Curses are a very old trope. ''Very'' old. They served as warnings to listeners against defying morality or doing the taboo, for fear of angering the gods and incurring some terrible punishment. What might bring down a curse? It depended entirely on the story. Eating ForbiddenFruit, crossing the bridge after midnight, speaking out of {{Pride}} or even unkindness to strangers can trigger a curse.

The curser might be a [[DisproportionateRetribution petty]] god, witch, or even a normal person driven to great anger. [[WordPower Words]] and [[LanguageOfMagic Language]] have power, especially spoken from the heart. Doubly so if the heart is filled with bitter rage. Triply so if the person is [[LastWords dying]]. But even in ordinary circumstances, BeCarefulWhatYouSay, or you may well cast a curse on a loved one. For that matter, if you make ThePromise and say, "May [curse] fall on me if I fail!" you can curse yourself. Or the curse might not be cast by anyone at all, it may well be a 'maliceless' effect of breaking some taboo. And there's no guarantee that the cursed person is the offender; a HereditaryCurse may steadily descend through a family.

A curse may be LaserGuidedKarma, in which case it will fit the crime like a glove. Otherwise -- and sometimes even when it is LaserGuidedKarma -- curses are the very [[DarkIsEvil darkest]] of BlackMagic.

The effect of the curse on a character and story is that of a potent driving force. Getting rid of it can drive a character to do great and terrible things. Enduring one can add drama and complicate a hero's life. [[CurseIsFoiledAgain Resolving it]] is cause for a satisfying resolution. Whatever the case, curses aren't minor things.

Curses can come in all shapes and sizes. Common curses include:
* Bad luck, sometimes in the form of an actual "cloud" of misfortune following them.
* A physical defect like BO, InvoluntaryShapeshifting (and/or BalefulPolymorph), [[BeautyToBeast ugliness]] or [[TheKlutz clumsiness.]]
* A WoundThatWillNotHeal. (A milder form is a [[ScarsAreForever scar]] immune to HealingHands or other healing magic.)
* To die in some circumstance, or have a specific accident/event happen. This may overlap with [[FateAndProphecyTropes prophecy]], if the curse is merely a cruel but accurate divination.
* To become ThePunishment; an [[SpawnBroodling inhuman monster]] [[EvilMakesYouMonstrous wracked with suffering]] who [[WalkingWasteland extends that suffering]] to [[ViralTransformation anyone they can.]]
* And to cap these, the curse will often include a TongueTied clause that prevents the cursed character from saying they're cursed.

Curses can also be put on [[ArtifactOfDeath inanimate]] [[ArtifactOfAttraction objects]], such as [[EvilWeapon swords]], and places, both [[HauntedHouse houses]] and lands. Places tend to turn to {{Mordor}} under curses, or at least [[EvilSmellsBad smell bad]], and both places and objects inflict bad things on the people about, or owning, them.

[[CurseEscapeClause Curses can be cut short]] by:
* Giving back a stolen item, apologizing, or otherwise setting right the original offense.
* Completing an ImpossibleTask.
* Dying and coming back, usually as part of finding a [[RevivalLoophole loophole]] in the curse.
* Passing it on to someone else, like a bad penny.
* [[NoOntologicalInertia Getting the cursing person to die]]. (Not effective in cases of a dying curse.)
* For a country, [[FisherKing putting the rightful king on the throne]]. (This may or may not fall under the first as well.)
* ThePowerOfLove. Sometimes this simply requires actually being loved by someone else, sometimes it requires the person to receive TrueLovesKiss to seal the deal. Furthermore, many curses are susceptible to the PowerOfLove even if it's not supposed to be a condition of the curse.

For some reason, a curse that turns you into [[GenderBending a member of the opposite sex]] is ''particularly'' hard to break, [[FirstLawOfGenderBending doubly so if you were a man]].

It isn't [[CursedWithAwesome awesome]] and was not [[BlessedWithSuck meant as a blessing]], this is a [[BlackMagic wicked spell]] intended to harm or even kill the cursed character. A common variant is the GypsyCurse. Contrast the ProtectiveCharm, which can block or lessen curses. See also OneCurseLimit, in which a victim can only suffer a single curse at one time. See also CurseThatCures, when a character seeks out a curse because it will cure them of a sickness or injury as a side effect, or {{Geas}},, which is a curse that someone must constantly do on their own, or else die.


[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* ''RanmaOneHalf'': Ranma fell into a cursed spring where a young girl drowned -- as a result, whenever he is splashed with cold water he will [[GenderBender turn into a girl]]. This is where most of the plot complications and comedy stem from. If he is splashed with hot water, he changes back. Several other characters apparently fell into magical springs where ''something'' drowned in it, and suffer InvoluntaryShapeshifting themselves.
** Besides Ranma's curse there are several other curses as well as cursed objects. Such as the other cursed springs, the curse that a ghost placed on Happosai to get him to steal her panties, the cursed paintings, and more.
* ''{{Berserk}}'': Guts and Casca have the Brand of Sacrifice as a result of Griffith's betrayal during the Eclipse, which acts as a magnet for ravening demons that want to eat them alive, causes them pain when the monsters draw near and generally makes their lives a living Hell.
** Arguably, just ''[[CrapsackWorld living in Midland]]'' qualifies as a living curse.
* ''Manga/HayateTheCombatButler'': Athena, Mikado and Himegami have been placed under a curse for trying to steal the power of god. Exactly what these curses are hasn't been stated yet. [[spoiler: Part of Athena's was to be stuck in the Royal Garden for eternity, though at least that part of the curse is no longer valid. And it's after this has been cleared that she talks about being cursed, so we know that's not all there is to it.]]
* ''VisualNovel/{{Air}}'': The curse the Buddhist Monks pull on Kannabi has the effect of killing her and her next incarnations if they are to fall in love or be loved. Only true happiness can break the curse and make the next life much better.
* In ''Manga/InuYasha'', Miroku's family was cursed by Naraku with the Wind Tunnel: a black hole in the palm of the right hand that's passed down through each generation. The Wind Tunnel absorbs [[PowerIncontinence everything in front of it unless sealed]] by enchanted prayer beads, and it's constantly expanding which culminates in it being strong enough to break the seal and [[SuperPowerMeltdown consume its bearer and all that surrounds him]], just like it has already done with Miroku's father and grandfather. The only way for Miroku to free himself and his descendants from this fate is to [[NoOntologicalInertia kill Naraku]]. [[spoiler: It almost, ''almost'' fails since the Tunnel not only gets bigger but brings ''[[BodyHorror other]]'' [[BodyHorror horrible effects to Miroku's body]], but when Inuyasha and Kagome manage to definitely defeat Naraku, the Tunnel disappears and he's saved. The [[BabiesEverAfter children]] that he and Sango have some time later are completely free of any effects.]]
* In ''Manga/BloodyCross'', half bloods are all cursed to die when they turn 18 unless they drink a pure demon's blood or find a [[PiecesOfGod God's inheritence]] strong enough to remove the curse.
* In Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters, the protagonist, Yugi, solves an ancient puzzle which houses the spirit of a 5000 year old Pharaoh, and according to both the Dub and the original Japanese version, he is supposedly 'cursed'. [[CursedWithAwesome It's a rather beneficial curse, though,]] as he gains an alter ego voiced by DanGreen and becomes an expert in all kinds of games, even beating the world champion in a card game the first time they play against each other. And it comes in handy during the "Waking The Dragons" Arc, where the Seal of Orichalcos, a regular card, seals the loser's soul. If having an extra soul was ever an advantage, this would be the time.
* Discussed several times in ''Manga/DetectiveConan''. Since it's set in a country [[UsefulNotes/JapaneseMythology with a rich mythology]] but the series itself is practically devoid of any actual magic, whenever a supposed "curse" takes place and causes deaths as a result, it's ''always'' a murder commited by a GenreSavvy human who takes advantage of said mythology to stage said kills.

[[folder: Comic books]]
* In ''ComicBook/CastleWaiting'', indirectly, the curse on Sleeping Beauty cause their problem: once it was broken, she left at once, and now the castle is waiting for royalty to return.

[[folder: Fan Works]]
* Occurs in ''Fanfic/TheLionKingAdventures'' story ''The Curse of Death''. The Hermit of Hekima places a curse on Simba, where he will [[spoiler: die in three days if he doesn't change his neglectful ways.]]
* [[Fanfic/WithStringsAttached C'hou]] is riddled with curses, which seem to be easy to cast.
** Lyndess was cursed by the Dalns gods to remain on Ketafa until she figures out how to cross the ocean without using any sort of vessel (ships sink under her, it's too far to swim, etc.). Another thing that will break the curse is if she apologizes to the god who cursed her, but she can't, because...
** Ketafa itself is under a curse: the gods cannot see anything on the continent.
*** [[spoiler: Actually, no, it's not, the gods are just ignoring the continent, but no one knows this.]]
** As'taris is cursed to return to his house every evening until Brox returns or he dies. (Brox did this to ensure that As would not go skylarking off after rumors of monsters.) Also, he's cursed not to initiate combat with anyone. He often tries to get people to fight him, but no one will.
*** After he's accidentally killed when Paul explodes, he runs off (with a very annoyed Grunnel in tow to keep him from disappearing) to surprise Brox at the [[WizardingSchool Wizards University]]. ItMakesSenseInContext.
* In the ''[[WesternAnimation/TotalDramaIsland Total Drama]]'' story, ''Fanfic/CourtneyAndTheViolinOfDespair'', a curse on the [[MacguffinTitle titular violin]] is the root cause of Courtney's [[ButtMonkey string of misfortunes]].
* ''FanFic/GodSlayingBladeWorks'' has Shirou inherit "Curses Without End" as his first Authority on slaying Angra Mainyu. With it he can generate curses of varying types, from misfortune to death, and even create monsters from curses. He also discovers that infusing a curse into a sword allows it to act as a conduit for that curse, allowing him to partially bypass an enemy's magic resistance.
* ''[[Fanfic/TheWritingOnTheWall The Writing On The Wall]]'' has Daring Do dismiss the eponymous writing as a curse meant to scare away tomb robbers from the ancient building. It is an entirely reasonable conclusion for an AdventurerArchaeologist to make, but unfortunately she is being WrongGenreSavvy - the curse is a genuine warning of the danger of what the building was meant to contain.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* Sophie in ''Anime/HowlsMovingCastle'', cursed to be an old woman and be unable to tell anyone her plight. It appears that her ''remembering'' that she is cursed is a key in the curse maintaining its effects. That, or her self-esteem issues. Whenever she appears more confident, she grows younger. When she goes back to being shy, she ages up. The book the film is adapted from features the same curse, which Howl attempts to secretly break on his own but discovers Sophie is unconsciously retaining on herself. Later, her concern for an injured Howl overcomes her shyness and the curse finally lifts.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Brave}}'': Merida accidentally unleashes a bear-y beastly curse, by turning her mother and brothers into black bears. [[spoiler: She learns from the Witch, that she must [[CurseEscapeClause "mend the bond, torn by pride," before the second sunrise.]] It didn't simply have to be mending a family tapestry, as Merida thought, just ThePowerOfLove in order to undo the curse.]]
* ''Disney/{{Frozen}}'': Anna is cursed (accidentally) by Elsa, while revealing to her sister a ''different'' curse (the EndlessWinter) she'd brought about, by having a piece of ice put into her heart, which will [[PainfulTransformation slowly and painfully freeze her into an ice statue from the inside out]]. [[spoiler:In both cases, it's ThePowerOfLove that undoes the curse]].

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/{{Penelope}}'' has the titular Penelope receive a hundred plus year old curse on her family that their first born daughter would be ugly until she were accepted by "one of her own." This is why her parents went about trying to get her married, but it turns out [[spoiler: the curse can be interpreted as "when she accepts herself." As soon as she becomes okay with the idea that she's going to be ugly forever, and it's not a cause for angst, does the curse lift.]]
* ''Film/DragMeToHell'' has the protagonist be [[GypsyCurse cursed by a gypsy woman]] to be terrorized by a Lamia for three nights before being bodily dragged into hell. All for ''[[DisproportionateRetribution denying her a third loan extension on her house.]]''
* The antagonists in ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanTheCurseOfTheBlackPearl'' are cursed to be undead as long as Aztec gold they stole remains scattered.
* ''Film/{{Ladyhawke}}'' has two lovers, Etienne Navarre and Isabeau de Anjou, who are kept apart by a demonic curse laid by the corrupt and jealous Bishop of Aquila, who wanted Isabeau for himself. By day, Isabeau becomes a hawk, and by night, Etienne becomes a wolf. The only time they can both see each other in human form is at dusk and dawn of each day for one fleeting moment, but they can never touch. The two break the curse by [[spoiler:surviving until the "day without a night and a night without a day" (a solar eclipse) and standing together before the Bishop in human form]].
* In the Creator/StephenKing movie ''Literature/{{Thinner}}'', a man is getting a blowjob from his wife while driving. He hits and kills a young Gypsy woman. When he avoids justice by using his connections in a ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney way, the woman's father gives the protagonist a GypsyCurse.
* The entire plot of ''Film/EllaEnchanted'' is driven by a curse placed on Ella as a child that makes her unable to ignore orders. Usually she gets around it by finding loopholes in the orders she's given, but this becomes hazardous when Prince Charmont falls in love with her and they begin to become entangled. Ella is rightfully concerned that because of her condition, she could be ordered into hurting him (and Sir Edgar does exactly this in an attempt to off Char and grab the kingdom for himself). The curse is resolved after [[spoiler:she sees her image in a mirror and orders herself to no longer be obedient]].

[[folder: Fairy Tale ]]

* The Beast of "Literature/BeautyAndTheBeast" was cursed to be a beast until a woman honestly loved him.
* In "Literature/BrotherAndSister", the WickedStepmother had cursed streams so that her stepchildren would be [[{{Animorphism}} transformed to beasts]] if they drank from it. Her stepson succumbed and became a deer, turning back [[NoOntologicalInertia only when she died]].
* In all variants of "The Kind and Unkind Girls", the unkind girl [[SecretTestOfCharacter behaves badly]] toward [[ThresholdGuardians a stranger or employer]] and is cursed. Some include [[ "Diamonds and Toads"]], [[ "The Enchanted Wreath"]], [[ "The Two Caskets"]], [[ "The Two Cakes"]], "Literature/TheThreeLittleMenInTheWood", and [[ "The Three Heads In the Well"]].
* In "Literature/EastOfTheSunWestOfTheMoon", the hero was cursed into a white bear by day by his WickedStepmother. When the heroine [[ForbiddenFruit looks at him by night]], that means to break it was gone; she [[EarnYourHappyEnding succeeds]] only after a long {{Quest}}.
** Other tales of this type include [[ "The Brown Bear of Norway"]], [[ "The Hoodie Crow"]], [[ "The Iron Stove"]], [[ "The White Wolf"]], [[ "The Enchanted Pig"]], and [[ "The Black Bull of Norroway"]].
* In [[ "The Singing, Springing Lark"]], the hero is cursed into the form of a lion by day, and if he ever lets sunlight fall on him, he will be transformed again, into a dove, and have to wander for seven years.
* "Literature/TheFrogPrince" was cursed into that shape. As were the heroes of [[ "The Queen Who Sought a Drink From A Certain Well"]] and [[ "The Well of the World's End"]].
* In "Literature/SnowWhiteAndRoseRed", the bear is a cursed prince.
* In "Literature/SleepingBeauty", the princess is cursed to die from pricking her finger on a spindle before her 16th birthday. Another fairy manages to modify this to make her sleep a century.
* In "Literature/SnowWhiteFireRed",
** an ogress curses the hero to be unable to marry anyone but the heroine.
** another ogress curses the hero to forget the heroine as soon as his mother kisses him.
** In [[ "The Dove"]], any kiss whatever makes him forget the heroine.
* In [[ "The Six Swans"]], the princes are cursed by their WickedStepmother.
** In [[ "The Twelve Wild Ducks"]], their mother's careless words do it, as a father's do in [[ "The Seven Ravens"]].
* In Creator/HansChristianAndersen's "The Wild Swans", having cursed the princes into swans, the queen tries to make the princess ugly and stupid:
-->''She took three toads with her, and kissed them, and said to one, "When Eliza comes to the bath, seat yourself upon her head, that she may become as stupid as you are." Then she said to another, "Place yourself on her forehead, that she may become as ugly as you are, and that her father may not know her." "Rest on her heart," she whispered to the third, "then she will have evil inclinations, and suffer in consequence." So she put the toads into the clear water, and they turned green immediately. She next called Eliza, and helped her to undress and get into the bath. As Eliza dipped her head under the water, one of the toads sat on her hair, a second on her forehead, and a third on her breast, but she did not seem to notice them, and when she rose out of the water, there were three red poppies floating upon it. Had not the creatures been venomous or been kissed by the witch, they would have been changed into red roses. At all events they became flowers, because they had rested on Eliza's head, and on her heart. She was [[IncorruptiblePurePureness too good and too innocent]] for witchcraft to have any power over her.''
* In [[ "The False Prince and the True"]], the old woman proves to be under a curse. [[spoiler:She is actually younger than the young prince who married her.]]
* In ''Literature/TheLoveOfThreeOranges'', many variants have the prince cursed to marry no one but the woman from the oranges.
* In "Literature/TheStoryOfKingOdd", a curse forces an elvish royal to live as an exile in the human world.

* In ''Literature/DragonBones'', the Hurog family has a family curse. Or two, depending on how you look at it. The local FriendlyGhost and magically bound slave Oreg cursed house Hurog because an ancestor of the protagonist [[spoiler: had killed a dragon.]] However, the black magic that turned Oreg into the GeniusLoci of [[PoweredByAForsakenChild castle Hurog]] wasn't healthy for the place either. The inhabitants tend to have short lifespans or go crazy, or both, something which is not referenced in the curse. (It's unclear whether it is even a curse, or rather a prophecy.)
* In Creatore/JimButcher's ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'', curses are various forms of ''nasty'' magic. Particularly dreadful is the "death curse," a wizard's last spell, CastFromHitPoints. Examples include:
** Harry is under a death curse to [[DyingAlone die alone]]. Since he lives in the populous city of Chicago, this curse might have inadvertently made Harry very hard to kill.
** In ''Literature/BloodRites'', it's revealed that [[spoiler:Harry's mother's could not directly curse her killer, a powerful vampire, so she instead cursed him so he could not feed]].
** There's also the entropy curse, a magical working that causes luck to turn hideously against the target. Harry has seen entropy curses that are well put-together (causing falling masonry and snapped power lines to fall on the target) and... not so much (resulting in a target being hit by a car... while water-skiing, or crushed by a frozen turkey falling from an airplane).
** The bloodline curse in ''Literature/{{Changes}}'', which is meant to kill everyone related to the target of the curse, no matter how distant the connection. [[spoiler:Originally intended for Harry's daughter so that he -- and conveniently his grandfather Ebenezar [=McCoy=] a.k.a. the Blackstaff as well -- would die by proxy, he turns it on the entire Red Court, wiping out one of the major players in the supernatural world in one fell swoop.]]
** ''Literature/FoolMoon'' has the curse on Harley [=MacFinn=]'s family line, which caused him to turn into a rampaging super-werewolf during the full moon. Said curse was supposedly laid by St. Patrick, though the source of that information (a demon) is questionable.
* In Creator/GuyGavrielKay's ''Literature/{{Tigana}}'', the entire country of Tigana and all its inhabitants are cursed.
* Creator/PatriciaAMcKillip:
** In ''Literature/TheRiddleMasterTrilogy'', Raederle offers to teach Morgan the ninety-nine curses of a certain wizard.
** In ''Literature/TheBellAtSealeyHead'', the book revolves about a wizard's curse.
* ''Literature/{{Xanth}}''. Many. Cursefiends have this as their power, and the Furies use it on anyone who is not (in their eyes) a dutiful enough child. Which means everyone.
* In AndreNorton's ''WitchWorld'', That Which Runs The Ridges turns out to be under a curse.
* ''Literature/HarryPotter'', a "curse" appears to include any spell with a malevolent effect, particularly charms.
** The Unforgivable Curses: the Cruciatus Curse (Crucio), used for torture; the Imperius Curse (Imperio) used for MindControl, and the Killing Curse (Avada Kedavra), which is ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin.
** Unicorn blood will save you from dying "even if you are an inch from death", but you will live a "half life" from the moment you drink it.
** If a person continues to divide their soul, they lose their humanity and their very nose, and eventually suffer a FateWorseThanDeath.
** There are also curses that work in more traditional ways, e.g., jinxing the Defense Against The Dark Arts teaching position so that anyone who takes the job will never last longer than a year.
* TeresaEdgerton's second ''{{Celydonn}}'' trilogy revolves about the curse on a land, and breaking it.
* Creator/LoisMcmasterBujold's ''Curse of Literature/{{Chalion}}'' is a curse of corrupted virtues and ill luck on the country's ruling line.
* In Creator/UrsulaKLeGuin's ''Literature/EarthseaTrilogy'' [[note]]''The Tombs of Atuan''[[/note]], Arha curses another priestess. Unusually, there is no reason to believe that the curse has any actual effect.
* ''Literature/HeroSeries'': In ''Heroes Adrift'', the troupe Lee and Taro travel with is cursed to not be able to stay in one place for more than a few nights. If they do, someone dies.
* In Creator/TerryPratchett's ''Discworld/EqualRites'', Granny Weatherwax assures Esk that she will curse under the right conditions, such as when people ain't showing respect. Often "curse" means that you ''tell'' someone you've cursed them and the next time something bad happens to them, they think "That was because I didn't show respect to the witch." Granny Weatherwax has been known to actually curse people, just in less traditional ways. For example, instead of turning someone into a frog just making them think that they are a frog. It's much easier and more fun too.
** Later witches novels more or less follow the line that cursing ''works'', but not unless they know you've done it. Unlucky Charlie, the target for the cursing at the Witch Trials, ''cannot'' be aware you've done it because he's a scarecrow, so points are given for general inventiveness. [[BeyondTheImpossible Except for the year when Granny Weatherwax made his head explode]].
* In ''Literature/JonathanStrangeAndMrNorrell'' the Gentleman does this to Jonathan Strange, cursing him to eternal darkness. As it turns out, [[spoiler: because of the [[ExactWords imprecision of the spell]] the darkness entraps any English magician who comes into contact with it, starting with Mr. Norrell]]. The Raven King also cursed a few places during his reign, mostly over matters of civil unrest or rebellion.
* In PatriciaCWrede's ''Literature/ThirteenthChild'', Uncle Earn [[MaliciousSlander accuses]] Eff of casting a curse when she is five -- too young to cast magic. Later, William asks Eff if her nervousness springs from being under a curse.
* Creator/DavidEddings' ''TheElenium'' has an unusual variant of a benevolent curse. A god wants to hide his followers from obliteration and simultaneously give them magical powers to defend themselves. A blessing won't do, because blessings "ring in the air" and are easily detectable by magical means. So the god uses a curse with the exact same effects instead. It is notable that, while benevolent, it's still a curse; the god can't bring himself to curse his beloved followers directly and curses their drinking water instead.
* In ''Thinner'', by Creator/StephenKing, the protagonist is put under a curse that causes him to waste away. (His judge and lawyer are cursed with hideous acne and skin cancer that will eventually kill them too.) His response is to track down the gypsy and curse him--by taking out a contract with a hit man to kill his family.
* The entire plot of ''Literature/EllaEnchanted'' is driven by a curse placed on Ella as a child that makes her unable to ignore orders. Usually she gets around it by finding loopholes in the orders she's given, but this becomes hazardous when Prince Charmont falls in love with her and they begin to become entangled. Ella is rightfully concerned that because of her condition, she could be ordered into hurting him. The curse is resolved [[spoiler:when Ella tries so hard to refuse Char's order to marry him that [[ThePowerOfLove her love for him overcomes the curse]]. Then she marries him of her own free will.]]
* ''Literature/ConanTheBarbarian'': In "Literature/AWitchShallBeBorn", as a result of a DealWithTheDevil a witch is born to the [[RoyalBlood royal family]] every century.
-->''The curse of the kings of Khauran! Aye, they tell the tale in the market-places, with wagging beards and rolling eyes, the pious fools! They tell how the first queen of our line had traffic with a fiend of darkness and bore him a daughter who lives in foul legendry to this day. And thereafter in each century a girl baby was born into the Askhaurian dynasty, with a scarlet half-moon between her breasts, that signified her destiny.\\
"Every century a witch shall be born." So ran the ancient curse. And so it has come to pass. Some were slain at birth, as they sought to slay me. Some walked the earth as witches, proud daughters of Khauran, with the moon of hell burning upon their ivory bosoms.''
* In Creator/GeorgeEliot's ''Literature/SillyNovelsByLadyNovelists'', she recounts that, in one such novel, when the mother, on evidence insufficient to hang a dog, concludes that her son had proposed to the woman she wanted him to marry after all, and then finds out that he didn't, she starts to curse her son. A perfectly mundane novel, for all the {{Melodrama}}. Perhaps it's just as well that her son's true love interrupts her to say that she refuses to marry the son [[ParentalMarriageVeto without his mother's blessing]].
* In L. Jagi Lamplighter's ''[[Literature/ProsperosDaughter Prospero In Hel]]'', Mephisto's folly is caused by amnesia, which he inflicted on himself to escape a curse.
* In the [[ForgottenRealms Avatar Trilogy]] we are introduced to Kelemvor Lyonsbane, last scion of a family of cursed mercenaries. The curse began when his ancestor [[DyingCurse betrayed a powerful sorceress]] and was cursed to never again act purely for profit, or else transform into a murderous panther. However, with the birth of his son, the curse reacted to the boy's innocence and reversed itself. From then on, Lyonsbanes could ONLY act on another's behalf out of thoughts of profit.
* In ''Literature/TheShahnameh'', the one who kills Esfandiyār is cursed to die and suffer in this life and the next. Fortunately for Rostem, [[spoiler: it can see through {{Uriah Gambit}}s.]]
* In Creator/TanithLee's ''Literature/TheDragonHoard'', the events begin with Prince Jasleth and Princess Goodness being cursed by a witch who was upset about not being invited to their birthday party.
* In Creator/EdgarRiceBurroughs's ''Literature/TheMonsterMen'', one dying man curses the man who betrayed him.
* In Creator/DevonMonk's ''[[Literature/AgeOfSteam Dead Iron]]'', why Cedar is a {{werewolf}}.
* Creator/DevonMonk's ''Literature/AllieBeckstrom'' series starts with Allie breaking a curse on a boy.
* Alison Sinclair has a trilogy of novels set in a country under an eight centuries old curse laid by a psychotic mage in a RoaringRampageOfRevenge over the death of her daughter; the country is now divided into the Darkborn who are [[WeakenedByTheLight incinerated by daylight]], and the Lightborn, who melt away in the dark and rely entirely on magical lights to sustain them through the night.
* In WenSpencer's ''Literature/{{Tinker}}'', Tinker knows that although elves can turn you into a frog, they can't cause a ''curse'' -- a plague of bad fortune. She just ''feels'' like she was hit by one.
* Subverted in ''[[Literature/TheInkworldTrilogy Inkheart]]'', where Dustfinger pretends to place a curse on [[TheDragon Basta]] in order to frighten him, [[spoiler: as Basta was threatening Meggie with a knife.]]
* In Creator/EDBaker's ''Literature/TheWideAwakePrincess'', an old woman asks Annie for food -- and then throws it away, contemptuously. She's cursed with toads and snakes falling from her mouth.
* In Creator/PoulAnderson's ''Literature/ThreeHeartsAndThreeLions'', Hugi recounts how Mother Gerd had cursed a peasant's field -- and [[IneptMage only killed the thistles.]]
* In the Literature/{{Child Ballad|s}} ''Literature/WilliesLady'', Willie's mother, a rank witch, cursed his wife to die in childbirth.
* In ''Literature/TheCasterChronicles'', in Lena's family, Casters are Claimed by Light or Dark on their sixteenth birthdays. They have no choice, unlike most other Casters. This is because Lena's ancestor tried to revive her dead lover.
* Hexes pop all over the place in ''Literature/FancyApartments'' although their little more than annoying in most cases. Rather more serious however, was the death-curse that one character got hit with.
* Curses are a subject of the horror anthology ''Literature/ThatHoodooVoodooThatYouDo'' by Creator/RagnarokPublications. In one story, a faithful Catholic woman curses her priest when she discovers he's been practicing BlackMagic. Knowing such rituals have power, especially around him, causes him to freak.

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* One episode of ''MiddleMan'' had a survivor of the Titanic cursed with immortality so long as his tuba remain intact for his heinous crime: pretending the tuba was his child and thus stealing the seats of a woman and her child. The tuba itself is an ArtifactOfDeath capable of killing anyone who hears its E Flat note by filling their lungs with the icy waters of the North Atlantic. After a decades he comes to consider himself CursedWithAwesome though.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' and ''Series/{{Angel}}'' has Angel, a vampire cursed with a soul. If he ever has a moment of perfect happiness (such as having sex with Buffy), the curse is broken, he loses his soul, and he reverts to being Angelus, the ''incredibly'' evil vampire that he was before getting cursed.
* ''Series/{{Merlin}}'' episode The Lady of the Lake. Freya was a Druid girl cursed to turn into a winged werepanther at the stroke of midnight.
* On ''Series/{{Misfits}}'', one of Rudy's many one night stands is upset that he doesn't want to date her and curses him so that his penis starts to rot. Simon has a vision that if he doesn't figure out how to stop the curse, it will fall off. It looks so bad that many people gasp or scream at the sight of it. At the end of the episode, he apologizes to her and she reverses it.
* ''Series/{{Rome}}''. After Caesar rejects her for political reasons, his mistress Sevillia writes out a formal curse according to Roman custom. It doesn't work, so she conspires to his assassination instead. Later she curses her long-time rival Atia, and this curse appears to be more effective -- Atia's son gains all the power she wanted for him, but Atia loses the love of her life Marc Antony.
** After discovering his wife's infidelity, and realising his children were keeping the secret from him, Vorenus curses them all to damnation. This is SeriousBusiness for a Roman so [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone Vorenus is aghast]] when he returns to his house and finds them missing. Pullo assures him he can just lift the curse when his children return. They don't, having been abducted and sold into slavery by an enemy of Vorenus while he was absent.
* ''Series/{{Charmed}}'': As a series about witchcraft, these pop up semi-frequently. The most notable instance was when Phoebe began receiving PastLifeMemories, coupled with physical manifestations of said past life attacking her. Throughout the episode, she comes to the revelation that her past self was evil, and a curse was put on her soul (by past Prue and past Piper, no less), [[YourDaysAreNumbered dooming her (and all reincarnations of her soul) to die at the exact age Phoebe currently is]]. [[GrandTheftMe Through taking control of her past self's body]], Phoebe herself is able to counter the curse, dodging her own demise.


* {{Alestorm}}'s "Captain Morgan's Revenge" has its title character pronouncing a dying curse upon the mutinous crew who have made him WalkThePlank:
-->''And as he fell down to the depths, he swore a deadly curse:''
-->''"As sure as Hell's my final fate, you'll all soon die or worse!"''
-->''Now as we stand before the gallows waiting for the end,''
-->''I'll say these final words, my friend...''



* ClassicalMythology:
** Oedipus, maltreated by his sons, cursed them [[CainAndAbel to kill each other]]. Leading to the events of Seven Against Thebes.
** Theseus, believing what his wife Phaedra [[MaliciousSlander had claimed]] about his son ''Theatre/{{Hippolytus}}'', cursed him, resulting in Hippolytus's death.
** After Hecuba avenged the murder of her son by killing Polymestor's sons in front of him and [[EyeScream then blinding him,]] Polymestor himself curses Hecuba - or maybe simply foresees her doom -- to go insane and drown herself.
** Laios, King of Thebes, for some reason tries to kidnap Pelops' son. Pelops curses him, saying, "May your own son kill you, Theban!" Laios' son is Oedipus; the outcome is [[Theatre/OedipusRex well-known]].
** Pelops' other sons are Atreus and Thyestes. Atreus catches Thyestes [[YourCheatingHeart in bed with his (Atreus') wife]]. Atreus butchers Thyestes' children and serves them up to their father at a banquet. Thyestes curses Atreus' line. Thyestes' curse is fulfilled by Helen, wife of Atreus' son Menelaos, who runs off with Paris of Troy, and by Clytemnestra, wife of Atreus' other son Agamemnon, who consorts with a son of Thyestes and murders her husband.
* NorseMythology has Andvari's cursed ring Andvarinaut. It caused the deaths of several people before it eventually lead to the destruction of an entire tribe.

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* After Wrestling/MikeQuackenbush, Lince Dorado, El Pantera, Equinox and Wrestling/ClaudioCastagnoli all defeated Wrestling/ChrisHero with The Wrestling/{{Chikara}} Special in the Summer 2007 season, it was rumored that a curse had taken hold of Hero.[[/folder]]

Athletes and sports fans are often a superstitious bunch, so if there's a long drought of success or a string of near-misses (especially those under odd circumstances), sports curses often come about. Here's some notable ones:

!!Multiple Sports
The city of UsefulNotes/{{Philadelphia}} and the Curse of Billy Penn. Philadelphia's City Hall is topped by a statue of William Penn (the founder of both the city and the entire colony-now-state of Pennsylvania), and for many decades there was a gentleman's agreement in place that didn't allow any building in the city to be higher than it. This agreement was broken in March 1987 by the opening of One Liberty Place three blocks away. Before then, all four of Philadelphia's major sports franchises had seen a good deal of recent success:
* [[UsefulNotes/MLBTeams The Phillies]] had won the World Series in 1980 and had also clinched the NL Pennant in 1983 (if this doesn't seem like a lot, consider that prior to this, the team had been to the World Series only twice in its history[[note]]1915 and 1950[[/note]] and they lost both times - 1980 was their first World Series victory ''ever'').
* [[UsefulNotes/NationalBasketballAssociation The 76ers]] had swept the Los Angeles Lakers to win the 1983 NBA Finals; they also made the Finals in '77, '80, and '82.
* [[UsefulNotes/AmericanFootball The Eagles]] reached Super Bowl XV in 1980 before losing to the Oakland Raiders (a big deal for a team whose last NFL title was in 1960).
* [[UsefulNotes/NationalHockeyLeague The Flyers]] had won back-to-back Stanley Cup championships in 1974 and '75, as well as appearing in the Finals in '76, '80, and '85.\\\\

Once the new skyscraper opened and the statue of Penn was overshadowed, none of these teams won a championship despite some close calls:
* The Phillies lost the 1993 World Series in six games to the Toronto Blue Jays on Joe Carter's three-run walkoff homer.
* The 76ers lost to the Lakers in 2001 in five games (admittedly, they were big underdogs in that series).
* The Eagles probably had the most agonizing time - they lost the NFC Championship Game three years in a row (2002 to the St. Louis Rams, 2003 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2004 to the Carolina Panthers) before finally beating the Atlanta Falcons in 2005 and reaching Super Bowl XXXIX...where they lost to the New England Patriots.
** The 2003 and 2004 NFC Championship Game losses came with the Eagles at home - since the NFL started giving playoff home-field advantage to teams with better records, no other team has ever lost back-to-back Conference Championship games where they hosted.
* The Flyers lost the Stanley Cup Finals to the Edmonton Oilers just two months after One Liberty Place opened. They also got swept by the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 after cruising through the first three rounds that year. They also made the Conference Finals five times (1989, 1995, 2000, 2004, 2008) before losing - 2000 especially stands out because the Flyers were up 3-1 in the best-of-seven series before dropping Games 5, 6, and 7 to the New Jersey Devils.\\\\

How did this end? In June 2007 the final beam of the new Comcast Center in downtown Philadelphia was erected, becoming the tallest building in the city. Workers planted a two-foot-high figure of William Penn to that beam, along with a tree and an old-school American flag. The figurine got stolen, and a replacement figurine was provided -- sports in Philadelphia [[SeriousBusiness is a very big deal]]. Forward to October 2008, and the Phillies win the World Series in five games against the Tampa Bay Rays.

!!American Football
* The Detroit Lions and the Curse of Bobby Layne. Layne was a quarterback who spent 8 seasons with the Lions in the 1950's, leading them to several NFL championships in that time. He was traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1958, to which supposedly he responded by saying the Lions would not win for 50 years[[note]]there's no first-hand record of him saying this, though[[/note]]. In the 50 years since:
** Not only did the Lions not win another NFL championship or Super Bowl (the only other team to go so long without one is the [[ButtMonkey Cleveland Browns]]), they had the worst winning percentage of all teams. The Lions remain the NFL team with the longest championship drought.
** They had a total of ten postseason appearances, of which they won ''one'' playoff game (1991 against the Dallas Cowboys).
** The losing was so bad that Barry Sanders, probably the best Lion in recent memory, who played for the team in the 90's and during which the Lions had five of the said ten playoff appearances, retired while in peak physical form because he couldn't stand the losing culture and front office mismanagement.
** Insult to injury: the Steelers won Super Bowl XL in 2006, which was held at the Lions' home stadium of Ford Field that year.
** To cap it all off, in 2008 (the 50th year of the curse) the Lions became the only team in NFL history to lose every game in a 16-game season[[note]]the Tampa Bay Buccaneers went 0-14 in 1976, and they have the excuse of being an expansion team in their first year of play[[/note]].
* The "MaddenCurse:" It's said that the athlete who is featured on the cover of the ''VideoGame/MaddenNFL'' is doomed to misfortune, either a bad season, failing to meet expectations, or even being sidelined due to injury. This, however, is usually dismissed, simply being chalked up to athletes being featured when they're at the top, and having nowhere to go but down.

!!Association Football
* The Socceroos (Australia's national soccer team) and their witch doctor curse. For the 1970 World Cup AFC/OFC qualification, Australia travelled to Mozambique to play a two-game aggregate against Rhodesia. According to team captain Johnny Warren's 2002 autobiography, for the deciding game some team members consulted a local witch doctor, who proceeded to bury bones near the goal posts and place a curse on Rhodesia. Australia won 3-1 to proceed to the final round against Israel, but they couldn't come up with the fee the witch doctor requested, so the witch doctor hexed them as well. What followed:
** Australia lost the home-and-home against Israel and the lone AFC/OFC spot to the World Cup.
** Australia did qualify for the 1974 World Cup, but didn't score a goal in three games and finished last in Group 1.
** Australia then failed to qualify for the next seven World Cups despite close calls in several of those qualifying campaigns (especially 1994, 1998, and 2002). The 1998 campaign especially stands out - Australia got to the OFC/AFC playoff against Iran for the final World Cup spot to be decided on a home-and-home playoff. The first game in Tehran ended 1-1, and in the second half of the second game in Melbourne Australia held a 2-0 lead until Iran scored goals in the 71st and 75th minute to earn the draw and qualify for the final spot on away goals.
** How it ended: two years after Warren's autobiography was published, John Safran read about it and travelled to Mozambique and hired a new witch doctor to lift the curse. The next year Australia qualified for the 2006 World Cup after defeating Uruguay in a shootout.

!!Auto Racing
* The "Andretti Curse" is the affliction of bad luck to the Andretti dynasty in the [[{{Indycar}} Indianapolis 500]] since Mario Andretti won the race in 1969. Despite there being five Andrettis (Mario, Michael, Jeff, John and Marco) to have raced at Indy since then, as of 2014 none have won another 500 as a driver (Michael Andretti won in 2005, 2007, and 2014 as a car owner). Some of the most notable examples of "Andretti luck" include Mario Andretti's finishing second after Bobby Unser was disqualified and then-reinstated as winner in 1981, finishing second behind Danny Sullivan (who spun his car but saved it earlier in the race), his engine blowing in 1987 after leading most of the race. Michael Andretti led most of the 1992 race but his engine failed ten laps from the finish. Marco Andretti was passed by Sam Hornish on the run to the finish line in 2006.

* The Boston Red Sox and the Curse of the Bambino. The Red Sox sold former player and baseball legend Babe Ruth to the now-hated rival New York Yankees in 1920. Prior to this, the Red Sox had a great deal of success, winning the World Series in 1915, 1916, and 1918; the Yankees, meanwhile, had been terrible since their inception. From 1923 through 2000, the Yankees won twenty-six World Series championships (at least one in every decade except the 1980's) and the Red Sox won zero. The curse finally ended in 2004, when the Red Sox won the World Series in a four-game sweep against the St. Louis Cardinals after coming back from a 3-0 series deficit in the ALCS against the Yankees, the only time such a comeback has ever happened in baseball. Highlights in between:
** The 1978 season. On July 18th, the Red Sox had a seemingly-insurmountable 14 game lead in the AL East before the Yankees got hot and managed to tie Boston in the standings on September 10th after a four-game sweep at Fenway Park by a combined score of 42-9, which fans took to calling the "Boston Massacre". The two teams ended the season tied atop the AL East, so a one-game playoff at Fenway was needed to decide who would play for the AL Pennant against Kansas City. Boston had a 2-0 lead in the top of the 7th before light-hitting Bucky Dent (who managed a total of 40 home runs in an 11-year career) got a 3-run homer over the Green Monster. The Yankees won 5-4 and went on to win the World Series, while Dent won the nickname Bucky [[PrecisionFStrike Fucking]] Dent from Red Sox fans.
** The curse gained media prominence in the 1986 World Series, where the Red Sox had a 3-2 series lead against the New York Mets going into Game 6 and getting a 5-3 lead with 2 outs in the bottom of the 10th inning before losing that game (capped off by an error by first baseman Bill Buckner that let the winning run in) and Game 7. This led to George Vecsey's articles that posited the existence of the curse in national media.
** It got played again in 2003, when the Red Sox and Yankees met in the ALCS - Game 7 was at Yankee Stadium, where the Red Sox held a 5-2 lead with one out in the 8th inning before the Yankees tied it and eventually forced extra innings, where a pinch-hitting journeyman Aaron Boone hit a walkoff homer in the 11th. Comparisons to Dent's homer in 1978 were widespread, including being known as Aaron Fucking Boone by Red Sox Nation. The Red Sox would get their revenge the next year.
* The Chicago Cubs and the Curse of the Billy Goat. As the story goes, during Game 4 of the 1945 World Series a bar owner named Billy Sianis brought his pet goat to the game at Wrigley Field (even purchasing a separate ticket), but was kicked out because the goat's odor was bothering others. Sianis was infuriated and declared, "Them Cubs, they ain't gonna win no more."[[note]]His family claims he later sent a telegram to the Cubs' owner saying, "You are going to lose this World Series and you are never going to win another World Series again. You are never going to win a World Series again because you insulted my goat."[[/note]] The Cubs lost that game, lost the series, and have not played a World Series game since, the longest pennant drought in baseball. (The Cubs also hold the record for longest World Series drought - their last World Series win was in ''1908''.) Highlights since:
** The 1969 season. This was the first year each league was split into two divisions, and the Cubs had an 8 1/2-game lead in the NL East in mid-August and still held a 5-game on September 2nd over the second-place New York Mets. The Cubs then collapsed while the Mets went on a tear, ending with the Mets finishing first in the division with an 8-game lead over the Cubs. As if to drive home the point, a black cat had walked by Cubs captain Ron Santo while he was in the on-deck circle at Shea Stadium on September 9th - the next day the Mets took over first place in the division.
** The 1984 NLCS. The Cubs finished first in the NL East for the first time by 6 1/2 games. All that stood in their way was the NL West champ San Diego Padres in a best-of-5 series. The Cubs won the first two games at Wrigley, and fans could smell a return to the World Series. Then the Padres won Games 3 and 4 in San Diego. Then the deciding Game 5 - the Cubs had a 3-0 lead after two innings and still led 3-2 going into the bottom of the 7th. With a runner on second and one out, Tim Flannery of the Padres hit a grounder that went through the legs of Cubs first baseman Leon Durham, allowing San Diego to tie the game.[[note]]If this seems similar to the Buckner error mentioned for the Red Sox, note that Bill Buckner started the 1984 season with the Cubs - he was traded to the Red Sox in May.[[/note]] Then the next batter Tony Gwynn doubles in two more runs to give the Padres a lead which they would not relinquish.
** Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS[[note]]95 years to the day of the Cubs' last World Series victory; also, it was the Year of the Goat in the Chinese Zodiac[[/note]]. The Cubs had a 3-2 series lead on the Florida Marlins and were up 3-0 with 1 out in the top of the 8th inning at Wrigley. Then a high foul ball towards the left field was hit, and a Cubs fan named Steve Bartman (among others) reached for it, knocking the ball into the stands, ruining any chance of making it the second out. The Cubs pleaded for fan interference but didn't get it. The Marlins then scored eight unanswered runs before the inning was over, winning that game as well as Game 7.
* In Japan, [[ The Curse of the Colonel]] has afflicted the Hanshin Tigers ever since fans threw a statue of [[{{UsefulNotes/KentuckyFriedChicken}} Colonel Sanders]] into the Dotonbori River after the 1985 Japanese Championship Series. It was believed that the Tigers would never win another championship until the statue was recovered, but they've kept losing since it was found in 2009. Some attribute this to the fact that the glasses and left hand are still missing.

* No French rider has won TourDeFrance since 1985 [[note]]Bernard Hinault[[/note]]. No French rider was in the top 3 between 1997[[note]]Richard Virenque[[/note]] and 2014.
*** Second curse broken in 2014 by Jean-Christophe Peraud (2nd) and Thibaut Pinot (3rd)
** It's an achievement in the Pro Cycling Manager (officially licensed game of the race, made by a French studio) series to win Le Tour with a French rider in career mode.
** No French rider has won Paris-Roubaix (biggest one day race in France, one of the five monuments) since Frédéric Guesdon won it in 1997.

!!Ice Hockey
* The New York Rangers and the Curse of 1940. The Rangers won the Stanley Cup in 1940, which was also the year the mortgage was paid off on Madison Square Garden, their home arena[[note]]Note that it's ''not'' the current building known as Madison Square Garden that sits atop Penn Station - that one was opened in 1968[[/note]]. Management celebrated by burning the mortgage document in the Cup itself - this was said to invoke the curse, and the Rangers did not win the Cup again for 54 years (a Stanley Cup drought record that still stands). "1940" would haunt Rangers fans all those years, ''especially'' once fans of the New York Islanders (who won the Cup four straight seasons between 1980 and 1983) and later the New Jersey Devils (whose old home Brendan Byrne[[note]][[IHaveManyNames later Continental Airlines Arena, now the Izod Center]][[/note]] seats 19,040) weaponized it as a taunt of "19-40!". It was finally broken in 1994, capped by winning both Game 6[[note]]with captain Mark Messier guaranteeing the Rangers would win this game after losing Game 5, then scoring a natural hat trick en route to a 4-2 win[[/note]] and Game 7 of the Eastern Confernce Finals against the Devils AND hanging on to win the Cup in seven games against the Vancouver Canucks after taking a 3-1 series lead.
** Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals gets special mention because it seemed like the Curse would not die - the Rangers had a 1-0 lead in the closing seconds before Valeri Zelepukin of the Devils scored the tying goal with 7.7 seconds left in regulation to force overtime. Then Stephane Matteau scored in double overtime to send the Rangers to the Stanley Cup Finals.
** It could just be that the early 90's in general was when the Curse was vicious - the '91-'92 season saw the Rangers play well, winning the Presidents Trophy (best regular season record) before losing to eventual champ Pittsburgh in the Patrick Division Finals (during which goalie Mike Richter let in a goal from a shot from the blue line). The next season things were looking good, but then defenseman Brian Leetch broke his ankle and the Rangers finished last in the division that year. And how did Leetch break his ankle? He took a taxi to the Garden before a game, stepped out, and [[{{Irony}} slipped on an ice patch in the street]].

[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]

* Bestow Curse (the reversal of the Remove Curse spell) in ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' is of the "cloud of misfortune type". The Geas spells force the target to follow a certain course of action.
** Although [[ cursed items]] can have such fun effects as changing your [[InvoluntaryTransformation species]], [[GenderBender gender]], alignment or [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking making your hair grow longer...once]]
** The Book of Vile Darkness has a nice assortment of alternate Curse effects, including sterility, blindness and deafness, the next person the target is introduced to will hate the target uncontrollably forever, critical successes become critical failures, all creatures of a designated species are permanently invisible to the target, age the target one age category, and cause all the target's wealth to vanish.
*** It also has an assortment of Greater Bestow Curse alternate effects, including permanent destruction of one of the target's magic items, give an incurable disease to a friend or family member of the target, the target's touch turns precious metals into lead, the target cannot use spells from any source, and the particularly nasty all the target's friends and family suddenly hate him/her.
** The Book of Erotic Fantasy obviously adds [=STDs=] and impotence to the possible effects of a curse.
** TabletopGame/{{Ravenloft}}, in addition to making the normal D&D curse spells harder to get rid of, has "curses of vengeance" which can be invoked by any character on somebody they believe has wronged them (whether or not they've actually wronged them). They can have pretty much any effect the players and/or DM can come up with from merely annoying to deadly. They aren't guaranteed to work though.
* ''{{GURPS}}: Magic'' has Curse which prevents the victim from having any meaningful success. ''Thaumatology'' has Doom, for days worse and worse things happen to the target until something really horrible finally strikes.
* ''TabletopGame/ChangelingTheLost'' includes both Contracts that count as curses (impairing performance, affecting one's behavior, etc.) and the ability to write a one-sided [[MagicallyBindingContract pledge]] that will greatly muck up a person's day until conditions are met.
* ''TabletopGame/GeistTheSinEaters'' features a Manifestation known as "[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin The Curse]]" that results in different afflictions depending on what Key the Sin-Eater uses to power it. For instance, the afflicted may be the center of a contagious HatePlague (or other suitable emotion) (Passion), have every mechanical object he tries to handle explode in his hands (Industrial), have nature turn against him (Primeval), become burdened by some unknown weight and unable to sleep (Grave-Dirt), or unable to communicate with anyone (Stillness).
* ''TabletopGame/VampireTheMasquerade'': Once upon a time, Caine saw that his brother Abel had produced a better sacrifice, and murdered him. God cursed him from this crime, and [[MultipleChoicePast this is why we have vampires]].
** ''TabletopGame/VampireTheRequiem'': Once upon a time, a Roman legionary stabbed the crucified son of God and was drenched by the spilled divine blood. For his treachery, he was turned into a vampire. [[MultipleChoicePast At least that's what the Lancea et Sanctum tells everyone.]]
* ''TabletopGame/MageTheAwakening'': Curses are in the purview of the Fate arcana. It's hard to make a curse that is ''lasting'', unless you clearly state to the victim the means to foil it.
* ''TabletopGame/MummyTheCurse'': See the title. But when it comes to hurling curses, the Arisen have several Utterances that have the "Curse" descriptor - and on top of that, if they're killed (temporarily, that is), they have the option to unleash such curses reflexively on the person who slew them.
* An integral part of the setting and mechanics of ''{{TabletopGame/Exalted}}''. With their dying breaths, the defeated Primordials enacted the Great Curse upon the victorious Exalted Host. The exact effects of the curse vary by Exalt type, with the effects being more severe the more powerful the type, but generally revolve around WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity.


[[folder: Theater and Opera]]
* The baronets in Creator/GilbertAndSullivan's ''Theatre/{{Ruddigore}}''.
* Alberich's curse in ''Theatre/TheRingOfTheNibelung'' directly results in the deaths of several people and possibly causes [[ApocalypseHow Götterdämmerung]].
* ''Theatre/TheNutcracker'': The title character was cursed to be a... well... [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin a nutcracker.]]
* In ''Theatre/TheBookOfMormon'', Elder Cunningham is reading the part of the Book where the Lord becomes displeased with the Laminites and turns their skin black, and then stops when he realizes that it's probably not the best part to be reading to Africans. The version of the Book that the Africans finally learn from Cunningham is somewhat different, including a story about God punishing Brigham Young for cutting off his daughter's clitoris by changing his nose into one.

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* The ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' series has a move called "Curse". When a Ghost-type Pokémon uses it, it sacrifices half the user's maximum HP and saps ź of the opponent's HP every turn afterwards. If a non-Ghost type Pokémon uses it, the move just cuts the user's Speed stat to raise their Attack and Defense.
** It is also a legend that Ninetales will put a 1000-year curse on anyone foolish enough to touch one of its tails.
*** This was a plot point in ''Pokémon: Mystery Dungeon'' and the comic of it. The main character believes that he's cursed to be a Pokémon because in a past life he grabbed a Ninetales' tail and let his friend Gardevoir take the curse in his place (as a legend has it). [[spoiler:It turns out that ''Gengar'' was the human who left Gardevoir to take the heat.]]
* The characters Salabesh the Onyx and Jumble Murdersense in ''VideoGame/PlanescapeTorment'': the former overheard someone defining him as a kind person, and [[DisproportionateRetribution cursed him to defecate from his mouth and speak through his anus]]; even the (usually unfazed) main character reacts to that with a BigWhat.The latter cursed Reekwind to a life of uncontrollable flatulence and B.O., and will curse the Nameless One with hiccups should he speak to him.You can then give him a taste of his own medicine by learning and using one that silences him, preventing him from countering with one of his own.
* Some have pointed out an interesting pattern with the game ''VideoGame/{{Eversion}}''. Blind [[LetsPlay Lets Plays]] of this game seem to botch the recording on world five, forcing the letsplayer to redo it while not blind to that stage anymore. '''Every. Single. Time.''' ''The game may actually be cursed.''
* Anyone who enters the Dark World in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast'' is transformed into a form reminiscent of what's inside their heart. Which doesn't explain why Link turns into a ''bunny''. The seven maidens sent into the Dark World to break the seal on it are cursed to turn into crystals. Carrying a special pearl allows Link to ward off the curse.
** In the Magazine/NintendoPower [[ComicBook/TheLegendOfZelda comic version]], people who enter the Dark Realm change into monsters when they lose control of their emotions, and those who can't control them turn into monsters permanently. Link eventually gets his under control and it stops affecting him, but he meets an archer named Roam who eventually succumbs.
** A tiny demon curses Link to only use half of his magic power per spell. In other words, the demon's "curse" turns out to be [[CursedWithAwesome extremely beneficial]].
** Ezlo, in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheMinishCap'', was turned into a ''hat'' by his former apprentice Vaati.
** In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'', being in the realm of Twilight turns him into a wolf. Later, he is cursed to turn into a wolf by Zant, even when in the World of Light.
*** Zant is fond of curses. [[spoiler: Midna herself used to be a Twili, but was cursed into the form of an imp by Zant.]]
** He was also cursed to become a Deku Scrub by Skull Kid in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask.''
*** If he touches a Blue Bubble in ''Majora's Mask'', he is "jinxed" to be unable to draw his sword for a period of time.
**** Which is a ShoutOut to the red/blue bubbles from the original ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZelda's'' Second Quest, where touching a red one disabled Link's sword until the player located and touched a blue one.
*** Another NPC, Kafei, gets turned into a child by Skull Kid, right before he's about to marry his fiance Anju. Link has to go through a subquest to get them back together. [[spoiler: The end of the game never shows if he broke the curse, but he's never shown during his wedding and the point of view is much higher than that of a child.]] In the manga retelling, the Kafei subplot is revealed to be a KarmicTransformation brought on by Kafei picking fun of Skull Kid's age...hence Skull Kid turning ''him'' into a kid as well.
** The Literature/{{Nintendo Adventure Book|s}} ''The Crystal Trap'' features Ganon cursing all three pieces of Triforce to turn to crystal. Since the Triforce of Courage is in Link's heart, this meant ''he'' is [[CrystalPrison trapped in crystal]] as well. [[ChooseYourOwnAdventure Guided by the reader's choices]], Zelda has 24 hours to find the three ingredients required to shatter the crystal before [[TakenForGranite the spell becomes permanent]].
** In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword'', [[spoiler:the BiggerBad Demise forever dooms Link's and Zelda's reincarnations to face [[DyingCurse an everlasting cycle of his hatred taking form and wreaking havoc on the world]], essentially causing every other game in the series to happen.]]
* In ''VideoGame/MonsterGirlQuest'', if the Elf Queen beats the protagonist, she curses him with infertility before abandoning him in the wilds.Since all monsters want from humans is to mate with them, he'll basically get captured and tossed away until he starves.
* The Curse Of The Meldrews in the InteractiveFiction game ''Curses'' (appropriate, no?). Not so much subverted as trivialized, since the Curse involves never quite being able to finish anything.
* ''The Curse of VideoGame/MonkeyIsland'' revolves around Guybrush trying to save Elaine from a cursed ring that transformed her into a gold statue.
* Not surprisingly, this shows up in ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' a few times.
** The recurring spell "Curse" appears in multiple games. Effects across the games include reduced stats, preventing limit break use, stopping job changes in battle, inflicting a variety of other status ailments, stopping the DMW wheel, or reducing the amount of successful interrupts by a character while increasing the number of successful interrupts by an enemy.
** Another recurring spell, "Doom", starts a timer that kills the afflicted character when the timer runs out. In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'', the Curse spell actually inflicts Doom, though the Curse status ailment is a separate entity.
** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyI'', the prince of the elves was cursed by the dark elf Astos with eternal sleep. Only an herb from the witch Matoya can wake him. Unfortunately, she's blind and needs a special eye to see...and Astos stole it from her.
** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIII'', Djinn curses the kingdom of Sasune and turns everyone in the kingdom of Sasune to ghosts. Two future party members, Ingus and Refia, missed getting cursed because neither was around when the curse hit. The only way to lift the curse is with Princess Sara's Mythril Ring, which needs to seal the Djinn inside and then be purified.
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'', the character Reis was cursed into the form of a dragon when she took on a curse intended for her lover, Beowulf. Because TheMindIsAPlaythingOfTheBody, she also appears to have no memory of her life as a human either, though the dragon Reis still joins the party when Beowulf rescues her. He eventually changes her back when the party recovers the Cancer Zodiac Stone and she joins the party as a "Dragonkin" (Dragoner in the PS1 version) with all her dragon skills.
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'', Cid's wife Hilda turns him into an Oglop as punishment for cheating on her and runs off in the only non-Mist powered airship in the world. This turns out to be supremely bad timing since Kuja has just manipulated Alexandria into attacking Lindblum. He later tries to undo it but ends up turning into a frog instead. Eventually they have to track his wife down and convince her to undo her curse. Wouldn't you know it, Kuja also kidnapped ''her'' since he needed her ship. When she's finally rescued, she changes Cid back, but threatens to curse him again if he ever acts unfaithfully again.
* ''VideoGame/KingsQuestIIRomancingTheStones'': In the AGD FanRemake, [[BigBad The Father]] is exposed and defeated, but pulls a OneWingedAngel and puts a parting shot on Graham, a {{retcon}} explaining some events of the other games:
--> '''The Father:''' ''Thrice now I curse, and from the first, your family shall feel the worse. Soon shall you see, they'll surely be, in the most dire jeopardy.'' (Referencing Alexander's enslavement and Rosella's nearly becoming a HumanSacrifice to a dragon in game 3) ''Then, as your foe, 'tis I who'll sew, the spell to cause heart to slow.'' (Referencing Graham's heart attack in the 4th game) ''And for my shame, for you the same, o'er Daventry your heirs shan't rein!'' (Referencing the 6th and 7th games, but invoking a {{Fanon}} theory on the latter)
* The premise of ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVIII'' is that everyone in the kingdom of Trodain except the main character has been cursed by the villainous Dhoulmagus. King Trode is now a little troll-like creature, Princess Medea is a horse, and everyone else is a statue. The main character escaped the curse [[spoiler: because a memory wiping curse that was cast on him when he was younger had the beneficial side effect of [[OneCurseLimit rendering him immune to other curses]].]]
* You must fight two curses in ''VideoGame/TheGameOfTheAges''. One on your own town, one on a race you visit.
* In ''VideoGame/BeyondTheBeyond'', super-strong knight Samson faces off against the [[EvilSorcerer sorceress]] Ramue (one half of the BigBadDuumvirate) early on in the game. She throws a dark magic-infused scarf at him, which he dodges at first, but ultimately wraps around him and saddles him with a curse so powerful that ordinary priests can't remove it. The curse sticks with Samson until the party ascends to Heaven and personally asks Arawn (the {{God}} of this setting) to have it lifted.
* Warlocks from ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' have a variety of curses they can inflict on a mob or character including the Curses of Agony, Doom, Elements, Exhaustion, Recklessness, Tongues, and Weakness.
* ''VideoGame/HeroesOfTheStorm'' has a map dedicated to this trope: Cursed Hallow. The Raven Lord demands tribute and the team that collects three will earn his favor. He will curse the opposing team reducing their minions to 1 HitPoint and preventing their towers from attacking.

[[folder: Visual Novels]]
* ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'' introduces three types of magecraft that are deemed curses. These include Rin's Gandr, which decreases the physical health of the victim; [[spoiler:Sakura]]'s bounded fields, which act as the basis of her offensive and defensive magecraft; and the geis, which if willingly entered into compels the magus to obey certain conditions or restrictions.
** [[spoiler:Angra Mainyu]] is an existence that consists solely of curses given the physical form of black mud, pouring unendingly from [[spoiler:the Holy Grail]]. Only a few individuals are strong enough to resist the curses; all others are either consumed or warped on touching the black mud.
** Gae Bolg and [[LightNovel/FateZero Gae Buidhe]] are both cursed spears. Any wound they deliver is cursed to never heal properly so long as the spear exists.


[[folder: Web Comics ]]

* ''Webcomic/GoblinHollow: TheQuest'' [[ against the curse]].
* In ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' Zoe considers the necklace tattoo that gives her InvoluntaryShapeshifting powers to be a curse. It wasn't ''designed'' to be that way; for the original wearer, it was a precious gift that allowed her to sneak around with her true love without her father knowing the truth. Obviously, the original wearer didn't have [[VitriolicBestBuds best friends who think turning you into a camel is funny]].
* ''Webcomic/TheDreamlandChronicles'': Nicodemus's excuse for not giving back the amulet is to test for this.
* ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'': The Dewitchery Diamond was made specifically to remove curses that affect one's body, and works by creating a permanent clone of anyone who touches it, AND transfer the curse to it. The original will be able to reassume the cursed form at will (as well as any other forms he was forced into for the next few hours), while the clone can spread the curse to others. What constitutes a curse can vary, and the Diamond will work its effect on anyone who touches it while not in their original form.
* Webcomic/{{Roza}}'s motive for everything is to break the curse on her.
* In ''Webcomic/AmericanBarbarian'', [[ Rick threatens a dying curse]]
* In ''Webcomic/NoRestForTheWicked'', [[ the beggar woman laid a curse on the heroine for not giving her bread the third time.]]
* In ''Webcomic/OurLittleAdventure'', [[ Lenny is a little worried that Emily will curse his armor]]
* In ''Webcomic/{{Sinfest}}'', [[ Lil' E hexes Slick]].
* In ''Webcomic/{{Erstwhile}}'', the WickedStepmother, being also a WickedWitch, [[ cursed the springs to transform her runaway stepchildren.]]
* In ''DragonMango'', [[ the stone is cursed not to let the sword be pulled out.]]
* ''Webcomic/{{MYth}}: A Promise'' has Gaia, Mother Earth herself, cursing Zeus to never know true love. And because it's Gaia's, the "prank" is impossible to fight or break. The curse is [[spoiler:Zeus sees an illusion of Metis on girls and his lust controls his mind until he possess them. When he's back to his senses, he feels guilty, empty and lost.]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Techwolf of the WhateleyUniverse looks like a seven foot werewolf, as does his father, all because of a witch's curse on an ancestor.
** There's also the curse worked by Fey in "Christmas Elves" to karmically repay her enemies for all the evil they have done. Hekate manages to put her portion of it off with magical defenses of her own (and by running to the Necromancer for protection), but the curse is still out there waiting for her to come back out...

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Prince Strong Heart in ''LadyLovelyLocks'' is cursed to live as a dog. He can transform back into a human for brief periods of time, but only so long as Lady doesn't see him.
* Beth in ''WesternAnimation/TotalDrama Island'' curses her team with a cursed Tiki idol in Boney Island.
** DJ in World Tour believes that he cursed himself after destroying the remains of a mummified dog in the first episode of ''World Tour''.
* ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'': One episode has Stan yell at an elderly man for holding up a line, arrogantly declaring that the elderly are useless, and young people like him actually have ambitions (for him, climbing Kilimanjaro) to get on with. Fittingly, Stan is cursed to [[RapidAging rapidly age into an old man]]. After climbing Kilimanjaro (expecting to be transformed back), he concedes that being old doesn't mean your life is over... [[spoiler:which turns him into a young black man. [[HereWeGoAgain Stan then realises his last interaction with a black person was "not positive"]]]].

[[folder: Real Life ]]
* The WWE Smackdown Vs. Raw had a short run of a curse, The Curse Of The Undertaker. In one storyline, Eddie Guerrero was involved in a storyline with Taker that ended in him buried alive. Two days before its North American release... well, Eddie died. A game later, Undertaker said "Your grieving family will have no one but you to blame when the inevitable occurs." Nothing too big, but he said it to ChrisBenoit, who killed himself and his family the next year. A year after that, RandyOrton was injured after an in game feud with Taker.
* King Tut's tomb was opened in 1922. It's been long stated that a curse on the tomb killed everyone involved, though such stories are rather exaggerated and often flat out untrue. Well -- everyone involved died. Eventually.
* OlderThanDirt: Mesopotamian kings inscribed very elaborate curses on their stelae, threatening the hatred of the gods and long lists of nasty misfortunes upon any future king who overturned their decrees.
* Some "Curses" work in real life. Although there is nothing magical or harmful about them, they can be quite effective.
** "I curse you to blink your eyes and control your breathing manually!" See?
** "May the song Final Countdown by Europe play in your head!"
* Some Ancient Egyptian tombs threaten curses of misfortune and divine retribution upon would-be desecrators.
* Creator/WilliamShakespeare wrote a "do not disturb" curse which is inscribed over his grave at Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon:
---> Blest be he who spares these stones / and curst be he who moves my bones.
* Most societies, particularly animist ones, believe in curses of various sorts. For instance, throughout the Middle East, you'll find women wearing or carrying blue eyeball charms to protect against the evil eye.
* Touted as the "Kennedy Curse", several tragedies have happened to various members of the Kennedy family.
** Most notably, John F. Kennedy was shot and killed in 1963 at age 46.
** Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1968, just as he looked on track to win the Democratic nomination.
** These were not the first tragedies to befall the Kennedy family however. Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr and Kathleen Kennedy both died in plane-related incidents 20 years earlier.
** 2 new-born Kennedy babies (Patrick and Arabella) died as well.
** Rosemary Kennedy, the eldest daughter of Joseph Sr, was lobotomised in 1941 to fix her mental instability, but the process only made things even worse, and she was institutionalised for the rest of her life.
** Poor Ted Kennedy. In 1964, he was in a brutal plane crash where he suffered from from a broken back, a punctured lung, broken ribs, and internal bleeding. He lived.
*** In 1969, he accidentally drove his car off a bridge. The incident was controversial because he escaped while his passenger (his secretary Mary Jo Kopechne) drowned, and he was given a suspended sentence for failing to report the accident in time. Had his reputation not been tarnished by the incident, he might well have become President.
*** He finally passed away in 2009 of brain cancer.
** David Kennedy, one of Robert F. Kennedy's sons, fatally overdosed in 1984.
** David's younger brother Michael [=LeMoyne=] Kennedy was fatally injured in a skiing accident in 1997.
** John F. Kennedy Jr. died in a plane crash along with his wife Carolyn and his sister-in-law Lauren Bessette in 1999.
** More recently, Mary Richardson Kennedy committed suicide in 2011.
* It is speculated in martial arts circles that there is a curse on BruceLee and his family, as both he and his son Brandon died young (Bruce at 32, Brandon at 29).
* [[ Tecumseh's Curse]], which also has [[IHaveManyNames many other names]], was allegedly a curse placed by Native American chief Tecumseh upon the American presidency that would cause anyone elected in a year ending in 0 to die while in office. Because U.S. presidential elections occur every 4 years, this means a dead president every 20 years. And for the longest time, this did happen:
** 1840: UsefulNotes/WilliamHenryHarrison died of pneumonia one month after inauguration.
** 1860: We all know what happened to UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln.
** 1880: UsefulNotes/JamesGarfield was assassinated one year into his term.
** 1900: Much like Garfield above, UsefulNotes/WilliamMcKinley was also shot dead shortly into his term.
** 1920: UsefulNotes/WarrenHarding died in 1923 from a stroke or heart attack.
** 1940: UsefulNotes/FranklinDRoosevelt died a few months after winning his fourth election.
** 1960: WhoShotJFK
** 1980: UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan was shot and almost died, but survived.
** 2000: Some would say 9/11 was an assassination attempt on UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush, as the Capitol was an alleged target of United 93. However, like Reagan, Bush finished two terms alive and well. It's been speculated that Reagan's survival ended up breaking the curse.
*** On May 10 2005, Bush survived an assassination attempt when Vladimir Arutyunian threw a live grenade at his during a speech in Georgia, but it failed to detonate.
** The ''only'' exception to the above list was UsefulNotes/ZacharyTaylor, who was elected in 1848 & died in 1850, but those who believe in the curse would argue it applies to him as well, since Taylor was a veteran of [[UsefulNotes/WarOf1812 the very war]] where the U.S. fought Tecumseh.
* One of the most famous curses is that supposedly uttered by Jacques de Molay, the last Grand Master of the KnightsTemplar, when he was burned at stake in Paris in 1314. The two men responsible for his death, King Philip IV (called "the Fair") of France and Pope Clement V, died within a year. Philip's royal house, the Capetians, became [[HeirClubForMen extinct in the male line]] with his three sons (Louis X, Philip V and Charles IV), leading to a SuccessionCrisis and the HundredYearsWar. Philip IV and his sons are thus popularly known as ''les rois maudits'' (the cursed kings) in France. Some like to believe that Jacques de Molay's curse continued to wreak havoc on the kings of France, as the following two dynasties also ended with three brothers ruling in succession, the Valois with Francis II, Charles IX and Henry III and the Bourbons with Louis XVI, Louis XVIII and Charles X. Conspiracy theorists on the other hand like to believe that the Knights Templar plotted revenge against the kings of France, [[AncientConspiracy morphed into the Freemasons and masterminded]] UsefulNotes/TheFrenchRevolution.