The 7 Dumbest Thing A TV Character Could Possibly Do
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The 7 Dumbest Things A TV Character Could Possibly Do

By Joanna Robinson | Seriously Random Lists | October 23, 2012 | Comments ()


There a lot of shows on TV right now with a high mortality rate. Most of them, in fact, are our favorites. When we choose gladiators, gangsters and lawmen as our protagonists, it shouldn't come as a surprise when the body count starts rising. But barring a life of crime...or a life of fighting crime, here are some of the riskiest, stupidest, mind-bogglingly bad decisions a TV character could make.

Move To Mystic Falls: When "The Vampire Diaries" started four seasons ago, five human teenagers played a central role in the plot. I won't spoil the wheres and the whyfores, but you can count those humans on one finger now. That's not even taking into consideration all the parental figures and nubile young ladies who have fallen by the wayside. So listen TV characters, you're smarter than this. When people start dropping like flies of mysterious barbecue fork wounds to the neck, it's time to get the hell out of Mystic Falls, VA or Bon Temps, LA or Sunnydale, CA or, yeah, especially Forks, WA.

Play The Games Of Thrones: "You either win or you die." IT SAYS IT RIGHT THERE ON THE BOX. So don't play. Move to, I don't know, Tyrosh. Get a slave girl. Eat grapes all day. If a blonde girl with some dragons blows into town, run, don't walk, in the other direction.

Buy A Murder House...Worse Yet, STAY In A Murder House: You can go ahead and argue that the Harmons didn't know what they were getting into when they bought their house. But I'd say, at the first sight of a gimp suit or malevolent basement bird dudes, you should cut bait and run. That goes double for you gay interior designers, tragic firebugs and ye oldey timey abortionists.

Travel With The Doctor: Sure you can go anywhere in time and space and, in the words of my second favorite companion, "when you run with the Doctor, it feels like it'll never end." But end it always does. And most often tragically so. Some leave. Some get left behind and some, not many, but some, die. Is it worth it? The show's thesis is that it is. But after what happened to my favorite companion, I'm not sure I can agree.

Work For Joss Whedon: Obviously this is the actor's decision, not the character's. And I don't think you'd ever find an actor who said working for Whedon was a mistake. But, oh, ask the characters. Ask the Willows and Wesleys and Tophers and the Zoes. Stumbling into the Whedonverse was the unluckiest move of their lives.

Work At Seattle Grace: You expect a certain amount of carnage on a doctor show, sure, but, even if you've never seen a single scene from the stupidly addictive "Grey's Anatomy," bear with me for a second. The doctors there have endured hospital shootings, car accidents galore, bombs and, at the end of last year, a massive plane wreck which took out two major characters and one half of an angry lesbian leg. Ever since Season Three or so, the residents and interns have been dropping like flies. So, to the shiny new interns they introduced this season I say run, RUN to an inferior teaching hospital. Maybe then you'll be safe.

Associate With Walter White In Any Way Shape Or Form Whatsoever: You may think the tremendous body count on "Breaking Bad" has everything to do with the drug trade...but you'd be wrong. First of all, did you know the death count on this show is over TWICE what it was on "The Wire"? You'd think Baltimore would be a riskier place than Albuquerque. But the vacuum suck of tragedy around Walter White is so vast, so inescapable, that it pulls planes out of the very sky. So while he continues to spiral ever downward, I'd advise everyone to stay away from him, from New Mexico, from the airspace over New Mexico, from the adjacent states and nations and, while you're at it, Czech Republic.

Joanna Robinson realizes that admitting knowledge of the recent plot lines of "Grey's Anatomy" makes her stupider than most of these characters.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Tracer Bullet

    Buy A Murder House…Worse Yet, STAY In A Murder House

    See, that's some white people shit right there. You'll never hear, "Tonight's top story, Tonisha Jenkins was brutally murdered in her home today by unseen forces." Becky Johnson? Shit, there's a Becky Johnson getting murdered by a ghost every other Tuesday.

  • To be fair, it was the oldey timey abortionist who built what became the murder house.

  • Idle Primate

    Be anyone other than kiefer in 24

  • Funtime42

    Never invite Jessica Fletcher or Hercule Poirot for a weekend. Old school, but learn from your elders...

  • the pants

    I guess I'm screwed. I live in the heart of Albuquerque about 7 miles away from Walter White's house. But totally not screwed because I live only about 1 mile from Bryan Cranston's house!

  • Semilitterate

    Play with any of the toys laying around in Eureka

  • ,

    Don't EVEN get me started on the soap operas, where nobody ever learns anything and everybody makes the same mistakes again and again and again.

    Topped, of course, by Big Soap Mistake No. 1: Declaring someone dead (and pretty damn quickly, too) even though the body was never found.

  • Bert_McGurt

    Trust anyone not named Mulder or Scully. Or Skinner, I suppose.

  • I'd say even worse than being a doctor at Seattle Grace is to be a patient in that place. Can you imagine? You're trying not to die while all your doctors are busy bitching and fucking each other, having screaming fights in halls, fucking someone else, fucking other patients, fucking ghosts...eesh.

    Same goes for whatever House's hospital was, and the one on ER which always looked super grimy.

  • AngelenoEwok

    My husband and I have had actual arguments about #2 and #4.

  • dizzylucy

    Try to outdraw Raylan Givens. Or take his hat.

    Join the Honolulu PD (don't judge, it's pretty to look at)

    Live in any of the towns where a soap opera takes places. If you do, chances are everyone you know has had 15 horrible things happen to them and had amnesia at least twice.

  • Bert_McGurt

    If you're going to take on Raylan, it'd best be unarmed. Dude is not great in a fistfight.

  • JoannaRobinson

    Or hatless

  • Kate

    "Buy a murder house" reminds me of Eddie Murphy (back when he was funny) talking about how stupid it is when white characters stay in their recently purchased haunted house:

  • Guest

    I would actually buy a murder house, if everything else were right about it. Am I callous?

  • TheOriginalMRod

    Nope. I totally would too! Maybe they should've tried Feng Shui.

  • Snath


    *ding ding*


  • Mrcreosote

    Live in Portland in the Grimm universe. In last week's show two members of an athletic decathalon team AND their teacher are brutally murdered and that's a low body count. Add to that all the damn rain and it's just not the place to be.

  • Pajiba_Pragmatist

    This is dead on. I just checked the statistics for Portland, here's the TOTAL number of murders etc. for the year:
    Portland violent crimes
    RAPE: 231
    ROBBERY: 1,005
    ASSAULT: 1,796

    So Nick and Hank have already investigated more murders than the entire Portland PD sees in an entire year.

  • Pajiba_Pragmatist

    Ok, so I am having a hard time understanding the upvote downvote protocols here in Pajiba. My post above got 6 ups and one down. I "get" that the 6 ups represent people essentially saying "I, too, find this mildly informative/entertaining/interesting/humorous" or in cases of opinion "I agree with this opinion". And that down votes represent "I don't find this accurate/entertaining/interesting/humorous", or "I don't agree with your opinion".

    But in the case of the post above, there's nothing particularly humorous or entertaining about it - rather it is a statement of an observed fact.

    So does the downvote say "I don't like this fact"? or "I don't find this fact useful or informative"?

    I find that I almost never downvote anything, and on those very rare occasions that I do, it's probably only to signal "I don't agree with the conclusion you reached".

    Anyone have good understanding of the protocols here?

  • frank247


  • Don't over think it, this isn't reddit.

  • axis2clusterB

    A downvote from me has been known to mean "I intended to do an upvote, but this damn iPhone screen is small and my thumbs are unwieldy and dammit, whoever this random person is is going to think that I am disagreeable, when I'm actually just cursed with klutzy thumbs."

  • Jezzer

    There really is no rhyme or reason. A downvote can also mean "This person said something I didn't like once and now I hate them forever" or "I downvote everything because ANARCHY WOO" or "I don't know what 'pragmatist' means, but I think I'm against it."

  • lowercase_ryan

    I downvote you because.

  • Pajiba_Pragmatist

    I just want to make sure I am using all the power of the up or down vote to its maximum benefit!

    Goodness knows, my failure to properly upvote something could spark the predicted Mayan apocalypse.

  • Leelee

    You're so right! I know that Nick and Hank are homicide cops, so there has to be a body count to rope them onto the scene, but DAMN. I'd wager there's at least three to four deaths on average per episode.

  • Bert_McGurt

    Try to double-cross Boyd Crowder. Or be connected to Ryan O'Reilly in any way.

  • Leia947

    Mmmmmmm....... Ryan O'Reilly.....

  • Haystacks

    Best things a TV Character can do: Go to Glendale Community College, work in the white house, hang out with thieves, randomly start psychic detective agencies, follow a madman in a blue box, join Starfleet...

  • Trust Bill Compton.

  • Bedewcrock

    Love/hang out with Tara. Poor Tara. Rewatched that Franklin bit and jesus.h.christ.

  • Try to help Tara, ever. She's the most horribly ungrateful person ever.

  • Have sex (or try to) with Sookie Stackhouse.

  • JoannaRobinson

    To the folks who were offended by the inclusion of Doyle/Glenn Quinn, my apologies. I was aware the actor had passed. I've used Doyle in previous lists about tragic TV deaths because his is one of the most poignant for me, but, in looking at the language of the Whedon paragraph above, I see that it might look like I'm making some sort of commentary on Quinn himself instead of Whedon's tendency to break our hearts. This was, most assuredly, not the case, but I absolutely see how it could have come across that way. So, image changed with my apologies.

  • Hann23

    Please remove the Glenn Quinn image. The actor has passed thus making this list tasteless.

  • Green Lantern

    It's plural, not singular.

    "Things". The 7 Dumbest "Things"...


  • Davis

    I'm sorry but using that gif of Glenn Quinn in this context is not okay. Please change it.

  • Rooks

    Marry Lori Grimes? It doesn't get you killed right away, but you'll have a truly shitty time...

  • zeke_the_pig

    'Be Chevy Chase'

  • zeke_the_pig

    'while you’re at it, Czechoslovakia'
    That's a mighty powerful vacuum of suck, if it manages to pull things in FROM THE PAST!
    Sorry, Jo, while zeke is not the patriotic type in the slightest, this persistent anachronism does annoy him.

  • L'étagère

    Live on Wisteria Lane. A shooting, a tornado, a fire, a freaking PLANE CRASH on the main street, a riot... I would have moved out a LONG time ago...

  • Andy Brent

    Considering what happened to Glenn Quinn, having the Doyle .gif up there is a bit heartless :(

  • Extremely poor taste. Ruined the article---and my morning.

  • firedmyass

    However has such a bruised orchid like yourself survived this long?

  • Jezzer

    "Dear Diary,

    Today's sunrise made me cry much more than yesterday."

  • John G.

    There should be a once-a-day "SUPER VOTE" that gives the person 200 upvotes. If it existed, I would use it on this comment.

  • Jezzer

    Oh, I think the "bruised orchid" comment was way funnier than mine. I've never seen internet oversensitivity so perfectly encapsulated before.

  • KatSings

    My assumption was it was just a reference to Doyle, and that alone breaks my heart, as the scene in that .gif is just soul shattering. I don't think Jo thought about the fact that he died after IRL, if she even knew (a lot of people don't).

  • Jezzer

    Well, all the emo tears and self-cutting in the comments have gotten that horrible, horrible .gif removed, so no worries I guess.

  • AmbroseChapel

    Yeah I wanted to say that too. Maybe the person who added it doesn't know he died shortly after leaving the show?

  • Kala

    Definitely made my eyebrow raise. Yeah, I'm going to also assume that the person was unaware of that particular tragedy.

  • Blake

    Don't accept a secretarial, creative, or administrative position at Sterling Cooper Draper Price... But if it's an Account Executive position their offering tell them you can start immediately.

  • But what if all you want is to bang Don Draper?

    Ahem. Not that I would want that. But you know. Someone would.

  • Blake

    "Travel With The Doctor" Sorry, it's still totally worth it.

  • Zirza


  • Tinkerville

    Go to William McKinley High School. I would've dropped out my first semester freshman year if I had to go to school with those glee kids. Give me the demons of Sunnydale High any day over Rachel Berry.

  • You'd think someone in Miami might have Noticed by

  • John G.

    Don't live in Miami.

    Apparently they have so many serial killers, some work for the police department and never get caught, and nobody ever mentions it.

    "Hey, isn't it weird that like every single year there's a serial killer here, the kind that send clues to the cops, the kind that like to make art with their murder, the really rare kind that you only read about every decade? You'd think someone would do a study and see if maybe it's something in the water or something."

  • mc-rox

    Well, without Lt. Caine and the gang on the case, Miami-Dade County is super-screwed now. Don't go there.....YEAAHHH!!!!

  • There's also a trio of vigilantes (sometimes with a fourth) that routinely blow up cars, buildings, lives of professional scumbags, etc. and never, ever get caught doing it. They destroy marinas, shoot up nice neighborhoods, take out large chunks of parking garages, etc. You'd think someone in Miami might have Noticed by now.

  • sean

    To be fair, almost all of Breaking Bad's high body count is that one little plane crash.

  • googergieger

    Be on NBC.

  • Jaymii

    I dunno, some stuff lasts a lot longer there than they would anywhere else.

  • Blake

    Or Fox (AD, Wonderfalls, ARCTU)... Or ABC (Pushing Daisies, Better Off Ted)...

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