He's a minor character, sometimes not even receiving a name. But he always shows up in the thick of things. Whether a bank robbery or a terrorist attack, expect this poor guy to be caught in the middle. He may be the HeroOfAnotherStory or eventually become an AscendedExtra, but for right now, he's just that guy that seems to have horrible luck. Other characters may note his repeated appearance at the wrong place at the wrong time. A RunningGag may be associated with him.

Subtrope of RecurringExtra. Compare to ButtMonkey, for someone who is a more regular part of the cast. A non-recurring version of this character is the InnocentBystander. Heroes should be careful to be nice to this guy. Someday, the [[TheDogBitesBack dog may bite back]].



[[folder: Films -- Animated ]]

* The fat guy in ''Disney/LiloAndStitch''. Every time he runs into Lilo, he loses his ice cream. Once it was even knocked out of his hands by a ''spaceship''.


[[folder: Films -- Live-Action ]]

* ''Film/{{Speed}}'''s "black guy with a sports car" whose car gets {{Flashed Badge Hijack}}ed and wrecked by Jack shows up again in ''Film/Speed2CruiseControl'', where his boat gets hijacked, this time by Alex.
* ''Film/NationalLampoonsEuropeanVacation'' had a random English tourist (played by Eric Idle), who was always on the receiving end of any kind of accident inflicted upon him by the Griswolds. In fact, he even appears again in ''National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure'', during the airport scene.
* A guy who watches Film/JamesBond drive his car/submarine Lotus Esprit out of the ocean in ''Film/TheSpyWhoLovedMe'' returns in ''Film/{{Moonraker}}'' (watching Bond [[ItMakesSenseInContext drive a gondola across the Piazza San Marco in Venice]]) and ''Film/ForYourEyesOnly'' (watching a skiing Bond being chased by motorcycles). All three times, he [[NoMoreForMe looks at what he's been drinking]].
* In ''Film/CheaperByTheDozen 2'', the poor old man in the wheelchair. Every time he is on screen, he somehow gets pushed into the water. You think he would put on his parking brake, or have someone park him in a less precarious spot.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* In the ''Literature/AgentPendergast'' series, Larry Enderby, a small character who works as a technician at the museum, ends up in the middle of things in several books. In ''Literature/BookOfTheDead'', Captain Hayward recognizes him from the previous book and notes that Larry seems to have really bad luck.
* In ''Literature/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'', Agrajag is an unfortunate soul that happens to reincarnate into incidental creatures that Arthur Dent accidentally kills (a pot of flowers, a fly, etc.). Agrajag eventually becomes aware of his past lives and becomes more and more spiteful toward Arthur until his dislike actually materializes into the "Cathedral of Hate", to which he eventually abducts Arthur with the intention of killing him. After Agrajag rants about all the different ways Arthur Dent has inadvertently killed him, however, Arthur Dent points out that ''one'' of the events Agrajag mentioned hadn't happened yet (indeed, it wouldn't happen to him for another two books), making him realize he's attempted his revenge too soon and killing Arthur Dent would cause a time paradox. This doesn't stop him from trying, of course - nor from accidentally getting killed ''yet again.''
* In ''HarryPotter'', this happens to the Auror Dawlish, who is praised as being a great Auror and yet always seems to be knocked out whenever he appears.


[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* In ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'', a lab tech seems to catch all the bad cases, especially those that involve havoc in the labs. [[spoiler:This culminates in his murder by another tech.]]
* This was Danny Strong's role on ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' for three years. At first his character didn't even have a name. The writers just kept bringing him back to be victim of the week.


[[folder: Webcomics ]]

* In ''Webcomic/EightBitTheater'' there's the "Onion Kid", who is shown early in the series and then gets later cameos, all of which show him witnessing something horrific or undergoing some terrible misfortune that is the direct resort of the so-called heroes' bumbling. For instance he was orphaned and witnessed the brutal murder. ''Twice''. [[spoiler:Later subverted when we find out the onion kid is actually Sarda as a child, and the entire plot was his way of screwing with the light warriors for ruining his life.]]


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''WesternAnimation/{{Archer}}'' has Brett, the unfortunate Isis employee that has been shot eight times over the course of the series, mostly by ricocheting friendly fire. He's also been beaten half to death three or four times. This is frequently lampshaded and all of the characters (except for Brett, who is an extra) either don't care or find it hilarious.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheDatingGuy'' had the man in the green jacket who is always the victim of gruesome violence.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'' has a few characters like this throughout its run. The blond woman, Margot, and her husband are often rescued from bad guys by the gargoyles. Another man, who got named Vinnie, ran afoul of various attacks from the gargoyles. He got his revenge in the end, though. [[spoiler:With a cream pie bazooka.]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'', the 'Cabbage Merchant" who shows up several times in the series. Basically all of his appearances involve him minding his own business before seeing his produce destroyed and yelling, "Not my cabbages!" (or just "My cabbages!") in anguish. In ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' his descendant gets in on the action when evidence is planted at one of his factories, causing him to scream "Not my Cabbage Corp!"
* Hans Moleman of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''.
* The Australian man on ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' who always gets stuck doing backbreaking menial labor.
* Jitters in ''WesternAnimation/{{Bonkers}}''. While he was a secondary character in the ''WesternAnimation/RawToonage'' shorts, he was DemotedToExtra on the series proper, appearing only to be caught in the crossfire between Bonkers and the VillainOfTheWeek.
* A balding man with glasses is often a victim of gangsters and criminals and thus saved by the heroes in ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond'' and WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueUnlimited''.
* ''WesternAnimation/Ben10Omniverse'' has Pakmar, an alien who owns a series of businesses that Ben keeps on accidentally destroying.
* In ''WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants'', every time there is a disaster of some sort, the same fish can be heard shouting "My leg!"