Top 10 Dumbest Decisions by TV Characters
VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
WRITTEN BY: Mark Sammut
Hindsight is 20/20. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we'll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Dumbest Decisions by TV Characters.
For this list, we're looking at character decisions that backfired spectacularly or were just clearly the wrong choice from the outset. Spoiler warning… pretty much all these entries involve huge plot points in their respective series.
Hindsight is 20/20. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Dumbest Decisions by TV Characters.
For this list, we’re looking at character decisions that backfired spectacularly or were just clearly the wrong choice from the outset. Spoiler warning… pretty much all these entries involve huge plot points in their respective series.
#10: Barry Creates An Alternative Timeline
“The Flash” (2014-)
Time travel should not be taken lightly. Flashpoint refers to an alternate timeline created after Barry decides to use his powers to save his mother. This selfish act inadvertently changes the present, causing the death of Cisco's brother and bringing to an end Barry's relationship with Iris. Flashpoint also allows Savitar - an extremely powerful speedster - to escape his prison. The consequences were so huge, that the ripple effects could be felt on Arrow - a completely different show. Although Barry does reverse Flashpoint, there’s damage you can’t undo.
#9: Zoe Meets Frank In Secret
“House of Cards” (2013-)
Politics is a cut-throat business and this ambitious reporter should have known better. Frank Underwood has his sights set on the oval office, and in order to achieve that goal, he strikes up a mutually beneficial partnership with Zoe Barnes, a young journalist. Their underhanded professional relationship eventually turns physical, before Zoe realizes that Frank is a lot shadier than even she initially assumed. Despite her suspicions, the reporter agrees to meet the politician at a secluded Metro station, which ends with Zoe catching an unexpected train ride.
#8: Maggie Gets In The Box
“American Horror Story” (2011-)
Seriously, what did you think was going to happen? American Horror Story loves its gore, with the Freak Show season being particularly murder happy. Nearly everyone has blood on their hands, but only one death could easily have been avoided. Maggie might be a con-artist, but she is also a genuinely friendly and positive person. On the other hand, magician/ventriloquist Chester is a timebomb of repressed emotions who suffers from severe hallucinations, so… maybe don’t volunteer to be his assistant. After getting into the box, Maggie is helpless to defend herself as Chester loses his mind and saws her in half.
#7: Fiona Forgets To Put Away The Cocaine
Fiona Gallagher has admittedly had it rough - unable to rely on her deadbeat dad, it has fallen to her to take care of her siblings. And initially, she rises to the occasion. Working minimum wage jobs, the oldest Gallagher child demonstrates a strong sense of responsibility, but it all starts to fall apart when she begins having an affair with her boyfriend's manipulative and troubled brother, Robbie. Ultimately, her bad choices result in an incident in which her much younger brother overdoses on cocaine - cocaine that Fiona and company recklessly left out. This leads to a criminal record, a string of even more terrible choices, and Fiona needing to find a new job.
#6: McNulty Gives Birth To A (Fake) Serial Killer
“The Wire” (2002-08)
Now, that is commitment. For a short period, things were going great for Jimmy McNulty - he was in a healthy relationship and was enjoying life as a beat cop. After being reassigned to the homicide division and returning to the loving arms of alcohol and infidelity, McNulty decides to pretend there is a serial killer in Baltimore in order to secure some much needed department funding. This not only ruins McNulty's career but drags down a few other detectives with him. Well, at least this ruse fixed the drug problem on the street of Baltimore… right? Good job, Jimmy.
#5: Among Other Things, An Unarmed Kim Bauer Chases Down A Killer
In this family, the apple really fell far from the tree. Kim Bauer was a fine cast member in the beginning, but she quickly overstayed her welcome and became a legitimate liability. Prone to making dumb decisions that land her in dangerous situations - like almost getting eaten by a cougar - her crowning achievement comes in season 7. After realizing that she is being followed, Kim leaves the safety of a crowded airport to go to the bathroom, effectively giving anyone wishing to harm her a perfect opportunity. As if that weren’t bad enough, Kim chases down the trigger-happy hitman despite not having any weapon of her own. Jack's daughter might be the luckiest character in the history of television.
#4: Lester Tackles His Marital Problems (With A Hammer)
Is divorce no longer an option? Martin Freeman's Lester Nygaard is a mild-mannered insurance salesman and the town's personal punching bag. After breaking his own nose, Nygaard meets a drifter at the local hospital, who offers to take out a bully targeting Lester. This leads to a string of murders, one involving Lester’s own wife, who is bludgeoned to death by her husband after pushing him one step too far. If Lester had just controlled himself and walked away from the marriage, there would barely have been very little linking Lester to the other murders.
#3: Dexter Saves The Trinity Killer
This is what happens when you let emotions cloud your judgment. For decades, Arthur Mitchell pretended to be a respected family man and teacher, while leading a double life as the Trinity killer. For Dexter, this careful balancing act is something he can relate to, and our brilliant forensic specialist/ killer of serial killers looks to Arthur as someone to learn from, believing that Mitchell possessed the key to unlocking his own future happiness. Despite being fully aware of just how dangerous a man he was dealing with, Dexter stops Arthur from committing suicide. Surprising absolutely no one, Arthur eventually turns on Dexter, robbing him of the happiness he already had.
#2: Ned Trusts Littlefinger
“Game of Thrones” (2011-)
This Hand of the King was simply too naive for Westeros. Ned's short run on Game of Thrones is punctuated by a series of poor decisions culminating in his untimely demise. Ned is defined by his integrity and honesty, two traits which are sadly easily manipulated by Littlefinger and Cersei. After learning that Joffrey is not the rightful heir to the throne, Ned recruits Petyr Baelish to dethrone the Lannisters. It’s a fatal error in judgement, as Littlefinger promptly betrays him. Ned’s son Robb vows to get vengeance, only to prove himself to be as naive as his father. The Stark men do not know how to play this game.
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
Adriana Trusting Christopher
“The Sopranos” (1999-2007)
Rachel Forgets To Turn Off The Camera
Rebecca Leaves A Great Job In Manhattan And Follows Her Ex-Boyfriend Back To California
“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” (2015-)
#1: Rick Decides To Kill Negan And The Saviors (But Does Not Shoot Them When In Clear View)
“The Walking Dead” (2010-)
When dealing with someone like Negan, you often only get only one opportunity. And unfortunately, Rick kind of dropped the ball. As the charismatic leader of the Saviors, Negan is a ruthless and calculating sociopath, who is not above torturing folks to prove a point. Our heroes suit up and manage to corner the Saviors before Rick decides to perform an impromptu countdown instead of just taking Negan and his posse out. While the battle is won, Rick's stalling gives Negan more than enough time to escape, ensuring that the war is far from over.