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What An Idiot / The Apprentice

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A number of contestants on The Apprentice can incur the wrath of Mr. Trump/Governor Schwarzenegger/Lord Sugar and jeopardise their chances of getting the job via large levels of idiocy, as demonstrated below.

Spoilers for who gets fired.

U.S. Series

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    Season 2 
  • In episode 2, the Apex team suffers a major defeat under Ivana's leadership, and she is in serious danger of being fired. The safest person on the team looked to be Brad, who had won as project manager the previous week and had immunity from that, as well as having been the best salesman that week.
    You'd Expect: That Brad would keep his mouth shut and let Ivana sign her own death warrant. Even if she did bring him back into the boardroom, his immunity would have kept him from being fired.
    Instead: Displaying an almost suicidal amount of smugness, Brad suddenly told Trump that he was going to surrender his immunity and put himself up for being fired, because he was so confident in his performance that week that he felt the immunity wasn't necessary. Trump accepted the offer. In the second stage, Trump (who was angry, upset and distraught with this move) fired Brad, telling him that such an act of reckless stupidity in the real world could potentially ruin a company. Survivor would have a similar fiasco in Micronesia: Fans Vs Favorites four years later with Erik Reichenbach, and a similar outcome.
  • In episode 4, Jennifer Crisafulli is the team leader for the next task. Their task is to open a new restaurant in 24 hours, with the winning team being the one that scores the highest on Zagat Survey. At night, Jennifer C. and Sandy see Mosaic returning, while Kevin mentions that they hired a cleaning crew to clean their restaurant. Additionally, Stacy R. and Jennifer M. have met with Zagat and been told that going with a complicated Asian-Fusion restaurant would be a bad idea.
    You'd Expect: Considering that they're on the clock and there isn't a moment to waste, Jennifer C. would (a) scale down the idea for the restaurant to something straightforward, and (b) hire a cleaning crew.
    Instead: Jenn C. asks all of the team to clean the place up at 4 in the morning. To add insult to injury, she comments that Raj (the project manager for Mosaic) was smart for hiring a cleaning crew. Additionally, she ignores Stacy and Jennifer R's suggestions. Ivana comments that Jenn C's decision will cost Apex their win, and she's right. Some members of the team were too exhausted to work during the opening, while the decor of the restaurant was judged to be out of place with the restaurant's middle-class location.
    Later On: Trump and the rest of the executive team are highly critical of Jenn's leadership during the challenge, and displayed some of the negative comments the Asian-Fusion restaurant received.
    You'd Expect: That Jenn would listen and only talk if she was asked to. Additionally, she could have admitted that part of the blame was on her for sticking with the decor and working the team too hard.
    Instead: She claims that she disagreed with the Zagat Survey, going as far as to blame two Jewish women who gave critical reviews of the place. This sparks tension between her and Stacy R., who took offence to the remark. She then rambles on about how good Sandy's design was despite the low decor score, and interrupts Carolyn and Bill during their lecture towards her and her team.
    As a Result: After making another error (bringing Stacy R. and Elizabeth back into the boardroom instead of Sandy, who spearheaded the decor), Trump blasts her and unceremoniously fires her, having no reason to consider firing either of the other two.
    Even Worse: Jenn C. was fired from her company a few days later in real life due to the Jewish women remark.

    Season 3 
  • During the second task of the competition, the teams were each required to renovate and run a New Jersey motel for a night. The Net Worth team identified the biggest issue as the fact that the rooms had old, dirty carpets, and needed new furniture and paint jobs.
    You'd Expect: Brian to hire someone to replace the carpets, and to spend the rest of the budget on furniture and paint, jobs which the team members could do themselves.
    Instead: He decides to spend the team's budget replacing all the motel's toilets (all but two of which were already in working order), using up pretty much the whole budget and leaving nothing with which to carry out the jobs that actually needed to be done. This resulted in the team losing so badly that Brian just flat-out admitted in the boardroom that Trump should fire him which he did, without proceeding to the second stage of the boardroom. To make matters worse, he reappeared in a mid-season highlight episode with a new interview claiming that Trump should hire him anyway, because he "excelled" at the task he was given.
  • Episode 4 saw both teams being tasked with making a Dove body wash commercial.
    You'd Expect: Both teams to make an advert with competent editing and make it actually about the product, at the very least.
    Instead: A historic first, and a trainwreck. Magna's advert featured weird cucumber porn that, with a female chef "seducing" a male one, had an ending twist in that he's gay. This is despite the fact the woman was the one wearing the bodywash, implying that the soap is so repugnant that it will change somebody's sexual orientation while saying nothing about how the product works (Bonus points for the idea coming from Bren, who was anti-gay marriage). Net Worth's was even worse — while it actually featured the product, it had no editing skills at all. The idea was to have a runner in a race first splash his face with water at the pit stop, then splash his face with Dove. While not very funny, it at least made sense. The finished product had absurd editing, multiple uses of the same shots (for a 30-second commercial), cheesy facial expressions, horrible transitions, a black and white filter that simply looked hideous, and an improper usage of the bodywash.
    As a Result: Both ads were so fundamentally broken that both teams ended up losing, the first of two instances on The Apprentice where this happened. Kristen of Net Worth got fired while still trying to deflect blame, while Magna, who had made the Ho Yay-filled cucumber ad that was found to be unairable at the time, barely escaped unscathed.
  • In episode 9, the Net Worth team loses a challenge (create a presentation and event for Home Depot), with Trump claiming in the boardroom discussion that Erin (a noted smartass on the team) was good enough to be the presenter despite project manager Angie barring her from the task. He tells both Erin and Angie that he's considering firing the latter, despite George and Carolyn's displeasure about it.
    You'd Expect: That Erin would simply smile and keep her mouth shut, or not make waves if she didn't have to.
    Instead: She repeatedly disparages everyone around her, causing Trump to tire of her attitude. The cherry on top is her openly disrespecting George and Carolyn by asking Trump if he has to listen to them at all. Carolyn was livid, and Trump immediately canned Erin for being a smartass at a bad time (otherwise, Chris, despite using the words "Next time I'm in here," would have been fired).

    Season 4 
  • After barely escaping being brought back into the boardroom during the third task — and even then, only because the project manager, Rebecca was her Only Friend — Toral is all but forced to promise that she'll lead the next task, in order to prove that she isn't dead weight.
    You'd Expect: Toral to actually follow through with her promise, since it's clearly make-or-break time for her.
    Instead: She very half-heartedly puts herself forward when the task begins, then just as quickly backs out, leaving Felisha to become the project manager. Later on in the task, with her yet again taking a complete backseat, Felisha asks if she'll at least wear the costume they came up with for the team's character.
    You'd Expect: That Toral would agree to wear the costume, just so that she can say she did something on the task.
    Instead: She flat-out refuses, saying she'd look stupid. Then, just to tempt fate to dangerous levels, when the team loses the task and all the blame comes down on Felisha in the initial boardroom, Toral suddenly claims that Felisha somehow disrespected her religion by asking her to wear the costume. This causes the team to quickly turn on her, and even Rebecca is forced to admit that she'd fire Toral, subsequently leading to the first-ever instance of a candidate being fired without Trump even bothering to ask the project manager who they want to bring back, likely due to him wanting to avoid the risk of Felisha either committing Suicide by Cop or being too intimidated by Toral to bring her back.
  • In episode 6, the teams are tasked with taking over a branch of Dick's Sporting Goods and boosting sales of products related to a particular sport. Team Excel decide to focus on baseball, and build a huge mock baseball field as part of their promotion scheme.
    You'd Expect: Everyone on Excel to remember that they're doing a sales task, and therefore work on convincing people to buy the baseball goods.
    Instead: Excel focuses on gimmicks and marketing instead of sales. Due to this, sales of baseball equipment at the store dropped, leading to the worst failure in the history of the show up to that point. With Marshawn, Rebecca and Brian (the first two followed the instructions, while the latter had immunity) away from the boardroom, Josh, Jennifer M., James and Mark remained.
    As a Result: What followed was the first multi-firing of the show's history, as Trump criticized all of them in detail before unceremoniously telling the four of them to go home (and they were forced to share the exit cab in a funny moment.
  • Episode 8 sees Excel member Randal arranging a meeting with Lucasfilm executives at 10:15 concerning a presentation for the DVD release of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith, and has reminded project manager Brian of this.
    You'd Expect: Brian, who is from the Murray Hill neighborhood in midtown and has to be well-aware of the bad traffic in Manhattan, would depart reasonably early (9:00 to 9:30) in preparation for the meeting.
    Instead: Brian keeps insisting that they ''wait' until 10:00 before leaving, refuting his teammates' advice. They subsequently get stuck in traffic, and arrive a half-hour after their original agreed deadline, at which point the Lucasfilm execs tell them they have to go somewhere else. This leaves Brian with no choice but to listen to Randal for the setup, which involved a generic "good vs. evil" display and ignored Darth Vader's status as the Series Mascot.
    Later On: Marshawn is assigned to do the team's final presentation to the Lucasfilm execs, but as the moment draws close, she's concerned about the quality of the display and the lack of information she's been given.
    You'd Expect: Marshawn to just get on with the presentation. They're being judged on the display (which is really Brian and Randal's work), so even if she fluffs the presentation there'll be next to no chance of this causing them to lose the task.
    Instead: With a half-hour left to go, she just tells Brian that she's not going to do the presentation, and says that Rebecca should do it instead. Brian tries to convince her to still do it, but to no avail, and so Rebecca is left to pull off a minor miracle in giving a good presentation with next to no preparation time.
    As a Result: Excel predictably loses the competition and the challenge. Trump is incredulous when he hears of Brian being late and missing the meeting when he of all people should have known about traffic, and with Marshawn for lying and claiming that Rebecca forced Brian to take the presentation away from her. This leads to Brian getting fired alongside Marshawn in the second multi-firing of the season.

    The Apprentice: Martha Stewart 
  • During the seventh episode of the season, the teams are tasked with putting on an event to advertise a stain-removal product. One of the team leaders, Sarah, can't think of any good ideas and so she sends teammates Bethenny and Howie to a prop store for ideas. When they get back in touch, the two have several different ideas, but are really keen on hiring boxing costumes to put on a show about literally fighting stains.
    You'd Expect: Sarah to just pick one of their ideas and run with it. Maybe modify it to fit the theme better, but at least decide on something so that the team will have some form of direction for the rest of the task. If they lose, she'll have a pair of convenient scapegoats to take back into the final boardroom.
    Instead: She ignores all their ideas, and completely fails to come up with anything else until literally about an hour before the event is due to take place. What followed could only be described as resembling a high school talent show... if the students didn't bother showing up and the parents decided to put on their own acts at the last minute.
    As a Result: They predictably lost, Sarah and her main ally Carrie were both sent home in a double-firing, and to add insult to injury, the winning team used the boxing idea that Sarah rejected.

    Season 5 
  • In the first episode of the season, Summer, Lee and Lenny are brought into the boardroom by team leader Tarek. Summer initially looked to be in trouble after Carolyn accused her of not doing anything during the task, but Lenny came to her defense, seemingly saving her. George started putting the screws on Tarek, questioning him as to why the team were giving away empty gift bags, which Tarek proudly defended as being a good idea. Before long, Lee, Lenny and Carolyn were laughing their asses off at Tarek, and even Trump said he found Tarek's decisions laughable.
    You'd Expect: Summer to either keep her mouth shut, or join in with enjoying a few good laughs at Tarek's expense.
    Instead: She starts speaking over Trump and saying that she wants to "tell the truth about Tarek" and get him fired for those reasons, even though Lenny had specifically told Summer prior to the boardroom to not say anything unless she was spoken to. Trump got extremely annoyed by this and Lee and Lenny kept trying to get her to shut up, but Summer kept talking over Trump, getting him more and more angry until he eventually fired her.
  • In episode 4, Apex lost their assigned task, and during the initial boardroom it quickly became obvious that the fired person would be either Tammy (the project manager), Sean or Andrea. The team members mostly seemed to agree that Tammy had been an excellent project manager despite the loss, and slowly began to point the finger at Andrea. At that point, Trump asked Brent, a highly unpopular member of the team, what he thought of Tammy's leadership.
    You'd Expect: Brent to give a non-committal answer to that question, and then say that either Tammy should be fired for being in overall charge of the team and coming up with what turned out to be a bad idea for their commercial, or throw his hat in with the other team members who were ganging up on Andrea.
    Instead: He says that "she stank as a leader, and it smells from over here," along with making several other harsh criticisms of her. Everyone immediately turned on Brent, whose name hadn't even been mentioned until that point (the other team members had even agreed that they'd wait until the next task before trying to get rid of him, not thinking Trump would fire Brent when Tammy had given him nothing to do that week), eventually resulting in Trump deciding to completely disregard the task result and fire Brent for his remarks and not knowing when to keep his mouth shut.

    Season 6 (Los Angeles) 
  • In episode 7, Kinetic loses the task, and Derek is defending his and Angela's promotional decisions.
    You'd Expect: Derek would keep in mind the professional atmosphere when making his case.
    Instead: He calls himself "white trash."
    The Result: A baffled and offended Trump fires him right there, and then later fires project manager Jenn — even taking the time to point out that he was doing so because he actually didn't believe Derek to be responsible for the loss in any major way — all with no final boardroom.

    Season 7 (Celebrity Apprentice) 
  • In the third episode of the season, the teams are tasked with preparing a presentation for Kodak regarding the usage of less ink with the same print quality in their color printers. After Trump sends Gene Simmons to the women's team (Empresario) to even out an imbalance, they lose the challenge. This is largely due to the actions of Nely Galan, who talked over the Kodak executives at the initial pitch meeting, in addition to Simmons' own views that Kodak had the wrong idea about the industry due to losing market share with their bread-and-butter photography business. Simmons is asked by Trump who he would bring into the boardroom with him, and is more-or-less told that Galan is the weak link in the group.
    You'd Expect: That Simmons would heed Trump's advice and bring Galan with him. He has no valid reason to bring Omarosa with him.
    Instead: He brings Omarosa and Jennie Finch with him, neither of whom had any direct contribution to the group's loss. Trump and the other two executives are stunned, and he calls out Simmons for being stubborn and doing the complete opposite of what he asked (which he even notes he doesn't normally do for contestants, but did so because they're friends). Faced with no choice, Trump fires Simmons (who would turn out to be correct in his summation of Kodak's problems, but made a bad leadership call with the team itself).
  • Three episodes after Simmons is fired, Nely Galan ends up in the boardroom. Trump told her that it wasn't the first time she'd been in danger, adding that she had lost as project manager in the second task, and only avoided firing after the third because Simmons committed Suicide by Cop in the boardroom.
    You'd Expect: Nely to list the more positive things she's accomplished while she's been there. Maybe throw in a little ass-kissing for good measure, since Trump likes that sort of thing. Just about anything besides her actual course of action.
    Instead: She snaps at Trump and says "Why the hell haven't you gotten over that?!" George Ross and Donald Trump Jr. then exchange a brief Oh, Crap! moment, before Nely was finally sent packing in one of the few moments when Trump has gotten genuinely pissed off with one of the celebrities.
  • Piers Morgan almost immediately begins to butt heads with Omarosa due to being on opposite teams. After several episodes of the women's team (Empresario) being knocked down again and again by the men's team (Hydra), Trump eventually rebalances the teams — this time with Morgan and Omarosa on Hydra. Despite his obvious discomfort and anger with the situation, Morgan tells her that he will work with her despite his misgivings and they shake hands.
    You'd Expect: That since she was previously part of a team that lost 5 of the 6 previous challenges (and directly helmed two of those losing challenges herself, dodging a bullet both times), is now part of a team that is being more-or-less run by an individual who runs rings around her from a contact database standpoint (which is the focus of many challenges) and has seen him effectively bury the hatchet, Omarosa would keep her mouth shut for the time being and defer to the rest of the team's wishes. Even if she wants to reignite a feud with Morgan, she could have waited for him to screw up on his own or tried to get more credibility under her belt before throwing him under the bus.
    Instead: Minutes after starting their first day working together, she angers Morgan so much that he tries (and fails) to fire her. Following this, Omarosa begins to tempt fate by repeatedly insulting Morgan's wife and children, causing him to have a Berserk Button and storm off. Despite this, Morgan, Lennox Lewis' and Carol Alt's contacts help them win that week's challenge. Morgan then pledges that It's Personal after Trump sends Omarosa back to Empresario, with the warning that Omarosa likely would have been fired had Hydra lost that week.
    Later On: The teams are given a task three episodes later to run an art exhibit. Omarosa (who is still on Empresario with Trace Adkins and Stephen Baldwin) sheepishly admits to her teammates that she was fired in a previous season of the show for running a similar challenge with an art exhibit, as well as her lackluster record raising funds for other like-minded challenges earlier in the season. She's also on thin ice, having lost two challenges as project manager earlier in the season.
    You'd Expect: That this time around, she'd be humble and not take on the role of project manager owing to her lack of experience with art. In the event that the team loses, she can at least say she tried to step back because of her inexperience with the field.
    Instead: Omarosa becomes the project manager for her team. Piers (who is still fired-up due to the feud with her three episodes prior) steps up as manager for Hydra and decides that he's going to blow her out of the water, utilizing every contact and avenue he can think of to sell paintings. Conversely, Omarosa does the same thing she did before, which leads to her team suffering the worst blowout in the show's history up to that point (Hydra's $157,000 to Empresario's $7,000). In the boardroom discussion later, Omarosa (who is on the chopping black) tempts fate again by referring to Morgan as a "closeted homosexual" behind his back. Fed up with her antics, Trump fires Omarosa, who then gains the honor of being the first candidate to be fired twice from the show.

    Season 8 (Celebrity Apprentice 2) 
  • In episode 6, the teams are tasked with creating viral videos for All laundry detergent. The All executives state that they want videos which are not just humorous, but 'conservative and family-friendly'.
    You'd Expect: The teams to listen to this instruction and make the videos appeal to families, especially since the executives actually made it perfectly clear what they wanted.
    Instead: They make videos with adult themes: Athena's video contains foul, politically-incorrect language, and KOTU's video contains what looks like pornography. The videos are rejected, and they lose the task.
    As A Result: Both project managers must select candidates to join them in the boardroom.
    And Then You'd Expect: The other candidates just let the PMs do their job.
    Instead: On Athena, T-Boz suddenly volunteers to go back to the boardroom. While Melissa obliges, Trump has none of it and fires T-Boz.

    Season 9 (Celebrity Apprentice 3) 
  • Prior to the interview round, Trump tells the five remaining contestants that one of them will be eliminated before the interviews even take part, and questions them as to who they believe strongest and weakest contestants to be. All of quizzed candidates initially agree that Holly Robinson Peete is the strongest and Maria Kanellis is the weakest, before Trump questions Maria herself.
    You'd Expect: Maria to name either Sharon Osbourne or Curtis Stone as the weakest — she can't realistically name Holly as the worst when she's gotten such unanimously positive feedback from the others, and naming Bret Michaels, the only other celebrity yet to be quizzed by Trump, would be a bad tactical move since he'd just fire back by calling Maria the worst — and give valid reasons for doing so, such as Sharon's temperament, or Curtis's weak performances in fundraising tasks.
    Instead: She names Curtis as the weakest candidate... because he took a foul-smelling dump in one of the toilets shared by both teams on the previous task. Her unprofessional attitude eliminates any remote reason Trump has to keep her in the competition, and he duly fires her.

    Season 10 
  • In episode 5, the teams each had to run a fashion show promoting Rockport footwear. Part of this, naturally, involved selecting someone from the team to emcee, a decision which fell to the men's project manager, Wade.
    You'd Expect: Wade to ask each member of his team to talk about the shoes (or fashion in general) for maybe thirty seconds, then select whoever did the best job to be the emcee.
    Instead: Wade selects Gene... without listening to him speak. He then selected David to back him up in the presentation... also without listening to him speak. On top of that, he left them entirely to their own devices in preparing the presentation, without ever once seeing them do a rehearsal.
    You'd Also Expect: Wade to replace Gene with Anand, Steuart or even Clint once it became apparent that Gene wasn't ready to present.
    Instead: Wade lets Gene handle the bulk of the presentation anyway. Gene completely flounders, presenting from behind a laptop, giving a completely robotic speech, and mixing up the names of the shoes and the models. And David (the initial presenter) walks off stage during the whole mess.
    As a Result: To say that Trump was pissed in the boardroom that followed would be a gigantic understatement, and it led to both Wade and Gene getting fired.

    Season 11 (Celebrity Apprentice 4) 
  • In episode 4, the women's team (A.S.A.P.) lost the fourth task, and Trump asked each member of the team who should be fired. It quickly became obvious that most of the women were in favor of firing La Toya Jackson, but then-project manager NeNe Leakes said that Dionne Warwick should be fired for refusing to attend the team's editing session, which team-mate Hope Dworaczyk concurred with.
    You'd Expect: Dionne to say that La Toya should be fired, which given that at least half of the team had already said she should go, would likely have been enough to push Trump into getting rid of her.
    Instead: Dionne flips out and says that Trump should fire her, because she'd rather go home than listen to NeNe criticizing her like that. Trump obliges, and fires her.

    Season 13 (All-Star Celebrity Apprentice) 
  • In episode 3, Omarosa got into a large amount of conflict with project manager La Toya Jackson, and later on even abandoned the task to deal with personal matters. This, combined with La Toya's poor management, leads to their team (Power) losing the task. At the boardroom discussion, Arsenio Hall points out that Omarosa is being affected by her fiance's passing and suggests stepping away from the game to focus on herself first. Even Trump hints that Omarosa was the weak link in the chain.
    You'd Expect: La Toya to bring Omarosa back to the boardroom, as she was distracted by other matters and not in the game.
    Instead: La Toya brings back Dennis Rodman and Brande Rodrick, the latter La Toya had singled out as Power's strongest player. Trump criticized Jackson's move as one of the worst he'd seen in the entire history of the series. With La Toya being the only one in the boardroom responsible for the loss, she was fired.
  • In what was a Running Gag at this point in the series, episode 5 saw the groups once again being asked to organize and run a charity art auction. Having been involved in two other art-related projects (the latter of which saw her get fired after going up against a man who is on the other side of the boardroom table, Piers Morgan), Omarosa is once again asked to help with the auction and sell as much as possible.
    You'd Expect: Knowing how badly she screwed up the last two times, she wouldn't make any waves, be as apologetic as possible around Piers and her teammates and just try to sell as much as she can without bringing any drama into the competition.
    Instead: She immediately singles out Lil' Jon and tries to accuse him of waiting for a fundraising task before nominating himself as project manager, causing them to have arguments and alienating the rest of the team from her in the process (including Dennis Rodman, who goes after her for her comments). At the boardoom discussion, where neither Gary Busey nor Stephen Baldwin sold any paintings, everyone singled out Omarosa as the weak link in the chain and she was fired for the third time.

U.K. Series

    Season 1 
  • Only two episodes into the show's run, the teams are given the task to produce and market a children's toy. The women's team (First Forte) made two prototypes, one of which was a cowboy robot which people could buy extra customizable parts for, and the other of which was a set of semaphore cards called "Secret Signals." Despite the feedback from a focus group being overwhelmingly in favour of the robot, team leader Lindsay held a vote among the other women, which ended up with one (Miriam) liking both, and the others only liking the robot.
    You'd Think: Lindsay would realise that no-one except likes Secret Signals that much except for her, and to go with the robot on the grounds that it'd give the team their best shot at victory, and thereby prevent anyone on her team from getting fired.
    Instead: She completely disregards all the feedback and goes with Secret Signals... and the team loses the task horribly. For one last shot of idiocy, she then brings Miriam (the only team-member who was even remotely co-operative with her) back to the boardroom in an effort to get rid of problematic team-mate Adele, which results in both women quickly rounding on her, and Lindsay getting fired.
  • In episode six, the remaining eight candidates design an advert for the Amstrad Jukebox. Paul, Saira, Raj and Rachel are on team Impact.
    You'd Expect: Rachel, having a career in advertising, to deliver a good pitch, for Saira to spend her time making the print ad, and for Paul to manage his team as well as make a quality advert.
    Instead: Sairia lets the graphics designer make the poster himself, while she spends her time rearranging the furniture for no reason. The end product ends up looking amateurish, and the product's selling point (its low price) was relegated to just the small print. Paul didn't manage the team and creates an advert with awful acting and dialogue, a barely-visible product and no listed price. Rachel delivers an awful pitch, topped off with a whipped-together moodboard. She ended up going home thanks to her blunders.

    Season 2 
  • The fourth task had the teams preparing and selling fast food. Team Invicta estimates that they will be able to make and sell 500 pizzas — itself an unrealistic estimate, given that it would require them to sell a slice every nine seconds to clear all their stock. Syed is given the job of buying the ingredients, which include 100 chickens.
    You'd Expect: That Syed would a) specify the kind of chickens he wanted to buy, and b) check how much the order was going to cost before placing it.
    Instead: He just places a vague order for "100 chickens".
    Result: The team subsequently get 100 turkey-sized chickens, giving them far more chicken than they need and blowing their budget, leading them to make a loss of around £800, the biggest loss in the show's history up to that point. Syed only avoids getting fired due to the poor job Alexa did as project manager, and Lord Sugar only being allowed to fire one person per week in the first two seasons.note 
  • By episode 11, Paul Tulip had the best task record of all the candidates, having helmed two successful projects and generally been one of best performers in the challenges. However, he often did appallingly in the interviews and had an arrogant attitude. Upon going back into the boardroom, Sir Alan makes it clear that Paul is on the verge of being fired and demands a good reason why he should stay.
    You'd Expect: Paul to make a good case, perhaps with reference to his record in challenges and overall work ethic.
    Instead: Paul replies that most big companies would be glad to have someone like him on board, and that Sir Alan should hire him there and then because he was so awesome.
    Result: Sir Alan responds to this by telling Paul to go and find one of those companies, and then instantly fires him.

    Season 3 
  • In the sixth episode, Paul set perhaps the show's all-time record for the most idiocy in a single episode, when the teams are tasked with selling English produce to a French farmer's market. Paul is put in charge of the project.
    You'd Expect: Paul to realise that the key is in the name — a farmer's market — and buy stuff from farms, preferably the sort of stuff you don't get in France.
    Instead: He goes to a wholesaler and buys several gigantic breeze-block sized lumps of cheese, to take to a country which has almost as many cheese varieties as the rest of Europe put together. His colleagues try to save the day by purchasing pork sausages from an award-winning producer, but Paul still manages to ruin the attempt with a decidedly poor choice of cooking implement (a tin of flammable petroleum jelly aflame over a bean can), which leads to the team losing over £220.
    Later On: Paul has to decide who to bring back into the boardroom. His choices are between Adam and Kristina, who both hate him, Katie, who he was actually in a relationship with, and Ghazal, who liked Paul and hated Adam.
    You'd Expect: Paul to bring back Adam and either Ghazal or Katie, who would have supported him in getting rid of Adam.
    Instead: He brought back Adam and Kristina, who immediately rounded on him and pointed out all the mistakes he had made as team leader. Paul nearly survived in spite of his error, as Lord Sugar had major problems with Adam and was clearly considering firing him. However, the evidence against Paul quickly became overwhelming, and he was on his way out the door.

    Season 4 
  • During a fish-selling task in the first episode of season 4, Nicholas committed a mistake when he priced lobsters at £5 each (far below market value) and finds himself in the boardroom as a result. The team leader, Alex, mentions beforehand that he considers Nicholas a serious boardroom threat because he's a lawyer by trade, and therefore should be able to defend himself well under pressure.
    You'd Expect: Nicholas to do just that by pointing out that Alex had given him the £5 figure without bothering to specify whether it was meant to apply by weight or by unit. Moreover, Alex never spotted the error, and Nicholas himself actually realised the mistake by checking another fishmonger's stand. For an added bonus, Nicholas could have pointed out that a big reason why they lost the task was because Michael sold £150 worth of fish for £45, and criticised Alex for not bringing back Michael.
    Instead: Nicholas does none of that, and instead starts talking about how he finds it difficult to get on with people who are less educated, and in particular people who like football. For reference, he was speaking to Alan Sugar, who never went to university and ran a football club for 11 years.
    Result: To the surprise of no one, Nicholas quickly becomes the first person of the season to be fired.
  • In episode 6, the teams have to create greetings cards. Team leader Kevin accept Jenny's idea to produce "Save the Earth" cards, but the first potential customers they pitch to, Clinton Cards, aren't overly convinced by the idea and ask who the card is meant to be targeted at.
    You'd Expect: Kevin — who has already committed a major blunder by insisting on leading the pitches himself despite Claire having more experience — to give an answer along the lines of students and young professionals, who are typically the age and social groups most concerned about the environment.
    Instead: He just says that the target audience is "everyone", and then Jenny suddenly jumps in and gives herself as an example of someone who stopped buying greetings cards after becoming more environmentally conscious, completely oblivious to the fact that she was arguing against her own product. To cap it off, Kevin then tells the Clinton Cards representatives that if they don't buy the cards, it's just as bad as the U.S. not combating pollution. Their second pitch is equally disastrous, with their third being better, but too little, too late to stave off defeat. This leaves Kevin having to decide who to bring back into the boardroom.
    You'd Expect: That Kevin would bring back Jenny for her aforementioned blunders, and possibly Alex, who had been a bit of a loose end throughout the task.
    Instead: He brings back Claire, for supposedly not volunteering to do the pitch (even though she did volunteer to do it, and Kevin turned her offer down), and Sara, for no real reason other than the fact that she's the quietest on the team and he presumably thought she wouldn't put up much of a fight in the boardroom.
    Result: What follows is probably the most one-sided boardroom in Apprentice history, as Kevin gets torn to shreds from all sides (even by Sara) before being fired.
  • In the Morocco episode, one of the items the teams have to get is a Kosher chicken, Sugar being of Jewish ancestory.
    You'd Expect: Both teams to go to a Kosher butchery to get their chickens.
    Instead: On Renaissance, Michael goes to a Halal butcher for a Kosher chicken, leading to a heavy fine.
    The Kicker?: The mistake with the butcher is one of many errors by Renaissance, including failing to do proper research. One of these other errors involved them finding cooking pots that were about a tenth of the guideline price that Sir Alan game them.
    You'd Expect: The team to realise that these are clearly Shoddy Knockoff Products, and keep looking for the genuine item.
    Instead: They immediately purchase a pot, and brag to Sir Alan's advisor, Margaret (who was following them) about the huge saving they've just made, much to her visible disgust. It says everything about the all-around Epic Fail of the team's performance that Sir Alan actually thought this was the least serious error they had made, and sent Alex, the person responsible, back to the house before the final boardroom.

    Season 5 
  • Following a massive loss in episode 6, Debra attempts to claim sole credit for all the items sold by the sub-team that she was on, aside from the two things that Noorul sold for a massive loss. In response to that, Sir Alan's advisor, Nick jumps in and points out that team leader Ben did assist in one of her sales.
    You'd Expect: Debra to concede that Ben did help, but point out that for an alleged master salesman, playing a minor role in one of her sales (and one of Noorul's gigantic loss-making sales) really isn't much of a feat.
    Instead: Debra blows up at Nick, openly accuses him of being a liar, and then starts attacking Ben and Noorul as well when they attempt to back up Nick. For reference, this is after Debra has been accused, both in this and the first task's boardroom, of being extremely bad-tempered and disruptive. Adding insult to injury, she actually demands that she be brought back into the final boardroom when Ben initially decides against it.
    Result: Debra only avoids being fired due to Noorul's spectacularly awful track record throughout the contest, and is nonetheless warned by Sir Alan that the next time she behaves in such a blatantly disrespectful manner, she'll be fired on the spot.

    Season 6 
  • In episode 5, team Apollo loses the challenge to sell the most clothing in Trafford Centre. Paloma (the project manager) was perceived to have done well despite the loss, and in the boardroom it was pretty obvious that Lord Sugar was leaning towards firing Sandeesh for both her general uselessness and making some dubious claims about how Alex, the third person in the boardroom, had single-handedly lost the task for their team.
    You'd Expect: Paloma to keep her mouth shut and listen to what Lord Sugar had to say, knowing she had performed well and wasn't in danger of being fired.
    Instead: For some bizarre reason, Paloma decides to interrupt Lord Sugar's "summing up" speech and rant at length about how Alex and Sandeesh both sucked and weren't fit to lick her boots.
    Result: In doing so, she pissed off Lord Sugar enough to fire her, which he admitted he wouldn't have done if she'd just kept her mouth shut.
  • The next task involves kitchen cleaner. Apollo brands their cleaner "Germinator". They must then decide on their mascot, also called the Germinator.
    You'd Expect: That since the bottle is to carry a 'KEEP OUT OF THE REACH OF CHILDREN' label, they would go down the sensible road of using a adult to portray the Germinator.
    Or For Fun: They could make fun of the fact that their brand name is a pun on the name of the Terminator series and make the Germinator a cyborg. Sensibly, a adult-like cyborg.
    Instead: They make the Germinator a young boy - the last thing you'd want to see using cleaning products. The team loses the task for this blunder (as well as failing to bring out the key selling points of the cleaner and despite a good pitch).
    Double Subversion: On the other team, the cleaner's advertisement is criticized for being too sexist and being generally poor, but it does bring out the key points of the product.

    Season 7 
  • The season's first episode had the men lose pretty decisively. Team leader Edward, after already making a bad impression on Lord Sugar for spending the initial boardroom rambling nonsensically (including claiming that "When I was producing, that was production") and not being able to explain how he decided on the team's prices, has to decide which two team members to bring back.
    You'd Expect: That Edward would bring back Leon, who is an obvious pick for breaking the team's juicers and thus crippling their production line, and Alex, since he sold the least on either team and all three boardroom judges are clearly gunning for him due to his general lack of contribution.
    Instead: He brings back Gavin, who sold the second-most on the team... something that Edward turns out to have been completely unaware of until Karren brings it up in the final boardroom. He does at least bring back Leon, but this ends up not mattering as his even worse job of defending himself in the final boardroom — including falsely accusing Gavin of lying about volunteering to be team leader, and then claiming that he'd found it harder to lead because he was the shortest person on the team — results in Edward being the first person of the season to be fired. Adding insult to injury, this gives Leon a first-hand demonstration of why it's bad to bring back people for personal reasons, and when he himself is the losing project manager in the next task, he actually does bring back Alex, who gets fired over Leon after proving useless yet again.
  • In the fifth episode of the season, Team Logic creates a reasonably well-made television advert for their dog food brand, but loses the task because they didn't target a specific market segment and — at Jim's urging — targeted it at every dog out there (and even called their brand "Every Dog"). Team leader Vincent was therefore left with the choice of who to bring back.
    You'd Expect: Vincent to bring back Jim, along with Ellie, who narrowly avoided being fired the previous week and did virtually nothing on this task. If Vincent's afraid of going up against Jim, he could quite easily conspire with Jim to gang up on Ellie and get her fired.
    Instead: He brings back Ellie... with Natasha, whose work directing the advert was easily agreed to have been the best thing about the task.
    Result: Initially it seems like Vincent may have gotten away with it, as Lord Sugar fired Ellie. But then Sugar announced that he was going to make an example out of Vincent for trying to bring people back into the boardroom for tactical reasons, and fired him too.
  • In the Season 7 finale, Helen Milligan goes into her interview with a near-flawless track record over the course of the competition. She is given the task of create a business plan for a proposed business.
    You'd Expect: That she would present a business plan for a chain of bakers, or a catering company, or anything food related, since that was the background of her day job.
    Instead: She created a plan for some weird concierge service that Lord Sugar's business experts agreed wasn't even worth the paper it was printed on, and in doing so pretty much threw away her chance of victory.

    Season 8 
  • In the first episode of the Season, Bilyana repeats Paloma's mistake from two seasons before. Throughout the final boardroom, Lord Sugar repeatedly berates Katie for not contributing to the task, and begins his final speech saying that he had warned the candidates about trying to stay in the background.
    You'd Expect: Bilyana to realize that Sugar is obviously talking about Katie, as she herself actually sold the most on her sub-team, making it extremely unlikely that he's referring to her. That being the case, the best thing to do is just keep quiet and let him fire Katie.
    Instead: She suddenly interrupts Sugar and begs for a second chance, causing an irritated Sugar — who had already told her off for interrupting him earlier in the boardroom — to change his mind and fire her instead. During the car journey back to the house, Katie even lampshades how she was obviously going to get fired, and Bilyana unwittingly saved her.
  • Two episodes later, Michael is put in charge of a sub-team selling his team's tomato sauce to the trade. He goes into a deal with a grocery chain with a target price of £1.99 per bottle, and the customer offers to purchase 100 bottles if he'll drop the price to £1.95 per bottle. He tries to negotiate them back up to £1.99, but they firmly refuse to budge.
    You'd Expect: Michael to swallow his pride and accept the deal. A four-pence discount isn't unreasonable given the volume involved, and it'll only bring the overall income from the deal down from £199 to £195. At most, contact project manager Katie and get her to sign off on the deal.
    Instead: He blows off the deal and leaves without having sold anything to the chain. This ends up causing his sub-team to fail to sell all of their stock, and Ricky, whose botched organization of the team's production line left them without enough bottles of sauce to have a realistic shot at victory, is able to escape blame for the ensuing defeat by pointing out that it wouldn't have mattered if he did make more bottles, because Michael wouldn't have been able to sell them. This ends up getting Michael fired.

    Season 9 
  • In the Dubai task (episode 5), Endeavour loses big time through a few simple mistakes. With Kurt being responsible for doing the math wrong and causing them to waste several hours after they got a flag ten times smaller than the one they need and various other things going wrong (like wasting Leah's time by making her go to both the mall and the markets for goods).
    You'd Expect: Team leader Zeeshan to bring back Kurt, because he's the biggest cause for the team's loss.
    Instead: He brings back Leah... and Natalie. Who then accused him of sexism for bringing back two female candidates. And in the process, let one of the people most likely to be fired that week off the hook (Kurt had already screwed up a lot before then, and was likely to end up fired for this week's blunder). As a result, Zee got fired instead.
  • In episode 9 , Alex and Myles are tasked with designing a series of ready-to-eat meals to sell to customers and the trade. They have two proposed themes — Alex's 'around the world' themed meals and Myles' 'Deadly Dinners' meals, with the former being geography based and the latter being horror based with skulls on the packaging. The focus groups, customers and others generally preferred the first idea.
    You'd Expect: Alex to choose the geography-themed meals that the focus groups, customers and team preferred.
    Instead: He chose Deadly Dinners, based on some persuasion from Myles. Granted, Myles was a dad himself, but he was also very much in the minority.
    Result: While the kids liked the theme, the parents they surveyed said they wouldn't buy it (based on the skulls and decoration making it not look like food rather than some sort of poison) and the supermarkets they tried to sell it to didn't place many orders. The team lost, Alex was fired and many viewers thought Myles ended up being an Elimination Houdini.
    In The Same Episode: The other team had three members, one of whom (Luisa) was a baker, and at least one other (Francesca) who couldn't cook to save her life (and who made it clear multiple times in the episode). One person had to be put in charge of actually coming up with a recipe and preparing the food.
    You'd Expect: Luisa to do the cooking, since she runs a baking business and was planning to run one with Lord Sugar if she won the final prize.
    Instead: Francesca did the cooking and prepared the meals. While Luisa did have a rationale for getting Francesca to do this (shielding herself from any blame in case the team lost), she seemingly failed to realize that Lord Sugar frequently fires people who consciously refuse to deploy their main skills on a task.
    Result: A horrible dish that the focus group said tasted awful and which was absolutely hated by the supermarkets they pitched it to. They only managed to scrape together a win based on the other team doing even worse and Neil being a good enough salesman that he could persuade the shops that they could change the flavour after the deal was made.

    Season 10 
  • In the premiere episode of the season, Sarah (project manager for Tenacity) attempts to sell cleaning equipment to the London Zoo.
    You'd Expect: Sarah to offer them for a reasonable price, as it was just a bunch of buckets, toilet brushes and bleach, about £20-30 quid. (£20 being the price the boys eventually sold theirs for).
    Instead: She tried selling it for £250, ten times the normal price, for no discernible reason. Unsurprisingly, she was turned down and criticized by the rest of her team and Lord Sugar despite winning the challenge.
  • In episode 2, Lord Sugar singles out Robert during a task briefing and says that while he isn't going to specifically assign project managers, he thinks Robert should lead the men.
    You'd Expect: Robert to take his advice and become project manager. He's already under the gun after being a big part of why the men lost the previous task, so he needs to show Lord Sugar that he's a genuine contender.
    Instead: He immediately ducks out of leading the men, with a dismissive comment that the product is too mass-market for his tastes, and that he's only interested in leading tasks that involve luxury goods.
    Result: After the team ends up failing to earn even a single order, Lord Sugar responds by firing Robert immediately after the result is announced, without even waiting for the initial boardroom.
  • In episode 6, the teams have to design board games. On Tenacity, Pamela has gone for an idea of a game based on dating. However, Mark (who proposed it) and the rest of the team has decided they will not back the idea, based on negative feedback from market research.
    You'd Expect: Pamela to realise the dating concept won't work and change it, even if they are running out of time to get it to manufacture.
    Instead: She insists on moving forward with the dating concept. This mistake, as well as failing to bring Mark back and attempting to scapegoat Daniel, gets her fired when the team loses.
    On the other team: Summit have gone for a geography based game after positive feedback from the team. In Westminster (the postcode area), Bianca goes to a small shop on the day they're selling the board game to sell six units. Bianca decides to give an exclusivity offer to the owner for Westminster, meaning the...
    You'd Expect: ...postcode area.
    Instead: ...borough.
    The Result: While Summit win the task, all attempts to sell in Westminster (the borough) are hampered by this mistake.
  • Throughout the series, despite being one of the youngest candidates, Solomon Akhtar had been considered a capable candidate and had managed to win a task as Project Manager in the course of the process. The final episode of the season has him submitting a business plan for a proposed company.
    You'd Expect: That he would present a fully thought out and itemized business plan, similar to those which had won the interviewers over in previous series.
    Instead: He submits a business plan consisting of just eight pages (half of them mostly covered with copies of the business logo of his proposed company), which did not contain any financial information at all.
    Result: Suffice to say, it was a fatal blow to Solomon's chances and he was promptly fired. He also got verbally ripped in two by Claude Littner during the interviews.

    Season 11 
  • In the tenth episode of the season, both teams are tasked with creating and selling a new health snack to vendors.
    You'd Expect: That both teams would make health snacks that have healthy ingredients in them, and that they would produce something that is, at the very least, edible. You'd also expect that the team members put in charge of cooking these health snacks would know how to read ingredients and measure out the proper quantities while creating their product (and failing that, refine the recipe until they get it right.
    Instead: Charleine (Versatile) pours ingredients into a mix without measuring them at all, ending up with dry, unappealing food that has no health benefits and doesn't sell. On Connexus, Vana pours massive amounts of sunflower oil into a mix and destroys it, with the only person opposing this being Brett (who half-heartedly tries to tell her to stop).
    As a Result: Neither team made any orders whatsoever, marking the first time that both teams lost on the U.K. series. Ultimately, Brett was fired for poor leadership and another blunder (not bringing Vana into the boardroom).

    Season 12 
  • In the first episode of the season, the women's team (Nebula) is tasked with selling antiques.
    You'd Expect: Given that it's the first task of the season and the team is getting to know each other, they'd hash out a gameplan first, be logical in their decisions and listen to each other's input, especially since it's a critical time to prove themselves.
    Instead: The women suffer through a series of boneheaded decisions. No pricing strategy is done beforehand, leading some of the women to ask passing shoppers for the price they'd give, and make deals on the first price given (at one point, a set of vases is sold for one twentieth of the price the production team paid for them). The project manager, Michelle, ignores advice to go to Portobello Market (which is where the men's team are heading) in favor of a different market altogether, costing money in the process. Jessica persuades Michelle to do a deal in Marylebone and somehow forgets to tell their driver where their goods will be sold, sending it to the wrong location (Camden) instead.
    Result: Because of this debacle, Nebula loses and Michelle is sent packing.
  • Episode 2 sees both teams being tasked with creating a brand campaign for Japanese denim jeans and pitching it to industry investors.
    You'd Expect: The women's team, having suffered through a series of time-wasting endeavours in the previous challenge, would rally together and create a simple campaign.
    Instead: Jessica cheats during the women's vote for project manager, then quickly leads the team in an idiotic series of mishaps, which include losing the jeans they were supposed to use for the photo-shoot. While Jessica goes into a panic and is sent out of the building on Karren's advice, the team decides to film in the bathroom of a Japanese sushi restaurant, causing confusion and the panicked team quickly cutting together a promo using Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" as impromptu Toilet Humor.
    Meanwhile: The men's team (which rallied together the previous week, but was chastized by Lord Sugar for not completely having their act together) resolves to do better and unify as a team.
    You'd Expect: Since Mukai was specifically singled out in the last competition for failing to adapt to his environment, he would strive to do better.
    Instead: He hangs up on Dillon midway through a conversation without letting the latter give him vital information. As a result, Dillon is left rudderless, leading to a chain reaction of bad decisions and causing them to miss the deadline for completing the bus shelter advert.
    The Result: Lord Sugar refuses to name a winner, calling both teams "demented dimwits" for their failure. Jessica's non-leadership was singled out (along with Nebula's horrid "toilet" advert), and she was left running the risk of getting fired as a result.
  • Episode 5 involves crowdfunding for bicycle products. Team Titans, led by Samuel, chooses a light-up gilet. To draw awareness they must do a PR stunt.
    You'd Expect: The fact that it lights up is the key selling point of the gilet, so you'd think Samuel would use a stunt involving other light-up objects.
    Instead: For some bizarre reason, Samuel chooses to do a mime act, much to the disapproval of Grainne and Claude.
    Result: It is implied after the results that Samuel would have been fired for this error had Titans lost.
  • At the end of episode 5, Rebecca promised Lord Sugar that one day she would be project manager. The next task looks like her big moment.
    You'd Expect: Rebecca puts herself forward as project manager. The team gives her the chance, given that Jessica cheated her out of the role in episode 2, and they are likely on the way to victory.
    Instead: Rebecca allows Trishna to take the role of project manager.
    Result: This, on top of wrongly assuming that a shop had soap and a tagine when they actually had soup and tahini, gets Rebecca fired when the team loses.
  • In episode 7, the team are asked to sell items at the Poole Harbour Boat Show. Before departing, Karthik has to choose who is to sell high-end items and who is join him selling to the show attendees. Samuel puts himself forward, claiming he has experience with high-end items.
    You'd Expect: Karthik chooses Samuel to be one of the ones selling the high-end items.
    Instead: He selects Courtney and Grainne to sell the high-end goods.
    Result: Not only does this cause the team to have a badly-organized day at the stall, but Courtney and Grainne fail to secure hardly any sales. As a result, the team is blown out by Nebula in that team's first win of the series (Team Titans makes sales of £188.90, compared to Nebula's £40,291.78), leading to Karthik being fired without being asked to choose who to send back to the boardroom.
  • In episode 10 (gin), Grainne (project manager) decides to go to their distillery with Trishna while Frances is left alone to do the branding. On the way, Trishna, having heard from Frances what colours she was thinking of for the gin packaging, proposes that they colour the gin itself – a frankly bad idea.
    You'd Expect: For Grainne to remember that her failure as project manager in episode 4 (the Liberty sales task) was partly down to Mukai influencing her to go for handbags, so this time around, she would refuse to colour the gin.
    Instead: Grainne takes Trishna's suggestion at face value and colors the gin orange, which later turns off the prospective buyers.
    Of course: The colour comes up for ridicule during one of the pitches, and Frances tries to secure a deal with the retailer by promising to change the colouring. By this she could mean removing that awful orange colour.
    You'd expect: Everyone else on Titans to agree with what she is saying and allow the deal be done, which could have scored them a win.
    Instead: Trishna insists that they do not want to change the colour.
    Result: The deal falls through and leads to a landslide loss for Titans. At the boardroom meeting after, Trishna refuses to accept that she negatively influenced the challenge for her team, leading Lord Sugar to fire her with regrets.

    Season 13 
  • Week three sees the candidates working on robots. One aspect of it involves programming a prototype for a useful purpose. On Team Vitality, the programming sub-team decide on actions the robot could do, and then they come up with the name "JEFFRii" for the robot. Later, after hearing of the name, Michaela (the PM) decides she does not like how the double 'I' in the name sounds, and decides to change it.
    You'd Expect: Her sub-team to come up with a name that eliminates the double 'I', and let the other sub-team know before the programming begins, since that is to take place overnight.
    Instead: Not only do they rename the robot "SiiMON", but they do it without informing the sub-team (meaning they don't find out until the next morning). And it seemingly takes place after programming starts.
    The Result: The conflicting names, despite an attempt at clarity by Vitality, confuses a retailer who ultimately places no orders. What's worse, they design the pitch board poorly and have to bin it, and the programming of the robot itself makes its intended use (help for the elderly) more complied than it should, leading to another retailer also placing no orders. The only reason Michaela gets away with it is because Lord Sugar had too many problems with Elliot and fired him instead.
  • The following week, Siobhan is leading Team Graphene during a task that partly involves providing a VIP Box experience at the FA Women's Cup in Wembley.
    You'd Expect: For Siobhan to understand that this task is as much about profit as it is about customer satisfaction, if not more about profit, and control costs, particularly wines and beers. This would have provided them with a bigger profit and could have got them their fourth victory in a row.
    Instead: She allows the team to provide unlimited drinks to their corporate clients (and fails to provide costings for negotiations), narrowing their profit margin when combined with that of the team carrying out the other aspects of the task (providing snacks). In addition, despite Graphene doing better with regard snacks than Vitality, the team do not foresee Andrew (the PM for the rival team) deciding to drop an would-have-been expensive magician in favour of one of his own team singing in front of the clientele. This causes them to lose the task on a smaller profit. Siobhan then gets fired mainly because she runs a wedding company.
  • In week 7, the teams have to come up with an advert for a brand new car. James, PM for Graphene, chooses a site for their shoot, thinking it is a real English village. Instead they come up to a mock-up of a Norman fort that would make the car look like part of an Anachronism Stew.
    You'd Expect: James and those who are with him (Sajan and Elizabeth) to realize they have made an utter mistake, and either modify their concept for the video or look for modern English villages in the area.
    Instead: They stick to their guns and film the advert there and then without modifying the concept.
    The Result: The advert ends up non-correspondent with the digital billboard made by Joanna,Bushra and Harrison, and confuses industry experts. In the boardroom discussion afterwards, Lord Sugar awarded victory to Vitality over Graphene (the experts having fewer problems with Vitality's effort). In addition, Sajan's lack of creativity in making the advert was noted and he was fired as a result.
  • The last regular task of the Season involves fashion. Jade, PM for Vitality, has chosen to use a range designed by Helen Wollams, and relays it to the sub-team (Sarah and Harrison). The clothes are part of an established brand by Helen, Hellavagirl, and she told Jade about this during negotiations.
    You'd Expect: Jade to make the fact that 'Hellavagirl' exists as a brand clear to the sub-team so that they do not cause errors.
    Instead: She forgets to mention 'Hellavagirl' in the phone call, causing them to think it is a new brand which they brand with Helen's real name. Helen takes issue with this just before their catwalk show and only then do they take the brand seriously. In the boardroom discussion afterwards, Lord Sugar compared it to the scenario of Sir Elton John's concert promoters referring to him by his real name.
  • Two words: Elizabeth McKenna. Early on, she is revealed to a control freak and Backseat Driver who sidelines people and denies them the chance to shine.
    You'd Expect: The other candidates to stop trusting her and be more defensive against her when she makes her move, granted that she has become a Friend Nobody Likes. Alternately, the PMs could make her sub-team leader, meaning she would be her own boss (as James did during the Dogs task).
    Instead: They continue to trust her and give her their jobs, especially in Weeks 7 and 9, where her behaviour is partially the reason they lose the task. The only reason Lord Sugar did not seen her packing in week 9 (it was the interview stage when that happened) was because she persuaded him that she would improve.

    Season 14 
  • In the second task, the teams have to pitch their new comic book to retailers. David, having just come away from a focus group meeting that highlighted some major issues with their comic, is assigned to lead on one of the pitches.
    You'd Expect: David to highlight the positive feedback from the focus group. By all means keep the negative feedback in mind in case the retailer has the same complaints, since he'll be able to show that they're already aware of and know how to address it, but don't actually mention it unless absolutely necessary.
    Instead: He blabs out every bit of negative feedback the team got, leaving the retailer and his team-mates visibly speechless. While this doesn't directly cause his team to lose the task — Kurran's botched pitch to the largest of the three retailers does that — Lord Sugar deems it to be such a basic mistake that it single-handedly justifies his firing (though David admittedly wasn't helped by having done absolutely nothing on the first task, and then creating a poor story for the comic).
  • During the sixth task, team manager Kurran gets in touch with his branding sub-team, Camilla and Jackie, and asks them to use the brand "Fly Pangaea" for the airline they've been tasked to create an advertising campaign for. However, they're a little confused as to what the word Pangaea actually means.
    You'd Expect: The two women to ask Kurran to explain the word — which actually refers to a singular continent that all of Earth's landmass was part of during the Triassic era — then figure out a way to integrate it into their campaign. If the name goes over badly, they can point out it was Kurran's suggestion, after all.
    Instead: They pretend to agree to the brand name, then immediately disregard Kurran's request and come up with their own name, "Jet Pop". Come their presentation, one of the various industry experts points out that when you're on a plane, a "pop" is usually the sound which signifies an imminent Explosive Decompression. This ends up making what should have been a slam-dunk firing for Kurran — who had been generally useless throughout his time on the show and directed an advert that didn't mention or show a single aeroplane — into a much tougher decision, with Camilla (Jackie avoiding the boardroom by giving a good pitch) escaping being fired instead of Kurran by the skin of her teeth.

    Season 15 
  • Episode 2 has the boy's sub-team rely information to the kitchen team (headed by project manager Kenna) about an order made for ice lollies. The instructions are clear: they're expecting high-quality, premium lollies for the corporate client.
    You'd Expect: For Kenna to insist on gourmet ingredients in order to fill this brief. If he wants to create healthy lollies, why not spend on the best of the healthy options. And if it doesn't look great, why not add edible glitter to increase the value (this was something the sub-team was actually hoping for).
    Instead: He and the kitchen team create cheap-looking coconut milk and raspberry lollies, and make little to no effort to improve the appeal.
    Predictably: Not only are the sub-team unimpressed by the lollies, but the client deems them unsatisfactory and refuses to buy them. Later, Lord Sugar sends Kenna home partly due to the cheap lollies.
  • Episode 3 features a double-whimmy of "What An Idiot" that makes one team look like Smart Balls compared to the other. Asked to design a toy for the 6-8-year-old market, one team, Empower, go for a "Slime Kingdom" theme for their toy. One would expect that Empower would create an actual slime toy that boys and girls of that age range would go for, but they come up with your stereotypical girl's unicorn toy that looks more like a My Little Pony doll, with. And their only justification is that kids supposedly like to mold things into their slime.
    You'd Expect: That Unison, the other team, would come up with something that would look better suited, such as boy's action figures.
    Instead: They come up with a talking turtle toy that looks like it is more suited to preschoolers.
    Result: They secure no orders from the retailers they pitch to. At least the unicorn got orders at one location.
  • Episode 8 has the candidates hosting an away day on board a steam train which will involve providing lunches for the clients. Ryan-Mark, Marianne and Lewis are pitching their day to their client while Thomas and Pamela are planning the meals.
    You'd Expect: Any of the three at the pitch to ask whether anyone has allergies or intolerance and provide the kitchen team with the information so they can provide meals for everyone, especially since one of them has a nut allergy.
    Instead: Ryan-Mark leaves the questions to Marianne with the instruction to "ask about the company" while Marianne assumes Ryan-Mark will ask about allergies meaning that the question never gets asked.
    Result: They are unable to provide anything more than the dessert for one of the party and the lunch is delayed while the team figure out what to do, resulting in the client asking for a refund which ultimately costs the team the task (the refund was £200 while the margin of defeat was just £15).

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