Do we have this? A character starts off in a new, dangerous job and asks about the last people who worked there. It turns out they died on the job, and it's implied that the new character probably will, too. Usually found in pilot episodes, and sometimes played for laughs.
- Sailor Nothing: Every previous Sailor Salvation killed herself.
- On Harry Potter we heard the class of deffence agains the dark arts has never had the same teacher for more than one year, and many students joking that class is cursed, this carries over the series itself, as all the teachers we see suffer various calamities:
- 1st year, Quirinus Quirrell, died trying to kill harry
- 2nd year, Gilderoy Lockhart lost his memory
- 3rd year, Remus Lupin was a werewolf, also died a few years later on the series
- 4th year, Alastor Moody was an impostor, the real moody was kept as a prisioner for almost a year, and the impostor received a Dementor Kiss killed later on the series
- 5th year, Dolores Umbridge raped by centaurs, also imprisioned on Azkabanafter the events of the series
- 6th year Severus Snape: Death by Avada Kedavra
- 7th year, Amycus Carrow, as a death eater he probably ended up on Azkaban after the events of the book
- On the pilot of Babylon 5, someone asks about the station's name. It turns out that the first three Babylon stations were destroyed, and the fourth disappeared.
- On the pilot of Warehouse13, Pete finds a photo of other Warehouse agents and asks where they all are. Artie responds that three of them are dead, one is in an insane asylum, and one disappeared- but he'll find him someday. It becomes a running joke on the show that everyone who works in the Warehouse winds up evil, crazy, or dead, or all three.
- At the beginning of the video game The Force Unleashed, Juno Eclipse asks Starkiller how many pilots he's been through before she took on the job. She finds his answer of seven less than reassuring.
- in the pilot Farnsworth is about to give Fry, Bender, and Leela the career chips from his previous crew. Bender asks what happened to the old crew. Farnsworth dodges the question, but pulls the chips out of an envelope marked "Contents of Space Wasp's Stomach".
- In another episode Fry accidentally becomes emperor and learns that the average reign of the emperors on that planet is two weeks (due to assassination).