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Since most viewers have basic common sense, one would usually expect the same from characters on TV shows. Any deviation from such usually prompts a Face Palm and the comment "What an idiot" or similar, thus the entry name.
Can cause A Tragedy of Impulsiveness. It is also the usual reaction to a character demonstrating especially severe Genre Blindness. Taking this to the next level, where a character dies or very nearly dies because of their stupidity, is being Too Dumb to Live.
Can also be a response to ineffectual contestants on a Game Show.
Common forms of the trope:
- Chained to a Bed
- Have You Told Anyone Else?
- Once Is Not Enough
- any of the Contrived Stupidity Tropes
And please, as tempting as it is to defend your favorite show from forcing the Idiot Ball into its characters' hands, refrain from making Justifying Edits. A Card-Carrying Villain or Idiot Hero a few of these are to be expected. If the entire show has an Idiot Plot, it goes on that page instead. Also, do not assume that something listed here automatically makes it a bad episode; it is usually more along the lines of "something else that is better could have been done". And, of course, some characters are supposed to be idiots, in which case we probably don't need a full and complete list of every stupid thing they do; a brief summing up would be more helpful.
There are also other examples which do not fit the standard idiocy.
Warning: Spoilers ahead!
- Anime and Manga
- Comic Books
- Live Action TV
- Video Games
- Web Original
- Western Animation