Man 
  • In the series premiere of Marvel's Spider-Man, Spencer Smythe showed Max Modell a video he took of his student Harry Osborn "tinkering" with Anya's science project, even though Smythe asked him to double check. Smythe then demanded Harry would be suspended during investigation.
    You'd Expect: Max to question why Smythe would take a video at that exact moment with Harry at the machine, while Harry would mention he was only double-checking when Smythe was acting concerned. Plus his classmates, Anya and Miles would object to suspending Harry.
    Instead: Max begrudgingly suspends Harry anyway and none of the other students object to this, except for Peter, who tries to defend Harry until Vulture arrives.
  • In "Goblin War: Part 1", Peter sneaks into Horizon High with Miles' help in order to find computer information on Harry's school work. The problem is, the information's on Peter's computer in his lab, which has now been taken over by Alistair Smythe, and since his body was taken over by Doc Ock and dropped out of the school, Peter has been banned from coming back.
    You'd Expect: For him to go incognito so no one will recognize him.
    Or Better Yet: For Miles to keep a lookout at the door while Peter is searching and warn him that someone is coming.
    Instead: Neither of them do any of the above and Miles just leaves for class while Peter is left in the room to search for the information.
    As A Result: Peter is caught by Alistair, who reports him to Max, who then escorts Peter out of the building and warns him that he will be forced to call security if he spots him on school grounds.
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    The Spectacular Spider-Man 
  • The The Spectacular Spider-Man episode "Growing Pains" ends with Venom crashing into the Daily Bugle office and declaring Peter Parker is Spider-Man.
    You'd Expect: Venom to do something that forces Peter into action, like throwing Jameson or one of the other Bugle staff members out of a window, thereby providing incontrovertible proof that Peter is Spider-Man.
    Instead: Venom leaves immediately after dropping this bombshell, leaving no proof of his claims but his word.
  • In the following episode "Identity Crisis", as journalists are trying to get proof of Spider-Man's identity, Venom attacks Spider-Man and eventually rips off his mask as Spider-Man quickly dives behind a car to avoid being seen.
    You'd Expect: Venom to rip the mask in half, so Spider-Man has no way of protecting his identity.
    Instead: Venom, holding the mask with him, checks under the car for Spider-Man.
    As A Result: He get whacked, allowing Peter to put his mask back on.
  • In "Gangland," Peter is on a date with Liz Allan on Valentine's Day. Many of his friends are also there with dates, including Gwen Stacy, who Peter has feelings for more than he does for Liz. Halfway through the date, Peter has to leave early for photographer/Spider-Man reasons. Liz forgives him, but wants a goodbye kiss.
    You'd Expect: Peter to give her the goodbye kiss and go off superheroing. If he must break up with her so he can pursue Gwen, he should do it at a more opportune time.
    Granted: There is no way to break up with someone who loves you "in a good way," but it would have been a much better option than what Peter ended up doing.
    Which Is: Acting like a Jerkass, failing to give the kiss, and apologizing to Gwen for leaving early.
    As A Result: Poor Liz is humiliated, her relationship with Peter is shattered, and Peter is to blame for being stupid.
  • And one more, this time in "Natural Selection". Even though its a growth in character development and meant to establish the status quo of the Spider-Man mythos, a ridiculous situation occurs when Curt is taking his serum and becomes the Lizard through some unforeseen side effects. Peter, as Spider-Man, manages to defeat him in the process taking some pictures for the Daily Bugle for a contest and has it printed on the newspapers.
    You'd Expect: Peter, being as smart as he is, would request he'd be listed as "Anonymous" or use a fake name since the whole affair was a private matter and keep suspicion off of him since he was suppose to be helping them.
    Instead: Like a dope, he has his name printed in bold letters on the paper.
    As A Result: He gets fired from his intership and his friends are now distrustful of him.
    Even Worse: He does it again in "Persona", which leads to his falling out with Eddie Brock. You all know what happens after that.
  • In "Reaction", Dr. Octopus and Spider-Man are fighting over a super-battery capable of supplying Doc's mechanic tentacles with infinite resource. Currently, Doc is using a makeshift battery with another hour of charge. He finally pins Spider-Man down and grabs the super-battery.
    You'd Expect: That he would finish Spider-Man off before changing the battery since he still had enough juice.
    Instead: He proceeds with the change and removes his current battery thus rending himself powerless for a moment.
    As A Result: This window of opportunity allows Spider-Man to beat him.

    Spider-Man: The Animated Series 
  • In the "Hobgoblin" episode of Spider-Man: The Animated Series Kingpin and Norman Osborn stage a juggling competition. In order to wipe out the Kingpin, Osborn employs The Hobgoblin and equips him with a glider. However, Spider-Man thwarts the attempt, and Osborn decides it's too dangerous to carry on and gives Hobgoblin a boot.
    You'd expect: Osborn to have installed a remote-controlled shut down switch in the glider or, better else, rigged it with explosives, so that when Hobgoblin outlives his usefulness, he can be stripped of his power and easily disposed of.
    Instead: Osborn basically tells Hobgoblin to fuck off, insults him, and threatens to expose him. He then acts genuinely surprised when Hobgoblin has the audacity to fly away with the glider and team up with Kingpin. He should be surprised Hobgoblin didn't exsanguinate him on spot!
    • Hobgoblin successfully completes his first mission for the Kingpin - kidnap Harry Osborn - and demands payment.
      You'd expect: Kingpin to pay him. Hobgoblin is a seemingly competent henchman, who's just entered his employement, so it'd be reasonable to give him some incentive.
      Or: Since Hobgoblin is also a dangerous lunatic loyal to no-one but himself, Kingpin to get rid of him right there and then, and give the glider to one of his own reliable goons.
      Instead: Kingpin refuses him for no reason other than to assert himself, ignoring the lack of any leverage over the nutcase.
      Big Surprise: Hobgoblin immediately turns on him and goes to Osborn to plot revenge.
      Even Worse: Osborn never learns, as he repeats his act of idiocy AGAIN: team up with Hobgoblin, give him an improved glider with no safeguards in it, act surprised when Hobgoblin betrays him AGAIN.
    Spider-Man: The New Animated Series 
  • The third episode of Spider-Man: The New Animated Series: The Lizard gets lifted by Spider-Man with the use of a helicopter.
    You'd Expect: The Lizard to jump onto the helicopter/hang on to the helicopter and throw Spider-Man off.
    Instead: The Lizard just scratches Spider-Man's hand, and ended up falling a depth at least the height of a skyscraper. His death is his own fault.
    Ultimate Spider-Man 
  • Spider-Man is part of the team of young heroes formed by SHIELD and trained personnally by Nick Fury. During a previous episode, they fought with Venom, and got a perfectly good look at it, since all of them but White Tiger got possessed by it. Sure, they aren't sure of what it was, but they got a good look at its abilities. Later, when a mysterious new Spider-Man dressed in black suit that possess exactly the same scheme colour than Venom, does a better job than Peter and becomes everyones' idol, Spider-Man points out it's most-likely to be Venom.
    You'd Expect: The team to at least consider the possibility Peter might be right. The similarities are suspiciously similar after all, and they all know Venom can change shape and size according to his host.
    Instead: They dismiss Peter's warning and blame him for being jealous that a guy is doing a better job than him, arguing that "Venom was huge while this is just a guy in a black suit". Even Fury doesn't seem to consider the possibility (though he at least didn't blame Spidey for anything).
    Even Worse: The story then switches to Doctor Octopus' point of view, who after viewing the image immediately recognizes Venom.
  • Later, in the episode "Freaky", Spider-Man ends up teaming up with X-Men member Wolverine against Mesmero, a mutant villain with Mind Control powers.
    You'd Expect: Mesmero to use his powers to take over both Wolverine and Spidey, then force them to either kill each other, commit suicide, work for him or let him go.
    Instead: He takes over control of civilians and sends them to attack them.
    Unsurprisingly: Wolverine just reaches him and threatens to kill him until he frees the civilians. Merasmo gets arrested.
    Then: Mesmero realizes later that he can use his power directly on them...
    You'd Expect: Merasmo to take over Wolverine and Spidey and make them work for him/kill each other/etc.
    Instead: He uses it to switch Wolverine's and Spidey's bodies just to screw with them.
    As A Result: Spidey and Wolverine have a tough day, and Wolverine threatens Merasmo with death again until Merasmo switches them back, and then he's almost killed by a still infuriated Wolverine.
    Basically: Merasmo ends up as a minor nuisance rather than the actual threat he could have been.
  • In the episode "Awesome", Peter has a Science Project to do with Luke Cage, but fails to do everything, partially because his aunt sold his chemistry kit and because he was busy fighting the Juggernaut. Considering the Principal actually is Agent Coulson, and as such knows about his superheroing:
    You'd Expect: Peter to merely explain to Coulson why he couldn't do the science project in time. After all, the whole Juggernaut part is an acceptable justification, and unless he is a major Jerkass, Coulson would most likely understand and arrange for Luke and Peter to get away with it.
    Instead: He steals one of Dr Connor's inventions in his SHIELD lab and bring it as their science project, without even knowing clearly what it does. The invention turns out to be the Awesome Android, a robot that feeds on any non-organic tissues and ends up wrecking havoc, humiliating Coulson in the process. Spidey and his team spend the whole episode stopping the Android, and Coulson is now mad at him.
  • In the season 1 finale, Rise of the Goblin, Norman Osborn is mutated into the Green Goblin by Doctor Octopus injecting him with both Spider-Man and Venom's DNA. Later, when confronting his son, the Goblin says his mutation was caused by Spidey's DNA, leading Harry to confront Spider-Man and accuse him of having caused the transformation:
    You'd Expect: Spider-Man to just tell Harry it was Dr Octopus who injected the DNA.
    Instead: He starts trying to find the best way to explain to Harry that his father was a sick bastard anyway, which of course only ends up pissing off Harry even more.
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