Top 10 Dumbest Decisions in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
They may be the bravest and most powerful fighting force in the universe, but that doesn't mean they don't mess up every once in awhile.
These Marvel characters did marvelously stupid things. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the "Top 10 Dumbest Decisions in the Marvel Cinematic Universe."
For this list, we’ll be going over the most boneheaded actions undertaken by characters from MCU films and television shows. Because all of these decisions involve plot points, there will be spoilers ahead.
Thor may be an ancient god of thunder, but he’s still not quite grown up when he’s first introduced. At his coronation, the Frost Giants of Jotunheim attack; prompting the impulsive Asgardian to attack the realm without his father’s approval. For presuming to act in his stead and nearly starting a war between the two realms, Odin strips Thor of his powers and exiles him to Earth; providing his brother Loki with an opportunity to take over. While it could be argued that Thor’s actions were better in the long run in the sense that he became a better man because of it, the initial decision was still a pretty stupid one.
“Punished” for his murderous, one-man war on crime, Frank Castle finds himself approached in prison by Wilson Fisk, a.k.a. the Kingpin. The imposing crime lord proposes a mutually beneficial arrangement: Fisk will provide him access to his rival Dutton inside the prison, who was involved in the massacre that led to Castle’s family’s deaths. In exchange, Castle will kill him. While Castle holds up his end of the deal and gets the information he needs, Fisk betrays him; allowing Dutton’s allies out of their cells. Although Castle is able to survive the ensuing onslaught, it was still a brutal experience that could have been avoided.
Jessica Jones’ adoptive sister, Trish Walker, initially appears more together than her sibling, but a series of increasingly poor decisions see her spiral out of control in the show’s second season. Desperate to be a superhero, Trish starts taking an addictive, steroid-like drug, quits her job, sleeps with Jessica’s work partner Malcolm, and tries to push the same drug on him. She kidnaps Malcolm and a scientist, Karl, at gunpoint, and forces Karl to perform untested experiments on her to give her super powers. As if that’s not enough, she then murders Jessica’s, admittedly murderous, mother in a misguided attempt to protect Jessica; forcing Jessica to take the blame to protect her. And that’s the short version. Yikes.
Rocket Raccoon may be a mechanical whiz and an ace pilot, but he can still be a monumental jackass. After the Guardians of the Galaxy are hired to protect Anulax Batteries that belong to the Sovereign from a monster, Rocket then repays their employers by stealing the batteries. This leads the golden race to understandably take affront and send thousands of drone ships in pursuit of them for the remainder of the film. Also, judging by one of the film’s end credits scenes, Rocket’s theft may have even more yet unseen consequences for the group.
Bruce Banner is generally a pretty smart guy—you don’t become a world-renowned physicist by being a dummy. Yet, considering how intelligent he is, he’s made some really poor choices. His anger and stress levels cause him to become a nearly unstoppable green monster, so... he decides to hide out in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, of all places? It’s a densely populated city filled with potential stressors. Why put yourself somewhere that, in the event of an episode, presents the opportunity for maximum collateral damage? It ultimately takes the military showing up to trigger the Hulk, but it could have happened at any time.
In works of fiction, creating artificial intelligence rarely works out for its creators. Apparently having never seen a sci-fi movie, Tony Stark and Bruce Banner (him again!) decide to create a peacekeeping program called Ultron using Loki’s scepter. While this doesn’t seem too bad at first, the fact that they don’t tell any of the other Avengers about it means that none of them, especially Captain America (who was fresh off his own bad experience with a peacekeeping initiative), have a chance to change their minds. Earth’s dumbest/smartest heroes’ creation, Ultron, results in hundreds, if not thousands of deaths, more than earning them the ensuing blowback.
The eponymous surgeon turned sorcerer may be a genius when it comes to medicine and magic, but he doesn’t always have the best judgment. Before he’s put on the path to learning the mystic arts, Steven Strange is driving late at night, on a winding road, in the rain, while passing other cars, and on his phone. Naturally, he ends up in an accident, completely ruining his hands. You’d think a surgeon would know firsthand the consequences of unsafe driving after stitching up victims of crashes, but nooooooo!
Despite having the air of a wise king, T’Chaka, the former Black Panther and father of the current one, makes a grievous and heartless error that ends up causing his country a lot of grief after his death. In America, his brother N’Jobu plans to use Wakandan technology to free African descendants from oppression. T’Chaka tries to bring him home, but N’Jobu’s attempt to kill the man who spied on him leads the king to kill his own brother. Hoping to keep the entire episode a secret from Wakanda, T’Chaka leaves behind the evidence, N’Jobu’s son. Sure enough, said boy grows up to become the film’s villain, Killmonger.
We’ve already seen that Tony Stark is a genius with science and technology, but that his confidence is often his undoing. After his friend Happy Hogan is hospitalized in an attack by terrorists answering to the mysterious Mandarin, Tony calls the mastermind out on television; challenging him to come get him and then giving out his address. Tony then goes home, dons his prototype suit instead of a more tested one, doesn’t call for backup or bother to activate all the other remote controlled suits in his basement, and is caught unaware when the helicopters attack his home. Brilliant plan, Tony.
There are a lot of tragic and easily avoidable mistakes on the road to The Snap, and while it was tempting to lambast Vision for not flying farther away from Thanos when he tried to commit assisted suicide, most of us point the finger at Peter Quill, a.k.a. Star-Lord. After the remaining Guardians, several Avengers, and Doctor Strange manage to restrain the mad Titan, they’re able to deduce that he killed Gamora, Quill’s love interest, and Thanos’ adopted daughter. Distraught, Quill strikes the pinned villain, which gives Thanos the opening he needs to break free. We get that he was devastated, we would be too—but the stakes were just too high.