Epic Fail / Newspaper Comics

  • Beetle Bailey:
    • Cookie manages to make soup that is too tough to cut with a knife... and steak that is too tough to cut with a machine gun and grenades. He also manages to fail to not include the kitchen sink — in food. No wonder he graduated 50th out of a class of twenty-five.
    • Failures in reading the map have led the soldiers to standing on thin air or upside down on the downside of a cliff — or, more explicably, in a river when Lt. Fuzz insists on following the blue line.note 
  • In one strip of The Far Side a man lost a quick draw to a sloth. One bystander mentions that the newly deceased wasn't exactly what you would call a "quick draw".
  • In one strip of Piranha Club, a character tries to boil water for a home economics class, but somehow manages to freeze the water solid.
  • From FoxTrot:
    Jason: Why can't my successes ever be as spectacular as my failures?
    • There's also Roger once being effortlessly defeated at Chess by a computer... after having Jason modify the chess program's code so that Roger had a King and fifteen Queens, while the computer had a King and fifteen Pawns.
    • Roger and the barbeque grill do not go well together. One time he lit it and the flames shot towards the ground, leading him to announced that he put the charcoal in upside down. Jason even says it would be impossible for anyone else.
    • Roger, in general, is a failure. One time, while playing golf, he finally makes a straight shot! Too bad it was in the opposite direction of the hole...and impacted into the windshield of his boss' car. In fact, the only time he can get a hole-in-one is when the golf course is flooded under 5 feet of water. Of course, he probably didn't even come close to the green but no-one wants to swim out and check.
    • Roger takes Walking Techbane to new levels. A single press of a button or a click of a mouse can destroy an entire hard drive. Fortunately, he rarely can find the on switch in the first place.
    • Also, a Pavilionplex worker ended up somehow mistaking the theater's internet server with the butter server and promptly washing it, explaining the reason for the long lag time for the Pavilionplex's site when Jason was ordering tickets for Attack of the Clones online.
  • Charlie Brown of Peanuts is well known for failing in ways that are utterly impossible through no readily apparent fault of his own. Blockhead.
    Linus: That's the first time I've ever seen a kite explode.
    • There was one arc where Charlie Brown helped Peppermint Patty sell popcorn while she pitched for her team. After badgering her by saying he can pitch the final out, he promptly gives up a fifty-run lead and her team loses.
    • Also lampshaded in The Movie A Boy Named Charlie Brown, when the girls mock Charlie by singing the song "Failure Face." They quip that, if trying to fail were like running a race, Charlie Brown would actually win.
    • There is a line of Epic Fail t-shirts displaying his greatest failure moments.
  • Garfield
    • Jon seems to epically fail at life in general, but there are some specific examples where he fails when barely even doing anything.
      • Raises his hand when declaring the future is looking bright. Hand cramps painfully.
      • Feels ready to conquer the world... but can't get the front door open to leave the house.
      • Tries to just sit there and do nothing so nothing can go wrong. Tabletop he's leaning on breaks.
    • When Jon complains about being unable to care for plants, Garfield points out this latest failure was a plastic plant.
    • Jon bought a set of weights for his workout. He "can't get them out of the car".
    • Garfield himself isn't completely safe either. He attempted to kill a spider by closing a window on it. It doesn't go well.
    • Jon and dating. To make a long story short, if Jon's latest paramour doesn't show up for him that's considered a GOOD date. (Eventually, though, he does end up in a loving, stable relationship with Liz.)
    • Jon's mother gets into this with her Homemade Sweater from Hell she sends Garfield every Christmas. They're usually gaudy, humiliating and/or something wrong with them, like a sweater without a hole for the head or a sweater with cow udders on them. The one time she makes a good sweater, Jon and Garfield are understandably worried.
  • In one Dilbert strip, a generic co-worker decides to hide his boyish looks by growing a beard. Dilbert and Wally chuckle on how they don't think Ted is smart enough to grow a beard. In the final panel, we see that Ted has indeed grown a beard...out of his forehead.
  • In My Cage, Jeff the land shark somehow got stuck inside the water cooler.
  • When Calvin breaks his dad's binoculars, Hobbes asks, "Was the casing just chipped a little, or did the lens itself get cracked?" It turns out that, somehow, the binoculars have literally been ground into a fine powder.
  • Pearls Before Swine: The antics of the crocodiles of the Zeeba Zeeba Eata fraternity are guaranteed to result in this, namely when trying to kill and eat Zebra.