ByElise Jost, writer at
"It's a UNIX system! I know this!" Twitter @elisejost
Elise Jost

If there's one thing that has lived on from the very first Jurassic Park movie in 1993 to the recent Jurassic World, it's the stupidity of the movies' characters. Just like in horror movies — when I want to scream at a character to please do anything but go down the creaky stairs of that dark and gloomy basement, but they do it anyway — a lot of the protagonists of the Jurassic Park series seem to be straight out asking for a gruesome death.

Surely, going anywhere near a park that involves live dinosaurs is probably a terrible idea in the first place, but we wouldn't have gotten the iconic story without its blissfully ignorant characters. So, in memory of so many well-deserved deaths, here's a ranking of the decisions that made me facepalm so hard my forehead still bears a mark to this day, from bad to worst:

15. Dr. Henry Wu Engineering The Indominus Rex, 'Jurassic World'

Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures

Dr. Henry Wu is probably the least dumb on this list since he's stuck around until Jurassic World, and managed to get out of there when things get out of control once again. But even one of the most talented geneticists on the planet can be pretty damn short-sighted, as proved by his creation of the Indominus Rex. Not only is it not the most bright idea to create an intelligent beast, him throwing in genes that lead to abilities such as camouflage made everyone's attempts to contain the monster that much more futile.

14. John Hammond Creating The Park, 'Jurassic Park'

Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures

As Ian Malcolm points out at the beginning of The Lost World, it looks like the Jurassic Park creator John Hammond will never really learn his lesson. In the first movie, his decisions might not be deadly for him, but they do impact the fate of a bunch of people. One is that he's so impatient to see the park come to life that he lets the scientists make shortcuts, which leads to the dinosaurs being able to breed. Another one is hiring greedy Dennis Nedry and letting him supervise the security of the park all by himself. Shouldn't the deactivation of the fences require at least a dozen retinal scans?

13. Karen and Scott Mitchell Sending Their Kids To The Park, 'Jurassic World'

Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures

Bad Parenting 101: send your kids by themselves to what is clearly the most dangerous place on the planet. They'll be fine, they're with their aunt, she knows what she's doing! Oh wait, she's a workaholic, and Karen and Scott are aware of that. They probably thought they were being the cool parents, but I'd rather endure my children's resentment for a year or two rather than letting them check out Jurassic World on their own. At least be with your kids in case they get scared to death!

12. InGen Hunters Going Through The Long Grass, 'The Lost World'

As the InGen camp descends into pure chaos, the escaping hunters provide us with a pretty cool raptor chase scene. The general panic is a pretty good excuse for not hearing anything, but why did no one listen to Ajay Sidhu when he yelled not to walk into the long grass?

11. Carter Putting On Headphones And Stark Not Really Paying Attention, 'The Lost World'

Dear Carter, you're in a forest brimming with unknown, blood-thirsty creatures, so please take off your damn headphones. Sure, the T-Rex makes the ground shake when it approaches (actually not always), but it'd be clever to hear what's going on around you. Dieter Stark takes this spot on the list, though, as he makes the brilliant decisions to a) attack a curious Compsognathus, b) warn a colleague that he's going to take a piss without checking if said colleague actually heard him, c) wander miles into the forest. Obviously this combo gets him covered in angry and toothy mini dinosaurs, after the shocked Compsognathus brought his friends to the party.

10. Robert Burke Leaving His Hiding Spot, 'The Lost World'

Robert Burke spends most of the movie being the resident dinosaur expert, but it looks like he didn't learn much about snakes. Otherwise, he would have recognized that the snake crawling under his shirt wasn't venomous, and he wouldn't have jumped out in panic of the cave that was sheltering him from a hungry T-Rex.

9. Ben Hildebrand Taking Eric Parasailing Near Isla Sorna, 'Jurassic Park III'

Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures

Just why would you go anywhere near Isla Sorna after the events of Jurassic Park. The oceans cover 71 percent of the planet's surface and still, no one thought it would be a bad idea to go near an island brimming with dinosaurs, or even to get some useful information about it.

8. Peter Ludlow Trying To Tame A Baby T. Rex Like A Puppy, 'The Lost World'

Peter Ludlow, John Hammond's nephew, used his status as InGen CEO to try to recreate a dinosaur park near San Diego. In case this project wasn't already proving to you that he's not the most sensible guy around, Ludlow displayed the extent of his ignorance when the boat that was supposed to bring back the dinosaurs crashed into the San Diego harbor at full speed, carrying a live T. rex but with the whole crew dead. Once the T. rex left the boat, Ludlow attempted to tame the baby T. rex left there by Harding and Malcolm, hoping to save what remained of his work. First bad move was to step into the boat. Second bad move was to approach a baby T. rex bare handed. Third bad move was to forget about mama T-Rex, who's been casually going on a rampage through San Diego.

7. Dennis Nedry Turning Off Security, 'Jurassic Park'

Dennis Nedry is so blinded by greed that he doesn't spend much time to think about the fact that turning off the park's security to get to the embryos also means turning off the power of the fences. So he never really envisioned that he would encounter at least one hungry dinosaur on his way to the exit and off the island.

6. Billy Brennan Stealing Raptor Eggs, 'Jurassic Park III'

Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures

Working alongside the palaeontologist who's been predicting that raptors are highly intelligent creatures wasn't enough for Billy Brennan to realize that stumbling around the island with stolen raptor eggs was a dumb idea. His plan to fund Dr. Grant's site is admirable in theory, but it ends up feeling like he thought that being stranded on a dinosaur island was not dangerously exciting enough.

5. Amanda Kirby Using A Megaphone On Isla Nubar, 'Jurassic Park III'

Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures

Amanda Kirby is the incarnation of terrible decision-making in the face of dinosaurs. From her using a megaphone on an island infested with predators to her freaking out at the discovery of Ben's remains, it's more than surprising that she manages to make it out alive.

4. Zach and Gray Mitchell Ignoring All Warnings, 'Jurassic World'

Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures

Even though the fact that they are a kid and a teenager trying to prove himself makes their actions a tiny bit more understandable, who in their right mind would ignore a warning message to immediately leave the attractions at a dinosaur park? To make things worse, they aren't too moved by the discovery of a fence that's been clearly torn apart by dinosaur claws, and decide to go past it. How they're not making a run for the exit before the Indominus shows up is beyond me.

3. Nick Van Owen and Sarah Harding Releasing The Dinosaurs, 'The Lost World'

Being the activist that he is, Nick Van Owen decides it's a brilliant idea to free the dinosaurs captured by InGen, not really anticipating any of the mayhem that ensues despite the fact that the impact of a triceratops on a camp set up by humans should be pretty predictable. Moreover, by taking Roland Tembo's bullets, he (unknowingly) leads to him using tranquillizers instead, which will allow for the T. rex to be sent to San Diego... alive.

2. Nick Ignoring An Emergency Phone, 'The Lost World'

This is actually part of Sarah Harding's worst decision ever to take in a baby T. rex, but Nick's actions are also condemnable. For example, that whole trailer being pushed of the cliff situation could have maybe been avoided by answering the phone when Ian Malcolm tries to warn them of the arrival of the T. rex. Not like the phone has a red warning light, or does it? You can see what happens next in the clip above.

1. Sarah Harding Basically Every Time She Gets The Chance, 'The Lost World'

Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures

Sarah Harding may be a scientist, but she's definitely not a clever girl. From playing with a baby Stegosaurus to setting loose a bunch of captured dinosaurs, she's quite the hypocrite considering she keeps on talking about the impact of man on nature. But what takes the cake is her brilliant decision to try to heal a baby T. rex, which already by itself should be leading to certain death, AND the fact that she keeps on wearing her blood-tainted jacket after pointing out that T. rexes have a very sharp sense of smell. Even though he dedicated most of his time on this second movie to point out bad ideas, Ian Malcolm was just no match for her.

Which decision would you say was the dumbest in the Jurassic Park movies?

(Sources: Paste Magazine, What Culture, 411 Mania, CinemaSins, ScreenCrush)


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