Indexes: Index Failure Everyone has gotten lost before, and it's not hard to get back on track. Maybe they took the Scenic Route. Or that they don't have someone decently skilled with maps or navigation. Maybe everyone has No Sense of Direction. Except when you're so off course, noone, even the audience, can believe it. There is no limit how lost it can be. It can be relatively reasonable, or even Beyond the Impossible. Subtrope of Epic Fail. sister trope of Shortcuts Make Long Delays. Getting lost easily is No Sense of Direction. A wrong turn that gets someone lost is Wrong Turn at Albuquerque. This trope, it doesn't matter how they get lost. The Navigator usually prevents this trope, if not adverting it. Also see Misplaced Wildlife, Polar Bears and Penguins.
- There's one The Far Side comic with a husband and wife driving their car on the moon. The wife says, "Oh for crying out loud, now look where Earth is! Pull over, I'm driving!"
- The "Movin' Right Along" musical segment of The Muppet Movie features Fozzie driving cross-country with Kermit, and winding up in places like Saskatchewan when they're trying to get from Florida to Hollywood.
- The Odyssey has Odysseus do this twice trying to get to Ithaca. First time wasn't that bad and got some directions. Second time he got way off course and has to navigate several dangerous islands and hell to get back home.
- Gilligan's Island: Besides the obvious of course, there is island visitor "Wrong Way" Feldman who at a point before the series started crash landed on the island after trying to fly around the world.
- When Mythbusters tested if men or women can navigate with a map better, some of the test subjects were this trope. The best was a guy who went nearly doubled the shortest distance and got forced back by a security guard.
- Sub-Lieutenant Phillips, the Navigation Officer, from The Navy Lark has sailed into entirely different oceans on more than one occasion, including heading from Portsmouth to a port on the Isle of Wight —locations within visual range of each other— and ending up in Shanghai instead.
- The Cloudcuckoolander Merrill in Dragon Age II has a well-known tendency to get lost in the most mind-boggling ways, such as ending up in the Viscount of Kirkwall's airing cupboard when trying to get home from the opposite part of the city. She lampshades it herself in the Mark of the Assassin DLC.
- In Elite 2: Frontier, when performing a hyperjump, you could encounter a bug caused by faulty maths inside the game's code that took you to a point far FAR away from your original destination, often on the other side of the galaxy lightyears away.
- In one of the Magic School Bus computer games, The Magic School Bus: Animals. One of the minigames involves a penguin who got very, very lost and ended up at the North Pole rather than the South Pole (though one does have to think where the penguin even was to have to go back to the South Pole anyway...) You take control of the penguin and guide him across the world and back to the South Pole in Frogger-style levels.
- On the The Fairly OddParents, Timmy's dad takes the family to Tucson, but ends up on a tropical island after going through Santa's Worskshop.
- A montage shows the dad going to several other places, each time ending up inside a volcano, that's oddly close to their intended destination.
- After they got off the island, they go back to Santa's Workshop and wind up inside another volcano.
- One skit in Robot Chicken shows a medieval knight, decked in full plate armor, standing in the middle of a frozen wasteland. He's checking the map to see where he is, and a penguin walks by.
- In Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town Chris Kringle meets a penguin looking for the South Pole. He comments on him being about as lost as he can get.
- An episode of The Simpsons has Lisa getting lost in an unfamiliar area after taking the wrong bus.
- In January 2013, Sabine Moreau had intended to drive to a train station in Brussels, Belgium that was 38 miles away from her home to pick up a friend. Led along by her (supposedly defective) TomTom GPS, she eventually ended up 900 miles away from her original destination in Zagreb, Croatia, equating to a two-day trip that involves traveling through five different countries (Belgium, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, and Croatia). When asked whether or not she thought the journey's length or the change in language of the traffic signs was strange, she replied "Maybe, but I was just preoccupied.".
- In the late 1700s, Alexander Mackenzie tried to become the first person to cross Canada (first white person at least). He took a wrong turn and ended up in the Arctic Ocean instead of the Pacific Ocean. He succeeded on a later trip though and the river he took to the Arctic Ocean was named Mackenzie River in his honor.
- Subverted by Douglas "Wrong Way" Corrigan, who filed a flight plan to fly from New York to California but "accidentally" flew to Ireland instead. Ireland was his intended destination all along, though he never admitted it.
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