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  • Slightly different in Emerald Twilight of Green Lantern, with The Guardians of the Universe again. During Emerald Twilight (when Hal Jordan became Parallax), Jordan was on his way to Oa to take nearly limitless power from the Central Power Battery. After stranding several Green Lanterns in space (where they probably would have died), Hal arrives on Oa. Jordan removes his power ring, effectively making him a normal human, and the Guardians, who have power on a cosmic scale (give or take) just let him walk into the central power battery. They knew Jordan would kill them if he had the chance, and they practically let him. The central power battery explodes, revealing Hal Jordan as Parallax. All but one of the Guardians died, and for no good reason.
    • It's supposed to be because the Guardians don't directly interfere in anything. They tried that with the Manhunters and it didn't work out so well, which is why they give their powers to local mortals throughout the universe instead of doing everything themselves. It's still taken to the extreme here and later stories show the Guardians occasionally willing to get involved (at least some of them). To be fair, it seems like no matter what they do, the writers make it backfire on them. Get involved, don't get involved, they will choose whichever is the wrong option and get a lecture from beings they are supposed to be vastly superior to.
      • Especially problematic since, only 48 issues earlier, the Guardians had directly and personally fought and killed the Old Timer.
  • Lampshaded in Nightwing #150. One of Two-Face's Mooks was standing right behind a guy Two-Face wanted to shoot. Two-Face points out that this isn't a good place to be, and the guy needs it explained to him: "I can't afford to lose any red shirts." When the mook doesn't get the reference, Two-Face has had enough, declares him too dumb to live, and blows him away.
    • Then there's Lester Dent in Gotham Adventures. After he wins two million on a game show, Two-Face takes over the studio. A session of Calling the Old Man Out ensues on live television, but Lester keeps calling his (gun-wielding, supervillain) son a "punk" and whining that he's ruining his lucky day. When it's clear that Two-Face is going to flip the coin on whether to shoot him or not, he dares him to do it.
  • The U.S. government (or, hell, the population in general), as portrayed in recent Marvel Comics. Yes, let's give Norman Osborn, a mass-murdering, barely contained psycho, his own private army and spy agency on our dime and let him be the one giving orders to all registered superheroes. Since he ended the Secret Invasion, we can ignore every single detail of his past actions. Let's also let him have a team made up entirely of OTHER mass murdering barely contained psychos. Including a misogynistic serial killer, a cannibal serial killer, a feral berserker serial killer, a living god serial killer, and a pathologically depressed schizophrenic whose alternate personality is a serial killer. The US Government doesn't catch on until Osborn decides to invade Asgard. The President doesn't approve of his actions, but by that point, Osborn has too many resources and manpower to care.
  • Though viciously mangled and missing a few limbs and eyes, a pair of skinhead thugs (The Zyklon-B Boys) managed to survive an encounter with Deadshot and Catman in an issue of Secret Six. However, a few weeks later one of the thugs sees Deadshot entering a club and decides it is time for revenge, following him until the rest of the gang can gather for the attack. Deadshot notices him and delivers another vicious beating, but again leaves him alive because he had made a promise not to kill anybody tonight (he was on a date). However, even though the thug has now lost a second eye, when the rest of the gang arrives they decide to still go after Deadshot. This same person has now beaten and mutilated their members on two separate occasions, and they still want to track him down. At this point they are simply asking for it, and Deadshot's date kills the lot of them, explaining that she did not make any promises that night.
  • The crocodiles from Pearls Before Swine frequently end up killing themselves or fellow crocs in their idiotic attempts to kill the Zebra ("zeeba neighba"). This was even lampshaded in one strip where Charles Darwin appears and explains that the crocs are so dumb, they have to die for the good of the rest of society (survival of the fittest, and all that).
  • In The Punisher comic Welcome Back Frank, Castle is attacked by the entire remaining army of a certain mafia boss after finding out his location. Coincidentally, he had just been on his way to finish them off. Caught in the street but with all of his ordnance at hand, he proceeds to butcher several carloads of Gnucci soldiers, only to run out of ammo when he's down to the fast few. After killing one with his bare hands, the last man does the smart thing: he shoots him from a distance. However, while his gun is powerful enough to punch through Castle's kevlar, it doesn't take him down. So what does the guy do? He keeps shooting him in the chest. When a person is in shock, more bullets to the center of mass doesn't accomplish much of anything. Yes, head shots are hard to pull off, but when the target is only a few feet away and staggering slowly towards you, even a novice gunman could pull it off. Six bullets at close range, and not one head shot.
    • A street thug in another issue is lightly beaten on a rooftop (with the implied threat that he would be thrown off of the roof) for information. He tells the Punisher what he needs to know, then tries to extort money out of him. When it doesn't work, he says that he has to get some money somehow tonight, and that he might even have to cut a woman up. To the Punisher, whose biggest Berserk Button is cruelty to women and kids in general. It all goes downhill for this thug from there.
    • The "Up is Down, Black is White" storyline opened with the returning Nicky Cavella digging up the skeletons of the Castle family -- Frank's wife, son and daughter -- and urinating on the bones, then mailing footage of this CLEARLY IDENTIFYING HIM (panning up to his smiling face) to the news, in HOPES that Frank Castle would see it. Amazingly this almost went according to plan, to so enrage the Punisher that he'd lose focus and thus be vulnerable to ambush (as even the Punisher admitted, that's what happened)... what made it Too Dumb to Live was assuming that his mooks could take advantage. This would prove his downfall once the mooks realized that they were the ones supposed to be taking on the Punisher, and let Cavella know it in no uncertain terms.
  • Let's face it: Thomas Wayne. Instead of waiting for Alfred to show up and chauffeur them back to the mansion, he decided to take a shortcut through Crime Alley. All dressed up. At night. In the rain. It's just a pity his foolishness got both himself and his wife killed, and his son traumatized along with him.
    • It wasn't called Crime Alley back then. It's canon that it used to be a nice neighborhood called Park Row. The Wayne murders signaled the decadence of the neighborhood. But then again, they walked into some random, trash-strewn alley, through a side door of the theater, because that's how rich people routinely exit such establishments. I'm sure that there's some HUGE alternate reality story waiting to be told, where ol' Tom Wayne decided to used the front entrance.
  • Let's not forget the literally short-lived X-Man Thunderbird. Here's the situation, the issue's big bad Count Nefaria is getting away in a plane, Thunderbird goes after him, in an effort to prove himself "Warrior of the Apache". So what does Thunderbird do? He punches through to the cockpit and starts ripping the plane apart. Despite Professor X, Banshee, and even Nefaria yelling at him to get off the plane before he kills them both, he keeps just keeps it up until, big surprise, it explodes, killing him. He doesn't even take Nefaria with him. The worst part is that during this Banshee even outright states that he himself could have taken the plane out and caught Nefaria without anybody getting killed. To dumb to live indeed.
  • Quite a few strips of The Far Side derive humor from the stupidity of the characters. One strip featured two guys stranded in the desert with one of them eating a bag of salty potato chips. In the desert. "Uh oh, I suddenly get the feeling I shouldn't have been munching on these things for the last half hour."
    • Another depicts a safari photographer taking pictures of a water buffalo. He's not too dumb to live, but his friend is, who is making a mocking face at the water buffalo...
  • A security guard in Arkham Asylum: Madness ran head first in to this trope when he decided to put the Name "Milton Napier" on a plaque to screw with The Joker. It ended badly. For the guard that is.
  • Rantanplan's stupidity frequently causes him to almost kill himself. If it weren't for Luke (or in the spinoff, the prison guards, who are none too bright themselves but at least not suicidal) rescuing him, he would have drowned, starved or frozen to death by now.
  • In the post-Endor comic Star Wars: Crimson Empire, Carnor Jax grows increasingly disgusted with his incompetent right-hand, General Wessel. Whether or not Wessel was actually too dumb to live, Jax said as much to one of his more competent underlings and left Wessel to be killed by a trap that Jax had foreseen.
  • The Boys is set in an Alternate Universe where Super Heroes exist, (not that you'd want to meet one) and the Mega Corp that created and controls said "heroes" is looking to infiltrate and take over the US Government. The latest Vice President is a functionally retarded hand puppet for them, and when the political arrangement is being explained to the Naive Newcomer, it gets mentioned that the corporation had wanted to use a member of the Bush family for this role, but the latest Bush son had accidentally cut his own head off while playing with a chainsaw. Garth Ennis is rarely subtle about these things.
  • During an exceedingly Dork Age arc, Steel and his niece Natasha move to Jersey City, New Jersey, and it plays a bit like the 'Town Of Citysville' did for the Powerpuff Girls, only much darker and grittier, and the series has to end before they wise up and leave. In one sequence, a local ganger that Natasha has upset brutalizes, and it is implied, rapes her. He also warns her not to bring her uncle into this, or she will feel the wrath of his 'peeps'. He is actually murdered by Natasha's long-lost father, John Henry's brother, but let's review. This thug's 'peeps' include psychos with knives and guns. Steel, no slouch himself, has peeps known as THE JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA! Among Natasha's unofficial 'uncles' is this alien dude you might have heard of. Too Dumb To Live? Booster and Beetle could have taken out their whole gang while looking for a good pizza place. This thug was too dumb to leave his father's privates.
  • General "Thunderbolt" Ross can easily come off as this in The Incredible Hulk. He repeatedly chases after and harrasses a huge green or grey creature that has Super Strength, Nigh Invulnerability and Unstoppable Rage out the wazoo, even going so far as to attack him whilst he's in the middle of getting a Cooldown Hug, invariably triggering a fresh batch of rage. He has even interfered with efforts to cure Bruce Banner of the Hulk, causing further distraction, and deliberately picked fights with him on some occasions. To be fair, in more recent times he's been noted as basically being insane, and has been called out on just how crazy and stupid his vendetta against a creature that could potentially sink the continent into the sea, and certainly squash him like a flea, is.
    • The fact that the government basically keeps him on over several years of this, in-universe, could be taken to mean that they're just as dumb, casually sinking hundreds of millions of dollars (if not more) into ever more elaborate anti-Hulk robots, Power Armour and other gadgets that invariably get broken the first time they go up against the Green Goliath. Doc Samson has pointed out that, for far less than Ross typically blows in a couple of months, they could erect a system of orbital satellites to watch for Hulk and trigger evacuation warnings to any towns caught in his way when he appears.
      • It should be telling that Ross' only argument to Doc Samson's suggestion is to protest what might happen if America's enemies took control of Hulk. Doc Samson, quite succinctly, points out that the best way to tick the Hulk off is to try and control him, which means that little problem would settle itself pretty quickly.
  • The non-mutant residents of the MU and use of the Sentinels. That trick never works, quoth the Squirrel, and their efforts to use them never get as close as the Moose, and they always backfire, even forgetting about 'Future Days'. The two biggest problems, always recurring, are the big tin cans being taken over by their target, or moving to take over themselves. Even the Human-sized ones left horrid devastation in their wake. This is somewhere in a realm beyond just carrying the Idiot Ball.
  • Although Lex Luthor is a genius, even he has done jaw-droppingly stupid things. Everybody knows Superman is super-vulnerable to Kryptonite, right? So, why not wear a ring made of the stuff at all times, just in case? Well, as Mr. Luthor was reminded the hard way, it may not kill humans in minutes, but it is still a radioactive element, as he already knew. Turns out wearing a radioactive rock on your hand gives you terminal cancer in the long run.
  • Every single thug, crook and street punk in every comic book universe ever. In a world where guys in costumes rip tanks apart with their minds and/or bare hands, why do you think being a petty criminal is even remotely a good idea? If you have powers; fine, special weapons and training; they'll do in a pinch. But if you're not even a Badass Normal, and you decide to rob a convenience store a week after you saw your friendly neighbourhood superhero punch out an eldritch horror, then quite frankly, you deserve to get beaten up and go to jail.
    • And if your world's "heroes" are on the darker side of the scale, then you're even more of a moron, at least if you're up against The Cape you can be reasonably certain he'll hold back.
  • Also, anyone who has ever teamed up with The Joker and then decided to double cross him thinking, "He's just a clown with too much free time. What could he possibly do?"
    • At least people who team up with the Joker usually have their own Joker Immunity to prevent serious problems. Henchmen that work for the Joker though are just asking to be killed.
  • Infinite Crisis - Joker comes to find out that Big Bad Alexander Luthor didn't let him in because of his unpredictability. Of all the super villains Alex was gathering, he didn't let the Joker in. Joker is understandably pissed. Jump to the final issue, Alex planning to rebuild his power and his power base, only to be ambushed by the Joker and Lex Luthor. And as Alex is begging for mercy, Lex tells him flat out his one big mistake wasn't attacking Superman or killing Superboy or any of that. It was "not letting the Joker play."

 Lex Luthor: [as the Joker ventilates Alex's head] Now who's stupid?

  • While we're in Gotham, any supervillain who has ever shown up in his city and though, "What threat could a mere mortal pose to me?"
    • Joker: "There's nothing mere about that mortal."
  • PSA comics always have one-shot characters whose entire purpose is to do what the comic preaches against and ruin their lives.
  • In the Tales of the Jedi series, Exar Kun gave a powerful and ancient Sith ship to the traitorous Aleema with instructions on how to use its star-manipulating powers. Aleema lures a Republic task force into a star cluster and uses the ship's device to tear the core out of one of the stars and throw it at the enemies. It succeeds in killing them, but apparently Aleema knew little to nothing about how stars function and didn't see any danger in catastrophically disrupting the natural order of one. It goes supernova, triggering the rest of the stars in the cluster in a titanic explosion that kills Aleema--exactly as Exar Kun and Ulic Qel-Droma wanted.
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