''For the movie, see Film.TheProphecy.''

So the bumbling protagonist, the wandering merchant, or the neighbor from down the street walks into a herbal shop, gets met by some strange person, or simply has a dream with a lot of flashy lighting effects. Next thing they know, they've been declared destroyers of worlds, rulers of fates, or simply the best goddamned kitten-saver in the entirety of the universe.

There is a considerable overlap with TheChosenOne, but chosen ones are not always told what they were chosen ''for'', and prophecies don't always refer to a particular person.

Subtrope of CallToAdventure. Supertrope to EitherOrProphecy, SelfDefeatingProphecy, SelfFulfillingProphecy; please add the appropriate examples directly to those pages.
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!!Examples:

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[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* The 5,111th Prophecy of Grendel in ''LightNovel/ScrappedPrincess'' foretells that the eponymous heroine will destroy the world, setting up the conflict between her select few guardians and the rest of it.
* In ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikerS'', Carim Gracia's rare prophetic skill allows her to foresee the BigBad's plans, which would have otherwise caught the Bureau completely unaware. Thanks to her, however, they are able to prepare for the crisis just in time.
* In ''Manga/ZettaiKarenChildren'', a powerful ESPer dolphin prophecies that there will be a global war between {{ESPer}}s and {{Muggles}} where two of the protagonists, notwithstanding the love that they will feel for each other, will find themselves on opposite sides and one of them will kill the other. Much of the series deals with how to avoid this prophecy from being fulfilled.
* ''Words Worth'' : The inscription on the eponymous monolith forms the crux of the plot. "Only one of Light and Shadow may read the words inscribed here and understand their meaning. Thus, the two worlds will be made complete."
* Gotoh's prophecy is a key plot point in ''Anime/TheCastleOfCagliostro'', and is inscribed on Clarisse's [[MacGuffin ring]]: "Light will rejoin shadow and live again."
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[[folder:Film -- Animated]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Balto}} 2: Wolf Ques''t was driven by the prophecy that the wolf pack would be led by "one who is wolf and does not know".
* The prophecy in ''WesternAnimation/ThePrincessAndThePea'' states that the kingdom will fall to ruin after the death of the 18th King (which is Heath). To save the kingdom, the prophecy also says "To reveal the heart of true nobility, place the pea twenty mattresses deep. The Princess true is love and sensitivity, upon such she can never sleep."
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[[folder:Literature]]
* ''Literature/InheritanceCycle'' gives the protagonist, Eragon, a couple of these, starting with Angela the Herbalist's.
* Sybill Trelawney's first prophecy more or less drives the entire MythArc of the ''Literature/HarryPotter'' series, as it foretells the death of the BigBad at the protagonist's hands [[EitherOrProphecy or vice versa]].
* The Great Prophecy in ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'' drives the whole plot, predicting Kronos's fall at the hands of a hero. Percy himself is declared TheChosenOne.
* The ''Literature/WarriorCats'' series is driven by prophecies.
** The first series has ''Fire alone can save our Clan'', referring to the main character and his, uh, potential to save his Clan.
** The second series has two main prophecies. The first is ''Darkness, air, water and sky will come together and shake the forest to its roots. Nothing will be as it is now, nor as it has been before.'', foretelling the destruction of the forest by humans. The second is ''Before there is peace, blood will spill blood, and the lake will run red'', about a character killing his half brother, who would have otherwise caused inter-Clan bloodshed.
** The third ''and'' fourth series follow the same prophecy - ''There will be three, kin of your kin, who hold the power of the stars in their paws'' - about three relatives of the character the prophecy is made to, and the fact that they are each born with a supernatural power.
** Even one of the ExpandedUniverse books has its own prophecy: ''Like fire, you will blaze through the forest. But beware! Even the most powerful flames can be destroyed by water.''
* ''Literature/{{The Nine Lives of Chloe King}}'' is driven by the prophecy of a chosen one who would unite the Mai prides. Chloe is that chosen one.
* ''Literature/TheLastDragon'' is about the last elf trying to find the last dragon so they can fulfill an ancient prophecy and save the world.
* The ''Literature/{{Belgariad}}'' by David Eddings is about two conflicting prophecies.
* The prophecy of Saint Erasti (an apocalyptic painting) drove most of the plot in the first duology of the ''Literature/ArciaChronicles''. The more traditional (oral) prophecy of "Saint" Eric, delivered at the end of the second book, drives many plotlines in the following installments.
* Thamuris delivers this in ''[[Literature/DoctrineOfLabyrinths The Virtu]]'':
--> "Love and betrayal, the gorgon and the wheel. The dead tree will not shelter you, and the dead will not stay dead. Though you do not seek revenge, it will find you all the same."
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[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Both ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' and ''Series/{{Angel}}'' are made of this in many seasons.
** Buffy season one has the prophecy that the Anointed One would rise and the slayer would not know him. He would lead the slayer to the Master and the slayer would die at the hand of the Master. Buffy does, but then gets revived by CPR.
** Angel has the Shanshu prophecy, that the vampire with a soul will become human after his part in the apocalypse-he will either save the world or destroy it.
** Sesaon one also has the Prophecies of Aberjan, part of which was the Shanshu prophecy and part of which foretold what happened to Cordelia, when she was cut off from the regular world and her mind opened to all its suffering.
** Season 3 has the birth of Connor, the child sired by the vampire with a soul, who would grow to manhood and kill Sajan (a demon villain). There's also the false prophecy "The father will kill the son". Angel does sort of kill Connor, but not the way Wesley or anyone else expected. Angel cuts his son's throat to stop him after he goes off the deep end, and then Wolfram and Hart gives him a new life.
** Season 5 had Illyria's prophecied return.
* ''{{Series/Merlin}}'' has the prophecy about Merlin helping Arthur become the great king who will unite all of Albion. Then there's the dragon's prophecy that the Druid boy Mordred will kill Arthur. And the prophecy that Morgana is now spending all her time trying to prevent happening: that [[IKnowYourTrueName Emrys]] (Merlin, though she doesn't know it) will be [[ChosenOne "her destiny]] [[OnlyICanKillHim and her doom."]]
* Volume one of ''{{Series/Heroes}}'' has [[spoiler: a painting of the future depicting Peter blowing up and destroying New York unless he's stopped.]]
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[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/SuperPaperMario'', the plot is driven by the prophecies told by the prognosticative books possessed by [[BigGood Merlon]] and [[BigBad Count Bleck]]. One tells of a man in green who will bring darkness with the Chaos Heart, and the other of a legendary hero who will stop the end of everything with the Pure Hearts. Some time into the game, Merlee tells an additional prophecy that reveals that there will be four heroes destined to save the day.
* [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaCDiGames "It is written, only Link can defeat Ganon!"]]
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[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'', there is [[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2004-03-03 a prophecy]] about the coming of an individual who would unify the chimeric shapeshifter outcasts of the world.
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[[folder:Western Animation]]
* A variant in the ''Franchise/{{Planet of the Apes}}'' series. In "Escape" and "Conquest", the humans are worried about the knowledge that apes would rise up and rule the world. In "Battle", Caesar is worried he won't be able to stop the foretold destruction of Earth in his parents' time in the future.
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