From Avengers: Infinity War to Lord of the Rings, some of the most iconic movie franchises feature characters who make stupid decisions that result in others getting killed. These characters may be loved and have the best of intentions, but death and destruction can be traced back to a choice they made in the past. Movies rely on a story struggle for the characters, but these ten stupid decisions made the struggle much more difficult.


Since the advent of narrative films, characters have made ill-conceived choices across genres, galaxies, and multiverses. There would often be no movie without someone making a stupid decision. This list celebrates ten of the most obscure choices that have led to others being killed, and as a result, some of the most iconic scenes and stories in film history. Although these characters’ choices may have resulted in death, their foolish decisions live forever.

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10 Star-Lord attacks Thanos in Avengers: Infinity WarChris Pratt as Star-Lord yelling at Thanos in Avengers Infinity War

One of the most controversial and frustrating scenes in recent blockbuster history is when Star-Lord attacks Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War. The mighty Avengers had Thanos in near submission, but after Star-Lord learns that Thanos killed Gamora, he goes into a blind rage. Star-Lord’s anger overcomes his better judgment, destroying the group plan and essentially leading to Thanos taking over and wiping out half the population, including Star-Lord. Thanos’ victory is seen as Star-Lord’s fault. Some might argue that Star-Lord’s reckless behavior was all part of a larger plan to defeat Thanos, but that means the plan expected Star-Lord to make a stupid decision that put other people’s lives in danger.

9 The mayor keeps the beach open in jawsThe Mayor of Jaws

The mayor of Jaws ignoring warnings to close the beach not once, not twice, but three times. After two shark attacks killed a young woman and boy, Amity Island Mayor Vaughn still insists the beach must remain open. The mayor’s refusal to act is influenced by money, a cause still relevant to any politician today. Mayor Vaughn’s explanation goes beyond the healthy suspicion of a great white shark and dives into the stupid deep end of financial greed. The beaches are finally closed after three shark attacks that resulted in at least three deaths. Jaws states that while sharks are dangerous, a politician’s stupidity can be just as deadly.

8 Captain Smith ignores the iceberg warnings and maintains the ship’s speed in Titanic

IN Titanic, the only thing thicker than the iceberg is Captain Smith’s skull as he refuses to heed repeated iceberg warnings. The supposedly unsinkable ship’s downfall was not just the iceberg, but Captain Smith’s hubris to reach New York City in record time. Due to the captain’s determined but careless choice to maintain the ship’s speed, the Titanic struck an iceberg, leading to the drowning of over 1,500 people. While what really happened to Titaniac’s Captain Smith remains a mystery, the film establishes that Smith chose to drown his ship, but no amount of water can wash away the shame of his foolish choice.

7 A new park on Isla Nublar opens in Jurassic World

That Jurassic Park franchise relies on stupid decisions. Part of the audience’s enjoyment is seeing how repeated plans to revive dinosaurs can go horribly and violently wrong. IN Jurassic World, opening the new park on Isla Nublar is especially moronic and delightful because of the documented past public failures to tame dinosaurs. IN Jurassic World, the foolish decisions of rich businessmen seeking to open the park and guests choosing to visit a park filled with violent prehistoric creatures are amplified. The dinosaurs in Jurassic World wreaking havoc on the tourists and once again making the audience question whether the wrong species went extinct.

6 Saving Private Ryan in… Saving Private Ryan

Several wounded soldiers look on in Saving Private Ryan

Saving Private Ryan is an epic war film that shows courage, strength and a stupid decision at the core of its story. The 1998 Spielberg drama follows Captain John Miller and seven soldiers on a mission to find and rescue Private Ryan during World War II. The question raised by the viewers and the soldiers who saved Ryan was: why so much sacrifice for one soldier? Saving Private Ryan is one of the best war movies ever made, but the journey to save Private Ryan results in the deaths of many more soldiers, and while well-intentioned, even Private Ryan agrees it was a waste.

5 Reading from the Necronomicon in Evil Dead

Jane Levy in Evil Dead (2013) Photo Sony

The evil death franchise is a horror cult classic and a prime example of what not to do in a scary movie. While many scary movies show young people making bad decisions, 2013 Evil death the remake takes irrational behavior to new heights as Eric reads from the cursed book, the Necronomicon. Eric is so curious to read the book that he cuts off the barbed wire enclosing it, ignores the writing on several pages warning to leave the book alone, and proceeds to read the evil spell out loud. Eric’s actions led to many bloody deaths, but reading a new language out loud is impressive nonetheless.

4 Pippin warns the Orcs by dropping Balin’s body in LOTR: The Fellowship Of The Ring

The Lord of the Rings Mines in Moria

Hobbits are understandably not worldly travelers, but i The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Pippin Took’s foolishness drags the community down to a new low. Like a child tempted to touch everything, Pippin makes the confusing choice to turn the hand on Balin’s corpse. The body falls into a well and the sound echoes and alerts every orc in Moria. Pippin puts his friends in danger as they must flee from hundreds of orcs. Consequently, Gandalf sacrifices himself for the safe passage of the others through Moria. Gandalf’s fitting last words to Pippin are, “Fool of a Took! Drop in next time and rid us of your stupidity!

3 Kane gets back on the ship with a facehugger in Alien

Facehugger from Alien 1979

Alien is considered one of the best sci-fi horror movies out there, but the space crew wouldn’t have had to endure any aliens if they just kept Kane in quarantine. Against Ripley’s wishes, the rest of the crew bring her colleague Kane on board as a sinister alien face-hugger grabs his head. By allowing Kane back on the ship, the team welcomes their own death as the alien eventually breaks through Kane’s chest and wreaks havoc on the ship. Some might see Kane’s return aboard as part of the android Ash’s diabolical plan, but why the rest of the crew accepted this choice is as mystifying as outer space.

2 Obi-Wan leaves Anakin Skywalker alive as revenge from the Sith

Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars Revenge of the Sith

IN Revenge of the Sith, Obi-Wan has the overworld, but he doesn’t have the foresight to see that letting Anakin Skywalker live could come back to haunt him. Obi-Wan left Anakin as a defenseless, amputated body in a state of seething rage. At best, the Jedi Master’s decision was illogical, but letting Anakin suffer can also be seen as just as cruel. Leaving Anakin’s burning body alive resulted in Darth Vader, the Death Star, and several hundred galactic deaths, including Obi-Wan’s. Anakin foresaw Obi-Wan’s mistake and ultimately considered his Jedi Master’s mercy a mistake. Obi-Wan’s actions prove that ignorance can still be found in a galaxy far, far away.

1 Kills John Wick’s dog in John Wick

John Wick playing with his little dog.

Hundreds of deaths, shootouts, swordfights and falls down stairs can be traced back to the death of John Wick’s dog in the original John Wick. John Wick’s return to an intricate crime syndicate and deadly international battles started with a pair of Russian mobsters breaking into the wrong house and killing the wrong man’s puppy. Iosef Tarasov, the primary mobster who killed John Wick’s puppy, can be credited with unleashing hundreds of violent deaths, all in the name of revenge. Tarasov’s election i John Wick was mute, deadly and a reminder to never hurt an animal.

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