Evil plans guaranteed to bite the villain in the buttockular region

What super-villain plans from comic books, tv, and movies struck you, on first viewing, as so likely to backfire on the Black Hats that they must have been written by an agent secretly in the employ of a rival villainous faction?

I’m sure someone will suggest this link before long, but I’m not looking for generalities and cliches, but rather for specific instances.

The one that comes to mine to me is Wolfram & Hart’s plan for corrupting Angel in the show’s second season. Said plan consisted of resurrecting Angel’s pre-Buffy one-true-love, Darla, as a human rather than a vampire, tormenting them both psychologically by making her terminally ill, and then having Angel’s most insane vampire spawn, Drusilla, turn Darla back into a vampire. The utter inanity of the plan, of course, was that the W & H lawyers were going out of their way not to kill Angel himself–but they were instead inviting into their lives three remarkably dangerous vampires and ensuring that at least two of them would happily see them. Then the lead lawyer, Holland Manners, seeemed GENUINELY SURPRISED that Darla and Dru decicded to eat him and his staff, and that Angel, rather than rescuing them, shrugged and walked away.

Is this a clear winner, or can anybody name an even dumber plan?

Actually, I think what surprised Manners was just that Dru and Darla got into his house - that is, that his wife invited them in. That is surprising - you’d expect a man whose job is to work with Forces of Darkness to ensure that his entire family understands they should never, ever, ever invite strangers into their home, under any circumstances. He’d want to explain why this is, and be very, very clear about it. Either Manners never did that - in which case, he’s unforgivably stupid - or his wife just didn’t get it.

Maybe his wife just didn’t like him very much.

Nah. She was the first to get eaten. 'Sides, if she had said no, D & D would have either set the house on fire to force everybod out or ambushed Holland et al another time. They virtue of attacking then (from the vamp girls pov) was to maximize the number of lawyers murdered.

Not exactly what you’re looking for, but I always got a kick out of Lrrr’s (from Planet Omicron Persei 8) plan to raise the temperature of the Earth one million degree’s every day, for 5 days, until he gets what he wants.

Is this the time to bring up the plan to add halluginogenic chemicals to the city’s water supply, then use a microwave beam to vaporize the city’s water supply, thus subjecting the citizens to nightmaric hallucinations that would result in the destruction of the city?

Cause I can think of several reasons why that plan might not work out as well as one might hope.

I’m kind of mystified by the evil mastermind who plays innocent and hires the genius detective to help “solve” the case just so he can claim he’s doing everything he can to solve the situation. Then he has the nerve to look surprised when the genius detective actually solves the case. :dubious:

I’m thinking of Ace Ventura 2 and Snake Eyes, but there are others.

In Superman (the 1978 version), Lex Luthor plans to get rich by buying up desert land in the West and hitting the San Andreas Fault with nuclear weapons, causing everything west of the fault to slide into the ocean and turning Luthor’s land into beachfront property on the new West Coast.

  1. For a supergenius you don’t know much about plate tectonics, do you, Lex? Read Gurdjieff much?

  2. Even if it could work, can you think of a few reasons why it might take some time for the new West Coast to become as valuable as the old one was?

  3. Acquiring legal title land without leaving a paper trail is flatly impossible. No matter how many front companies and cutouts you use, sooner or later, somebody is gonna put two and two together, and then it’s rope-and-tree time.

Real-life evil plans can be just as stupid. Pardon me, but how is assassinating Tsar Alexander II, or blowing up the Oklahoma City Federal Courthouse, supposed to bring down a government?

Not to mention numerous Nero Wolfe novels…

No Villain has ever succeeded in their annual plan to steal Chrismas.

Angel’s ultimate reaction to this plan was great, though.

Host: “La la la li, du du dum…”
Angel: “You want to know what my problem is? I’m screwed. That’s my problem. I can’t win. I’m trying to atone for a hundred years of unthinkable evil. News flash! I never can! Never going to be enough. Now I got Wolfram and Hart dogging me, it’s too much! Two hundred highly intelligent law-school graduates working fulltime driving me crazy. Why the hell is everyone so surprised that it’s working? But no, it’s ‘Angel, why you’re so cranky?’ ‘Angel, you should lighten up. You should smile. You should wear a nice plaid.’”
Host: “Oh. Not this season, honey.”

Why do the bad guys not riddle that goofy minivan with machine-gun fire as soon as Scooby and the gang turn up? Durn meddlin’ kids…

How about Goldfinger’s plan for Fort Knox? It was good that he realized it was impossible to actually steal the gold, but how would blowing up the US gold supply cause any problems with the economy? The US went off the gold standard in the 1930s.

It would dramatically raise the cost of gold, and the value all surviving gold holdings in the world, most importantly Auric Goldfinger’s.

Dr. Cocteau’s plan in Demolition Man always seemed exceptionally stupid: take the most violent mass murderer of 20th-century America, give him enough combat, espionage and martial arts training to make him a hundred times deadlier, then turn him loose in the middle of a completely non-violent society, all to hunt down a starving graffiti artist living in the sewers? Even if it worked, how was he planning to call off his monster afterwards?

It’s saved by the fact that the hero can’t believe how stupid Cocteau is, either, plus that the entire society seems to have been neutered to the level of people who try to pose their children next to wild bears.

Minor point, not even a nitpick. If one just takes the first part of your post and leaves out the rest, that one actually worked in Wild in the Streets.

As to the rest of your original post, I completely agree. Don’t know what the dude was thinking.

Gotta say it,

Lord Voldemort: “Harry Potter is the only one with a chance of killing me? Keep him alive! Bring him within strike range of me! Let me taunt him for unreasonably long periods of time!”
For seven whole books.

From the Sten series; the Eternal Emperor lures Sten onto a neutral planet, home of a widely admired species, the Manabi. Then he blows up the planet, using a weapon Sten is highly unlikely to have, killing the Manabi and the people he brought there, and claims it was all Sten’s trap. Of course nobody believes him. In fairness, this was well after he’s gone round the bend.

From the Honor Harrington series, Field of Dishonor, Pavel Young’s revenge scheme on Harrington which boiled down to “let’s piss off the professional killer as much as possible.” Not coincidentally, that was the last book he ever appeared in.

From the computer game Baldur’s Gate : The Throne of Bhaal, the amusing bit when the low level characters decide to attack your character, who at this point is a near god. With the fateful battlecry of “I have magic missle !” they attack . . . and it doesn’t go well, shall we say.

I’ll defend the geology of Lex’s plan. Physics doesn’t work the same way in the Superverse as it does in the real world; why should plate tectonics? Moreover, Superman (who, though no genius himself, clearly had a very good technical education via dear old Dad) thought it had a decent chance of working; it was Supes who actually verbalized what the nuke would do if it hit that spot, after all.

Points 2 and 3 are certainly right, however.

I thought about mentioning my own plans for Xmas 2007, but I’ve decided not to admit to that yet.