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Note: As a Death Trope, all spoilers on this page are unmarked.


  • In Salem's Lot by Stephen King, Susan Norton, despite being warned by Ben Mears and Matt Burke that they should stay away from the Marsten House for now, goes there all on her own to see if there's really a vampire there. What's more, on the way she encounters twelve year old Mark Petrie who actually has warded off a vampire the previous night. Now, with proof and a new ally, does she suggest that the two of them go back to town and get reinforcements to return in force? No, she and Mark go up to the house all on their own. What do you think happens?
  • In the Star Wars Expanded Universe novels this pretty much sums up the New Republic/Galactic Federation of Free Alliances. The Old Republic lasted "a thousand generations". The New Republic lasted less than one, largely because it was so mired in politics that it was wholly unable to adequately respond to an extragalactic invasion. Thanks to the tireless efforts of our passionately individualistic heroes the invaders are eventually stopped and the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances is formed. During it's brief existence it has allowed a Sith Lord to exploit a legal technicality to seize power, the second time this had occurred in less than a century. Once our heroes sort that out, the GFFA then arbitrarily appoints a former enemy who once tried, unsuccessfully, to destroy their capital planet as their new Chief of State for no apparent reason other than that a real election would be too much trouble and there were seemingly no qualified candidates amongst the ranks of their own government. Needless to say, more trouble quickly ensues. All of this keeps the Jedi in a role of constantly having to oppose their own government and likewise routinely being out of favor with said government, who are deeply offended by the Jedi's ceaseless attempts to stop their lemming-like drive towards self-destruction.
  • Carpathia's plan in Left Behind is to follow every step of the divine plan that leads to his inevitable defeat, as opposing to try and Screw Destiny by, for example, ruling fairly and trying to create a better world, or just nuking the whole planet to spite Him. Well okay, he did intend to deviate from the plan at the last possible minute by waiting until Jesus actually returned and then shooting him. This works about as well as you'd expect.
  • The Dune prequels: the machine empire is many times bigger than the League of Nobles, with hundreds of planets, and robots working around the clock on every one of them. They could easily create enough nuclear missiles to take out the dozen or so Noble planets in one swift strike. They don't. We learn that they can't reach the planets because they are surrounded by an atmospheric shield that fries robot brains; but why not simply firing nukes from above the atmosphere, straight down? Especially since every planet in the Duneverse is a Planetville.
  • Peter in The Boy Who Reversed Himself. He is sacrificed to a man-eating boar (he lives anyway) because Laura and Omar don't consider him worth saving. Besides, it was Peter that got them stuck in the 4th Dimension in the first place due to his stupidity.
  • Burt, the lead character of the Stephen King short story Children of the Corn is a particularly terrible example of Too Dumb to Live. He takes far too long to admit to himself that something is seriously wrong in the town of Gatlin... and even once he does, decides to linger just to make his wife -- who realized much earlier and wanted to leave immediately -- squirm. This results in both of them dying horrible and otherwise completely avoidable deaths.
  • One example that stands out in Harry Potter is when Dolores Umbridge spews racial slurs at a herd of armed and very pissed off centaurs.
    • And then there's Ginny with Tom Riddle's diary in Chamber of Secrets. Basically, once she realizes that the diary is making her do bad things, instead of reporting it over to a teacher or to a Prefect, she just tosses it into a toilet, where Harry stumbles upon it. And when it winds up back into her possession once more, she still keeps it and still writes in it. Sure she was only 11, but a little brain power would've been nice right there.
  • All the authorities in the story Watchbird, by Robert Sheckley. First, they build a crowd of machines programmed to protect humans, and make them autonomous, self-taught and without any control circuit so they can be efficient, and the machines get out of control and start protecting anything, from cows to other machines, so economy, farming and stuff ends in chaos, and then, to protect humanity they build a crowd of machines programmed to kill the first ones... and these are also autonomous, self-taught and without any control circuit so they can be efficient.
  • The existentialist/absurdist book The Stranger has Meursault, the main character. The majority of the book is Camus trying to turn the What the Hell, Hero? moment in the first part into a Crowning Moment of Awesome.
  • Victor Frankenstein of Mary Shelley's original novel, decides to run away from, and afterwards basically forget about, his completely successful experiment in the creation of new life, after he decides that the result is uglier looking than he expected. He is then surprised when said creation feels epically neglected and decides to kill him.
    • Not only that, but all the monster wants is familial love at first and then a female companion. Victor starts making one to appease it, then gets afraid the two of them would spawn a race of monsters, so he destroys the unfinished female, which prompts the monster to commit new murders in revenge. Victor never considers that he could just leave out some of the plumbing. Not only that, but despite knowing the monster has a history of killing the people that he, Victor, loves, despite knowing that it considers him guilty for the death of its 'bride', despite its explicit warning that it will "be with you on your wedding night," when Victor marries Elizabeth he assumes that he is the monster's next target, and sends his new wife away to wait in her room completely unprotected. The results are predictable.
  • The Kzinti from Larry Niven's Known Space series. While they are formidable-looking 8' tall, 500-pound tiger-men, a combination of room-temperature IQ and uncontrollable hair-trigger tempers means that they ALWAYS lose, even in hand to hand combat with humans 1/3 their mass. Specifically, their only tactic is "scream and leap". Niven, actual cats know more complicated tactics than that. Part of it can be chalked up to Honor Before Reason, but societies whose honor codes start hurting them learn how to Rules Lawyer the honor code pretty fast, if they don't junk it outright. Even worse, their race supposedly got its space-age tech by overthrowing an advanced spacefaring civilization that conquered their planet. How the heck they managed to do so despite their above-described dumbassery is anyone's guess.
    • They did so before they were that dumb. They were tribal warrior primitives before they overthrew the spacefarers and stole their tech. Then they used the biotech they'd stolen to genetically engineer themselves to be perfect - as defined by a primitive tribal warrior culture, i.e. massively aggressive, status-conscious, and utterly truthful. They actually rebuilt their descendants to be unable to Rules Lawyer their honor code. This doesn't change much until evolution kicks back in... once they attack humans.
  • Discworld: Terry Pratchett explores this being intentional in Carpe Jugulum. Why are there so many anti-vampire items in a classic horror vampire's castle? Genre Savvy vampires engage in Contractual Genre Blindness, being Affably Evil, and sometimes even limiting themselves to Poke the Poodle-levels of evil, in order to ensure that nobody ever decides to go out of their way to utterly destroy them.
    • Feet of Clay features a Running Gag about a vampire whose employment choices (including holy water bottler, sunglasses tester and picket fence builder) take it Up to Eleven, seeming to indicate an intense desire to end his afterlife.
    • By the usual Genre Savvy Discworld population, any examples of Too Dumb to Live that result in the person getting killed are marked down as "suicide" by the City Watch. There are a lot of ways to commit suicide in Ankh-Morpork. Walking into the Drum calling yourself "Vincent the Invulnerable" is just the icing on the cake.
    • Calling a dwarf short stuff or lawn gnome is also suicide, considering the insulted dwarf most likely possesses a very sharp pickaxe about his person.
    • Wandering into the Shades in Ankh Morpork is also a definite form of suicide.
    • In fact, it's such a recurring problem in Ankh-Morpork that the city actually has a 'Being Bloody Stupid' law.
    • Twoflower. Oh gods, Twoflower..."Let's just say that if complete and utter chaos was lightning, he'd be the sort to stand on a hilltop in a thunderstorm wearing wet copper armour and shouting 'All gods are bastards'."
    • The all-volunteer Lancre Mountain Rescue Team have an even less tolerant attitude to Too Dumb to Live than the Ankh-Morpork Watch. They're happy to help people who are in trouble through no fault of their own, but if they have to risk their lives for someone who thought it'd be fun to go mountaineering in slippers, with a length of clothesline for the difficult bits, they may take him further up the mountain and leave him there. Stupidity kills, so it's best if it kills the stupid before they take someone else with them.
  • In Oath of Fealty by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, the plot is initiated by a group of teenagers who, as a prank, try to sneak into a heavily surveillance filled arcology while carrying a box labeled "bomb". They take just enough precautions to defeat all of the nonlethal methods of stopping them. The abject stupidity of this act is very heavily lampshaded, and spawns the repeated phrase "Think of it as evolution in action."
    • Don't forget the locked door they break through has a sign that warns, "If you enter here YOU WILL DIE!" Among other skull and crossbones-type warnings.
  • This is a long standing complaint of fans of Romance fiction who use the abbreviation TSTL (Too Stupid to Live) to describe any heroine (or hero) who drives the plot by sending all reason and common sense on sabbatical while pursuing the love of their lives.
  • Older Than Print: Little Red Riding Hood. Terry Pratchett said it best in The Wee Free Men:

 "... some girl who can't tell the difference between a wolf and her grandmother must either have been as dense as teak or come from an extremely ugly family."

    • The modern version rubs salt in the wound by producing an awful mixture of Deus Ex Machina, Unexplained Recovery, and Bowdlerisation. Not only does she suffer nothing for her impressive stupidity, but the original version's moral of "don't trust strangers" is completely dropped in favor of a happy ending.
  • T'Lana from the Star Trek pocket books is a very short-lived character in the current Borg Story Arc for just this reason. From the first book she is introduced in she immediately questions the judgment of practically everybody on board the ship who isn't a Vulcan, she objects to nearly every action anyone ranked above her takes, and spearheads a mutiny with other members of the senior staff against Picard, only to give command back to him refusing to simply admit that she fucked up majorly. Even Spock eventually just walks away during a conversation with her, after calling her the vulcan equivalent of a dim-witted jerkass. At the end of the second book she appears in, Picard wants her gone, which means something when his current first officer once defected to the Klingon Empire and thus could, very technically, be called a traitor. Her ultimate fate? She's replaced with Genki Girl T'ryssa Chen, a half-vulcan who prefers her human side and roleplaying as an elf, and gets blown into powder when the Borg partially glass Vulcan.
  • Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Ma Su. Good God, Ma Su. During the Shu Kingdom's expedition against the Wei Kingdom, Ma Su was put in charge of defending Jie Ting, a very important location for the Shu forces. The location is near a mountain so Ma Su thought it would be a good idea to camp at the top of the mountain. Normally this would be a good idea, EXCEPT in this case, if they camped at the mountain and Wei surrounds them, their water supply at the bottom of the mountain would be cut off. Pretty much everybody except Ma Su sees this and he even ignores their warnings and proceeds to camp at the mountain. Guess what happened.
  • The trolls in The Hobbit spend all night arguing about how they're going to cook Bilbo and the dwarves, apparently forgetting what happens when sunlight hits them.
    • Of course, the implication was that Gandalf successfully got them so busy arguing that they simply lost track of the time and didn't notice it was getting to dawn. Of course, one would assume that with such a weakness, the trolls would have the sense to take better care, but yeah...
    • Word of God says that most trolls are extremely low in intelligence and the mere fact that these three could speak basic English meant they were the troll equivalents of astrophysicists.
  • Pippin in The Lord of the Rings. Even if you don't count the first time ("Ooh, we're in a dark scary place that Gandalf wants us to move through quickly, but there's a big hole in the ground and I wanna see how deep it is... let's drop a stone!"), there's still this lovely number. "I have to look at it! I'll take it from the wizard when he's sleeping! But, hey! This time he doesn't have a perfectly good reason for not letting me see the shiny rock that Saruman used to communicate with Sauron! Even though he's older than the world and I already killed him once."
    • It's pretty explicit that the palantiri are addictive for people who aren't very strong-willed, at least if the person they've got on speed-dial is Sauron.
    • And wasn't throwing the rock down the deep hole an accident?
      • In the movie, they simply decided to tone down his too-dumb-to-live factor a bit and make it an accident. It was wholly on purpose in the book.
  • Bella Swan of Twilight. Bella NEEDS to be changed over so she'll have the strength to lug around that big-ass Idiot Ball she's been strapped to ever since she saw Edward Cullen walk into the school cafeteria.
    • A dedicated Sporker put it best while describing the cliff-diving incident in New Moon:

 "She's not just Tempting Fate. She's rolling around on fate's bed. Naked. With one of her girlfriends. Pouring baby oil on each other. Begging fate to join in on the fun. Um, if you'll excuse me, I need to, uh . . . take five."

    • Lampshaded by Alice in New Moon (film and book):

 "I have never met anyone so prone to life threatening idiocy."

    • Bree and Diego from The Short, Second Life of Bree Tanner would surely count as well. They both know that they're being kept in a basement by a Riley, who (A) has been kidnapping other teenagers to make into vampires and (B) clearly doesn't care if they kill each other. Later on, they discover that the story they had been fed about how sunlight burns them up was a lie. They also learn that they were all being used as canon fodder and Bree remembers that the night she had been turned into a vampire, she had been kidnapped and tricked into it. They also find out that Riley is discussing plans with Victoria. So of course they come to the conclusion that Riley is completely innocent and will surely help them if they tell him everything they know, so Diego decides to meet him alone, to tell Riley that he knows all of these secrets, without telling anyone except for Bree where he is going. Needless to say, Diego does not return. Bree qualifies as this trope because after all of that, she doesn't realize that Diego is dead until Riley has run off and left her and the other vampires to be killed by the Cullens. What a brilliant pair!
  • The unnamed SMERSH agent who executes Le Chiffre and his crew at the end of Casino Royale. This has the interesting side effect of saving Bond's life. Despite knowing that Bond is a resourceful, and therefore dangerous, foreign service agent, he declines to kill him, basically giving the reason that his superior did not file the paperwork that would give the order for him to kill any opposing spies that he happened to encounter over the course of his mission. He also acknowledges that, under ordinary circumstances, he'd be under orders to kill Bond. But, that order wasn't specifically given, so he's just going to carve a brand onto Bond's body (to help them identify Bond in the future, a randomly dickish move that serves no purpose other than to make Bond hate SMERSH just a little bit more) and leave him be. Come on!
  • Pavel Young from the Honor Harrington series is a villainous example. His pinnacle of stupidity may have to be raping his own chief of security which unsurprisingly happens shortly before his death.
    • Raping his own chief of security by force would be bad enough -- and in character, too. But no, Pavel's not quite that smart. No. He rapes her by blackmail and then has her set up the murder of Honor's lover. So, when she quietly makes sure the information on where to find the killer, who can in turn tell Honor who hired him,it really comes as no surprise to those of us who aren't Too Dumb to Live.
    • In addition, when planning to rape Harrington herself, he failed to put two and two together in that:
      1. He realised that she used the gym alone in the dead of night, and
      2. She was on the Saganami Island unarmed combat team. Add to that that she's from a heavy-gravity planet and her family had been genetically modified to cope with that, he was lucky to get away with just broken bones.
    • Pretty much any flag officer in the Solarian League Navy. Seriously. The only one shown yet who's even remotely competent is planning to defect from the League as soon as possible. The rest are self-serving, belligerent assholes who all ignore the many reports of their enemy's vastly superior technology. And then get blown to chunky salsa for their pains.
    • Not to mention that Honor herself has demonstrated a pattern of sneaky tactics, misdirection, concealing her intentions and disguising her forces. Her enemies, who have often studied her tactics in detail, then routinely see exactly what she wants them to see, decide "Oh, she's just screwed up this time", and charge straight into her traps. The one time they didn't? Was the one time she was actually running a bluff.
  • Governor Aubert of David Weber's In Fury Born is a subversion. When we first meet him, he's ignoring the warnings of the elite Marines stationed on Gyangtse, instead listening to the advice of his even stupider advisor, Salgado, which results in a major uprising by separatist forces. However, when said uprising occurs, Aubert realizes his stupidity, fires his advisor, and aids the Marines in resolving the conflict.
  • In Hell's Gate, we have (Commander of) Fifty (roughly equivalent to a lieutenant, I believe) Shevan Garlath, whose stupidity promptly leads to the first Arcanan/Sharonan bloodbath. He died in said bloodbath, fittingly enough.
  • Arguably the entire human race, in Cats Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut. In a nutshell, The End of the World as We Know It comes about because human beings are stupid enough to keep inventing things that are increasingly more destructive.
  • In the Dale Brown novel Edge of Battle, Zakharov criticises the prison-breaking illegal immigrants as this, saying that if they had ran for the border rather than trying to take on a Mini-Mecha they would still be alive.
    • The Yemeni in Executive Intent. After the Chinese prove they're not going to be soft-hearted like the West with their Disproportionate Retribution takeover of Mogadishu, the Yemeni still bomb a Chinese frigate. No prizes for guessing whose shit is going to get wrecked.
  • In the Gaunts Ghosts novel His Last Command, Gaunt has a group of enemies under his guns when one of them reaches for a gun. Gaunt calls him an idiot and shoots him.
  • Judge and Jury, by James Patterson and Andrew Gross, is about the trial of a mob leader who is a powerful sociopath. The judge lets him hear the jury's names during selection. Even after he gets someone to break into her alarmed house, leave the evening paper under her pillow, and all but openly threatens her, she does nothing. By the end of the day, all but one of the jurors is dead to a bomb. The retrial is locked down like Fort Knox.
  • In the last book of the Inheritance Cycle, King Orrin takes this Up to Eleven with his plan to send an envoy to Galbatorix, try to negotiate a peace agreement, and tell him the Varden's position. Because to do otherwise would be discourteous.
  • Wolf Breed gives us Darien, a man who must have been born under a stupid sign. First off, he is a werewolf and grew up in a town made up entirely of werewolves. His parents and everybody in the town tell him not to let anyone outside the village know he is a werewolf or run around in wolf form in broad daylight because there is a Church Militant Badass Army out there that has pledged to destroy werewolves. Guess what Darien does, and then after the predictable results, refuses to accept blame for his actions and projects his self-loathing onto humanity. So he starts killing innocent people to lure a unit of said army into his trap. That's right, he picks a fight with a group of about forty elite soldiers specifically trained and armed to kill his kind and have plenty of experience doing so and then Darien has the gall to act surprised when they nearly kill him. Then he tries to convince a female werewolf, who has been raised by ordinary humans, that he lusts after that Humans Are Bastards and he does so by framing her for murder! And he does so in such a way that the girl, the soldiers and just about every other major character knows he is really responsible in about two minutes after the killing takes place!
  • For all of the times that R.A. Salvatore has made drow look vastly superior to humans, the drow invaders do something immensely stupid in Siege Of Darkness. The drow forces are split into two groups: one attacking Mithral Hall from underground, and the other attacking from the surface. During the planning stages, everybody seemingly forgot that drow eyes cannot tolerate sunlight unless they've become used to it. Or perhaps none of them thought that the battle would last the entire night and that they would still be fighting the good guys when the sun came up. In any case, when the dawn comes, the drow on the surface are blinded and pretty well screwed.
    • The drow expected the sun to come up and even trained looking at light to be prepared for it. They just greatly overestimated their tolerance for sunlight, as it was the first time they actually saw it.
  • You don't need to know the lore behind Lemarchand's Configurations to realize that a small, ornate box sitting in the middle of a blast zone of blood, flesh and entrails is a bad sign. So what does one of the protagonists of the short story A Little Piece of Hell do? March right across the carnage to the box and decide he wants to figure out how to open it.
  • The father in the 1998 Newbery Medal winner Out Of The Dust instigates the main plot of the book by leaving a pail of kerosene by the stove. A pile of highly combustible fuel that has a flashpoint of roughly 100-150 degrees Fahrenheit and that gives off toxic fumes. Not to mention that, since it's oil, it's hard to extinguish with water. Really great idea to have a bucket of this stuff around a food preparation area.
  • Agatha Christie stories. You can pretty much guarantee that one of the victims saw who did it and decided it would be a smart move to blackmail the serial killer and sneak off to meet them in a lonely spot to collect the first payment.
  • In the third Mercy Thompson novel, several kids beat up Jesse Hauptmann precisely because her father is a werewolf. If Jesse hadn't refused to tell her father their names, he would have killed them.
  • If the titular protagonist of Winnie the Pooh didn't live in a Sugar Bowl and/or had a superpowered kid swordsman looking after him, he would have been dead at least 20 times over by now.
  • Tang Sanzang of Journey to the West definitely qualifies. Despite having three demonic bodyguards constantly warning him about the evil nature of the strangers that they encounter he constantly disregards their advice because he can't see the forest through the trees. Even after being captured and nearly cooked alive multiple times Sanzang still doesn't understand that beauty doesn't equal good.
  • Vee and Nora both of Hush, Hush. Vee finds out that a mysterious stalker is frightening Nora so her brilliant plan is not to talk to an employee at the store they're in for help, but to disguise herself as Nora, lead the stalker off into a graveyard, have Nora follow after, and between them confront a potentially armed and dangerous person. This, unsurprisingly, leads to Vee being concussed and having her arm broken. And immediately after she gets out of the hospital, she decides that they ought to go poking around and spy on the guy who they think attacked her to begin with. Nora gets this because she is point-blank told by Patch that he has planned to murder her and knows that he can influence her thoughts and feelings and still thinks it's a good idea to date him!!!
  • In Alastair Reynolds Revelation Space novels, whichever moron invented the Greenfly - self replicating robots whose only directive is: Modify all matter in the Universe into the form most efficient for the growth of plants. The latter books and stories show they succeed in this to the extent possible in the lifetime of the universe. Given that FTL flight is not possible in this universe, there's no conceivable use for the Greenfly on a solar system wide level (there are too few near-FTL ships to make importing food economic). It is conceivable that they would be of use in inhabited systems where they could convert spare asteroids etc. So why build them to have such blind ambition? Hell, why give them the ability to think at all given the problems humanity had with the Inhibitors?]]
  • Can YOU Survive the Zombie Apocalypse allows you to make some extremely stupid choices, like trying to fight zombies with a pool cue and a bright orange Big Buck Hunter toy shotgun. Making these choices will lead to your death, and sometimes undeath.
  • A tangential example in Heinlein's "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress." When the rebelling lunar colony starts throwing 100 ton rocks from orbit, they explicitly target highly visible but mostly unoccupied places, since this is an intimidation tactic: they want the Earthlings to know that they could flatten cities if they wanted to, but not to have to actually kill millions. Even so, in the first round of strikes, thousands of people (mostly in North America) decide that this is so little of a threat they pack picnics and go to the target sites to watch... even though these impacts had the power of a small nuclear bomb. The rubberneckers got predictably dead.
  • Michael from the Knight and Rogue Series makes a habit of seeking out killers, and will knowingly walk into traps that are pretty much always set to get him, a man with no legal rights, framed for a hanging crime. Even if this is to save lives or try and at least see who's setting you up, when you're the sort of protagonist who usually gets at least two good beating a book and have people wanting you executed just for getting into a street fight, this is a very bad idea.
  • In Death: Some of the murder victims completely qualify for this trope. Tiara Kent from Eternity In Death stands out the most, because she had a boyfriend who had her convinced that he was a vampire and he could make her into one. She shut off the security system like he asked her to, and never considered that he needed to keep his face from being seen on the cameras. She drank a concoction like he asked her to, and never considered that it might contain rape drugs and other lovely ingredients in it. She has sex with him, and he drains her blood, resulting in her death. She didn't change into a vampire, by the way. Eve and Peabody even discuss the victim's stupidity, and Peabody explains that the victim was a rich, spoiled girl who was not known for her brains.
  • In a case where Too Dumb to Live is apparently contagious, Robert Bloch's Cthulhu Mythos story "Fane of the Black Pharaoh" concerns an archeologist who's lured to a hidden Egyptian tomb that has prophetic depictions of the future on its walls. He walks past centuries of illustrated history, never suspecting his death-cultist guide is going to murder him, despite seeing one picture after another in which previous foreign visitors have been led there by death-cult members and killed. Not only does he stride obliviously to his own death, blind to the implications of his predecessors' fates, but apparently is only the latest idiot to do so, among centuries of similar idiots!
  • For the most part in the Percy Jackson series everyone more or less arguably suffers from this with the protagonists routinely walking right into obvious traps set by monsters or in one particularly egregious example when the rag tag group of heroes is in a junk yard of Hephaestus within which they are told explicitly not to touch or take anything the characters of course proceed to do that, with one even going so far as to take a bite out of a crown. What follows is a character death that could have so easily been avoided that the You Can't Fight Fate message of the series became somewhat of a Wall Banger at that moment.
  • Samson from The Bible. When your wife who, BTW, comes from the nation that hates your guts, keeps eliciting the secret of your super-human strength out of you, and you keep giving her fake answers, and every night you keep waking up to find yourself surrounded by enemies, and those fake answers used on you, the very last thing you'd want to do is to give that bitch a real answer.
    • It's most likely that Samson didn't know cutting his hair would result in his disempowerment. He had done pretty much every bad thing one could do as a Nazarite such as never drinking alcohol. He simply didn't care. When his wife cut his hair it was the final straw that caused God to finally revoke his powers.
    • Said enemies, the Philistines, deserve a mention as well for allowing Samson to grow his hair back, even though they know it's what his superhuman strength springs from.
    • Also, the Pharaoh, who, even after Moses utterly desolates his kingdom with all manner of destructive "miracles", still somehow decides that he's going to hunt all the Hebrews down and bring them back to be his slaves.
    • Apparently, despite having just created a universe massive beyond human comprehension, he decides to put his first two humans right next to a tree which, if they ate the fruit, would ruin everything. Whats more, he does this despite being all-knowing, and thus knowing exactly what will happen.
  • Ivan in "Tsarevich Ivan, the Firebird, and the Gray Wolf." He double-subverts Youngest Child Wins in that, while in many other fairy tales the older siblings are the ones to disregard the instructions and the youngest wins by doing what they're supposed to, Ivan is the one who repeatedly touches things he's been specifically told not to while trying to steal the Firebird etc., trips magical burglar alarms, and gets sent on one Fetch Quest after another as a consequence (and he keeps getting told that he wouldn't have had to resort to burglary if he'd just asked). De-subverted because the wolf keeps bailing him out, even after he actually dies.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: too many examples to count. Being the kind of books they are, they usually don't survive. Some examples:
    • Viserys. Threatening the wife of a barbarian chieftain in front of said chieftain, with your sword out in the barbarian's holy city where it's forbidden? What could possibly go wrong?
    • Ned. Ned, Ned, Ned, Ned, Ned. So here's the guy who has a crush on your wife and tells you explicitly not to trust him? Well, trust him! So the queen is fucking her twin brother, has three incest children and might have had a part in killing the king? Tell her that you know enough to get her killed! Oh, and said king? He is on his deathbed, this is the time to be tactful and not to tell him what you know, even though it could have saved the country from a civil war. Great job!
    • Like father, like son. Congratulations on marrying the first girl you fucked, Robb, even though you have just broken your arranged marriage pact.
    • Also, belittling the son you despised since he was born while said son - who is, by the way, convicted on charges on regicide and kinslaying and sentenced to die - is holding a crossbow at you is a great idea. Right, Tywin?
    • Empowering the clergy is also brilliant, especially if you happen to fuck half of the palace. Right, Cersei? Though unlike the other examples, she is yet alive.
    • Flouting direct orders is a great way to keep your head. Especially if your Commander just spent the last several months among savage raiders. And you locked him in the cooler, literally, for a few days. And tried to get him killed. And had a hand in killing his father. Surely Lord Snow only meant to give you a haircut, right Janos?
    • I took dragontaming 101, how hard can it be to tame two dragons? Well, how hard is it, Quentyn?
  • In No Country for Old Men, Llewelyn Moss literally gives this trope to the dead gangster he tries to bring water to when he comes back by night to the scene of the shooting. Apparently the said gangster (though he was indeed wounded) just sat there waiting for the man who ultimately cames and finish him off, and therefore...

 Llewelyn: Here you are. Too dumb to live.

  • In The Long Walk, a walker who dies early on was wearing sneakers, despite the rulebook that the contestants were given in advance explicitly telling them not to do so, as no other type of footwear will help develop blisters faster on long distances. Predictably, he develops blisters pretty soon, and is ticketed after walking at the required speed becomes too painful for him one time too many. Garraty even discusses it in his internal monologue.
  • The heroine of Quite Contrary By Richard Roberts, upon her arrival into Fairy-Tale Land puts on a Little Red Riding Hood costume, her stubbornness causing her to ignore explicit warnings that this will put her in the role of Red, and is promptly chased by the Wolf. Sometime later she reflects on herself:

 Mary Guisse Stuart, you are so stupid. If someone pointed a gun at your head, you'd stick it up your nose and dare them to pull the trigger.

    • And then proceeds to call a teenage warrior boy pointing a crossbow at her an idiot.
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