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"Mr. Madison, what you've just said... Is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point, in your rambling, incoherent response, were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul."—Principal Max Anderson, Billy Madison
Sometimes when a plan or idea is proposed the regular insults and even a Face Palm just don't cut it. Nope, they've crossed the line into what can be called a Crowning Moment of Stupidity, and the witness feels the need to comment on this.
Variations can include "dumbest" "most idiotic" "most ridiculous" etc., but the same basic message applies.
Anime & Manga
- In the dub of Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, Haman says this when Kamille suggests that killing Earthnoids isn't justified.
- Danielle Moonstar uses this against Cyclops early in New X-Men: Academy X, when the latter suggests keeping from their students that the corpse of their recently deceased teacher has been stolen, and that he might return as a brainwashed zombie.
- Not the Exact Words, but in Astonishing X-Men, Kitty Pryde attempts to inspire one of the students with a heartfelt speech about how mutantkind would never want a cure for their mutation. The kid's response, understandably, is "Ms. Pryde, are you fucking retarded?"
Harry: [Dobby's] apparently gotten it into his head that Hogwarts is a walking death trap and therefore I'm better off with my Muggle relatives and in particular my Muggle uncle who could snap at any time and try and strangle me. Therefore, he sealed the portal to the platform and Ron and I got bored so we decided not to wait for everyone to fix the mess and just fly here.
Draco: That has got to be the stupidest thing I've ever heard.
- And later there's this...
George: Besides, the Slytherin team apparently couldn't find anybody to spy as they showed up in person. And full Quidditch gear.
Harry: Why in the world are they wearing their Quidditch robes to practice in? That has got to be the stupidest thing I've seen all day.
Fred: All day isn't very long, Harry. It can't be more than ten.
- Said by Yugi in Yu-Gi-Oh the Abridged Series when Tristan said card games will be played on motorbikes.
Films -- Animation
Marge Simpson: Homer, in every marriage you get one chance to say, "I need you to do this with me."
Homer Simpson: That is the stupidest thing I've ever heard.
- Note that this is Hypocritical Humor since Homer delivered the exact same line to Marge not half an hour earlier in the movie.
- In Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius, this exchange occurs after Sheen relates the current situation to an episode of Ultra Lord:
Nick: Well, folks, that is just about the stupidest thing I've ever heard!
Sheen: No, this is the stupidest thing you've ever heard! (starts jabbering)
- Played for laughs in The Lion King.
Pumbaa:Maybe he'll be on our side?
Timon: That's the stupidest thing I ever heard, "maybe he'll be on..." Hey, I got it! What if he's on our side?
Films -- Live-Action
- In X-Men, after Professor X tells Wolverine several code names such as Storm, Cyclops, Magneto, and Sabretooth. Hypocritical Humor on his part, since he has a code name of his own.
Wolverine: What do they call you? "Wheels"? This is the stupidest thing I've ever heard.
- In Dr. Strangelove:
"Well, I've been to one world fair, a picnic, and a rodeo, and that's the stupidest thing I ever heard come over a set of earphones. You sure you got today's codes?"
Guy #1: I heard Tyler Durden was born in a mental hospital, and sleeps only one hour a night.
Guy #2: I heard he has full facial reconstructive surgery every three years.
Narrator: (deadpan) That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard.
Dark Helmet: So the combination is... one, two, three, four, five? That's the stupidest combination I've ever heard in my life! The kind of thing an idiot would have on his luggage!
- From Dungeons and Dragons:
Snails: I got a new name for "dumb": "Ridley"! This is the Ridleyest thing I've ever heard!
- Murder By Death has Sidney Wang after Dick Charleston presents the theory that Lionel Twain murdered himself.
Sidney Wang: Very interesting theory, Mr. Charleston. However, leave out one important point.
Dick Charleston: What's that?
Sidney Wang: Is stupid. (laughing) Is stupidest theory I ever heard.
- At the end of the film What's Up Doc:
Judy: Love means never having to say you're sorry.
Howard: That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard.
- Also an Actor Allusion, since Howard is played by Ryan O'Neal, who starred in Love Story, where the line comes from.
- In Heathers:
Veronica Sawyer: I'd like to ask you a stupid question.
Jason Dean: There are no stupid questions.
Veronica: Okay. So, aliens land on the Earth and say they're going to blow the whole place up. The same day, you win the lottery. What do you do with the money?
J.D.: That's the stupidest question I've ever heard.
- In Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Chekov has traveled back in time to the 20th century and been captured by the Feds. But they don't quite know what to make of him:
Agent #1: What do you think?
Agent #2: He's a Russkie.
Agent #1: That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard in my life. Of course he's a Russkie, but he's a retard or something.
- Used in Harry Potter.
Sirius: Our information from inside the Ministry is that Fudge doesn't want you trained in combat.
Harry: Trained in combat? What does he think we're doing here, forming some sort of wizard army?
Sirius: That's exactly what he thinks you're doing. Or rather, that's exactly what he's afraid Dumbledore's doing -- forming his own private army with which he will be able to take on the Ministry of Magic.
Ron: That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard, including all the stuff that Luna Lovegood comes out with.
- Of course, Harry decides to do exactly that, train his fellow students in a group he calls "Dumbledore's Army". Not that they are going to take on the Ministry of Magic, but Voldemort.
- Sean Devine in Mystic River says this when his partner Whitey suggests a theory for the murder they're investigating, that Dave Boyle, Sean's childhood friend, killed Katie Marcus. In the end Sean was right, and while Dave did kill someone, it wasn't Katie.
- Even the mild-mannered Gil Grissom of CSI once said this. Grissom's tone while saying the line is quite possibly the closest thing to Facepalming in vocal form.
Brass: Let me get this straight, Larry. An old man refuses to let you steal his money, so you jack a Hummer and try to run over his taco stand?
Lawrence Lafontaine: Maybe.
Grissom: I think this is the dumbest thing we've ever heard.
- From the Cheers episode "Little Sister, Don't Cha"
Sam Malone: She can do whatever she wants with her sex life. It's in the Bill of Rights.
Diane Chambers: Where is it in the Bill of Rights?
Sam Malone: Well, you know, the part about the right to assemble and bear arms.
Diane Chambers: That is the stupidest thing I've ever heard.
- Felicity had Megan propose long theory about how Felicity's song preferences show she likes Ben, at which point Ben delivered this line.
- From the Full Frys episode "Inga delikatesser"
Sture Bergholm: [re: the shop's alarm systems] This is the most stupid thing I've ever heard of!
- Magnum, P.I. episode "Memories Are Forever: Part 1" :
Rick: I would like to propose a toast... to the luckiest couple in Saigon. Me and TC.
Rick: No I mean it, we are the last of the bachelors. Everyone else we know is married.
TC: Orville, I've heard you say some dumb things in my life, but that's the dumbest thing I've ever heard you say.
Exidor: Look, business is a little slow but we're gonna have our two-for-one sale. Buy two, get one. Who could resist that?
Mindy: That is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.
- In The Cosby Show, when Cliff confronts Theo about his grades, Theo goes into a spiel about how being an educated professional was fine for his parents, but that wasn't the path he wanted in life and his family should accept him the way he is. The anticipated 'Awww' hug scene is averted when Cliff tells him "Son...that's the DUMBEST thing I ever heard in my entire LIFE! No WONDER you get D's in everything!"
- The Colbert Report has an occasional feature called "The Craziest F#@king Thing I've Ever Heard," a parody of Bill O'Reilly's "Most Ridiculous Item of the Day." One example was an event where strongmen pulled trucks by their ear-lobes, prompting Colbert to speculate on the future of "ear-powered" transportation, and the inclusion of "ear-only" traffic lanes.
- A one-time variant was called "The Most Poetic F#@king Thing I've Ever Heard."
- In an episode of House, Thirteen says something profound and House tells her "that's the stupidest thing I've ever heard." As soon as she leaves the room he adds two extra points to her score even though she was already on maximum points.
- Subverted in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Graduation Day":
Cordelia: I personally don't think it's possible to come up with a crazier plan.
Oz: We attack the Mayor with hummus.
Cordelia: I stand corrected.
- From Chuck, the title character has an antidote for a deadly poison in his blood, and the needle broke. So he kisses his (male) infected friend.
Jill: What are you doing?
Chuck: I had a theory that the cure might be able to spread by saliva!
Jill: ...that is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. No wonder you failed bio.
- From Coupling:
Bartender: Have you actually told her that you're gonna marry her?
Steve: In my own way...
Bartender: Your own way?
Steve: She accidentally overheard me saying it on the phone, when I thought I was talking to my ex-girlfriend.
Bartender: No offence, and, of course, it's none of my business, but that could be the worst proposal in human history.
Sally: Steve, you're gonna have to be my husband. Patrick prefers blondes!
Bartender: I love this bar!
- Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad: In one episode, Amp's idea to prepare himself for a test was literally eating the books. Malcolm stated it was the dumbest idea he ever heard and that's considering Malcolm heard Amp saying really dumb stuff before.
- The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay:
Waman: That's the stupidest idea I've ever heard!
- Subverted in Left 4 Dead 2. Coach comes up with an idea to start up a band's pyrotechnics in order to call for a helicopter. After hearing this, Nick drops this line.
Nick: Coach, that has got to be the stupidest idea I have ever agreed with.
- In Sam and Max Hit The Road, after hooking it up so he can do so, Sam proudly declares that he can control the rotation of a rotating restaurant on top of the world's largest ball of twine via a pair of mounted binoculars. Max informs him that this is the most ridiculous thing he's ever heard. It may very well rate pretty high in that category. Even better, since Hit The Road was made during the dark ages long before Microsoft caught on to the concept of hardware abstraction the UNIX world had years earlier, it had its own audio hardware configuration tool. The sound clip used as a test to make sure your hardware was working correctly was Max saying that very line. So yes, this can even be considered a meta-example of sorts.
- Most of Black Whirlwind's stories in Jade Empire allows your main character to respond with this line.
- In Escape from Monkey Island, Guybrush talks with Ignatius Cheese, who tells him that keeping Ozzie Mandrill out of the Scumm Bar has taken all of his Insult Arm-Wrestling skills. Guybrush comments that "If it weren't for the whole, 'Wife being declared dead' thing, I'd say that was the strangest story I'd heard all week." This gets a Call Back later when Meathook tells him how he taught himself to paint using his hooks and coloured candle wax. Guybrush replies "That's the silliest story I've heard in hours."
- From Red vs. Blue episode "Heavy Metal", when Sarge proposes charging the enemy base single file:
Grif: Sarge, while that's the most retarded idea I've ever heard, I just wanted to thank you for not putting me in front of the line.
Roy: Well, I would say that's the dumbest thing I've heard all day, but as I've been talking to Elan since morning, it might not even crack the top ten.
- Eight Bit Theater: Red Mage tends to trigger this in his "comrades", but the best example may be 1150. "That is quite literally the least practical plan put together by an allegedly thinking creature."
- Uttered by a villain in this strip of Super Stupor in response to a minion warning him about the resident Little Miss Badass and how heroes don't send out kids unless they can kick serious ass. He ignores the warning and promptly gets fried.
- The Angry Video Game Nerd, when reviewing the godawful "Superman" video game (not that one, one for the NES) and realizing that he has to buy a subway ticket when Superman can fly.
- Atop the Fourth Wall
- On the X-Men story "Holy War":
Linkara: This is quite possibly the dumbest plan I've ever heard in my life, and I've seen someone deciding to make twin clones of Hitler!
- Ironically, he would then say the same thing about the evil plan in Future 5: Dr. Know plans on becoming the smartest and most powerful man on Earth by... convincing everyone to not go to college. Linkara saying this is Tempting Fate in its purest form.
- The Spoony Experiment
- The villain from the 1970s Captain America serial get this reaction from Spoony when it's revealed that he wants to nuke Phoenix Arizona to get at the gold repository under the city.
- And again when Wakka in Final Fantasy X compares the destruction of the Al Bhed's Home to "happy festival fireworks":
"...Happy... Festival... Fireworks!? That could be the STUPIDEST, MOST INSENSITIVE, IDIOT THING any character has ever said in ANY WORK OF FICTION! That's like trying to cheer people up after Hurricane Katrina.... by saying it's a giant happy waterpark!"
- American Dad! episode "Finances with Wolves" :
Francine: If you gave me $5,000 of your bonus, I could start a business selling my muffins.
Stan Smith: ... this is the worst idea I've ever heard.
- From the Justice League episode "Panic in the Sky":
Batman: This is the single dumbest plan I've ever heard!
- South Park as this as a stock line delivered whenever Cartman gets an idea.
- "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe"
Farmer: People's been saying they've been seeing UFO's around the black Army, CIA helicopters and trucks.
Officer Barbrady: That is the silliest thing I've ever heard.
- As well as:
- There is at least one instance of Kyle saying "Cartman, that's the dumbest thing you've ever said ... this week."
- Freakazoid gets this opportunity after The Lobe tells him all about his plan to use a giant cloud to turn people into zombie clowns. Freakazoid scowls, and simply replies, "Well, if you don't mind me saying so, that is the stupidest plan I've ever heard of!" and rants about its ridiculousness until the Lobe is reduced to tears. This is almost immediately subverted when, after the Lobe leaves, Freakazoid immediately starts laughing and exclaiming that the plan is a brilliant one.
- Hey Arnold: Helga treated everyone to dinner at Chez Paris and didn't realize until they received the check at the end that her coupon was for Chez Pierre across the street.
Phoebe: The wrong restaurant?! Well, Helga, I suppose the only thing to do would be to tell the management the truth.
Helga: That is the stupidest idea I have ever heard in my entire life!
- The Secret Show: When Doctor Doctor infiltrated a contest to pick a world anthem, Victor Volt theorized she intended to hypnotize everyone with her song. His fellow agents scolded him for believing someone would use such a ridiculous idea. Doctor Doctor proved him right.
- In the Futurama episode "The Cyber House Rules", when Leela says that she's getting an eye surgery:
Zoidberg: Wonderful. And while you're under the knife, you could also get an ink pouch to help you escape your enemies.
The Professor: That's the stupidest idea I've ever heard, you imbecile! (raises a rolled-up newspaper to hit Zoidberg, Zoidberg sprays ink at his face and runs off)
- During a question and answer segment after a debate about porn and ethics, Ron Jeremy was asked how the pornography industry can continue functioning despite it resulting in things like bestiality and child pornography. Ron Jeremy's response was simply that that was the stupidest question he had ever heard in his life.
- A judge used the Billy Madison line above in his closing words of a case where the man (incompetently) defended himself at his own trial.
- During one townhall meeting, Congressman Barney Frank interrupted a woman who was comparing a government health care program to Naziism by informing her that it was the stupidest thing he'd ever heard and that the table he was at was capable of more rational comments. Not the people at the table. The table. To realize how absurd the comparison to Naziism is, recall that Barney Frank is both Jewish and gay.