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Anime And Manga
- In Dragonball Z, the scouters also act as communication devices, and it was due to their function as communicators that Frieza learns about the dragon balls, using them to make a wish, and enables himself to get a head start on Vegeta in going to Namek to use their dragon balls.
- At the end of Kotoura-san — episode 10, The ESP society sets out to find the criminal (whose crimes include assault, murder, and rape of teenage girls) using Haruka's telepathy. After she gets a very harsh Beam of Enlightenment, Haruka immediately keels over and nearly passes out again because she did not expect the criminal to have such a twisted, distorted, and unnaturally deep mental voice and that said criminal knows that the ESP Society has fallen for the Schmuck Bait. Thankfully, the criminal wasn't targeting Haruka during this incident. This doesn't last. In the next episode, the actual criminal (Detective Aki Tsukino's Enemy Within) deliberately targets Haruka not only because she has friends despite being a monster (Tsukino's main motive derived from jealousy), but also because of the aforementioned telepathy which Haruka showed to both her and Detective Gantestsu Ishiyama earlier in episode 10.
- In I Can't Believe It's Not Justice League, Booster Gold inadvertently sends the Superbuddies to Hell while fooling around with a mystical artifact.
- In Lords and Ladies, Diamanda thinks the Lancre way of witching is too old-fashioned for her and tries out parodically Wiccan spells instead. While this would normally be doomed to failure, the Queen of the Elves caught her mind and made her open the way for their invasion in exchange for power.
- In the first book of the The Bartimaeus Trilogy, Nathaniel attempts to spy on his master using a scrying-glass, without the master ever finding out about it. He ends up having the psychic equivalent of a Skype call with him! Thankfully his master gets distracted and the imminent Poke in the Third Eye never happens.
- Harry Potter
- In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, a variant of this occurs with Ginny and the magic diary of Tom Riddle that Lucius Malfoy slips into her bag. She writes into the diary many things that happened in the school, allowing Riddle to get info about Harry Potter, and he slowly possesses her body to give himself a more corporeal form.
- In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry starts getting unintentional visions of Voldemort's doings through their Psychic Link, which he uses to save Mr Weasley at one point. Dumbledore has Harry train in Occlumency to stop this happening, but Harry thinks the visions are useful, so doesn't put much effort into the lessons, resulting in Voldemort being able to use the link to set a trap for Harry.
- The Lord of the Rings
- Pippin tries to use the Palantir and unintentionally ends up getting face time with Sauron himself. Sauron stole one of the Palantiri long ago, so anyone who tries to use one of the others risks an audience with Sauron if his attention happens to be on his Palantir at the time (and it always is).
- The Fellowship of the Ring. Frodo sits on the hill Amon Hen while wearing the One Ring, which allows him to see vast distances. Unfortunately he looks at Mordor, which allows Sauron to detect him and start searching for him. Luckily Frodo gets a telepathic warning from Gandalf (who's supposedly dead at the time) and takes off the Ring just before Sauron reaches him.
- In the film, Sauron looks directly at Frodo and tells him he can't hide from him.
- Animorphs: The Ellimist's species was destroyed because of a misunderstanding. One of their favorite activities was basically super-advanced Civilization-type simulations, and when these were broadcasted into space they were caught by aliens who thought the Ketran played games that ended whole species for fun. Oops.
- The entire plot of Brimstone Angels got kicked off because of this; Havilar tried to use a magical ritual she didn't fully understand to summon an imp she could use as a sparring partner, and unfortunately for her she didn't do the spell very well and got Lorcan, a much more powerful devil who happened to be near the imp, instead. The good news was the Havilar, being content in who she was and the skills she was good at, had absolutely no interest in bargaining for anything Lorcan had to offer. Then her twin sister Farideh walked in...
Live Action Television
- Angel: As seen in a flashback, Fred accidentally opened a portal to Plrtz Glrb when she read an ancient text aloud, not knowing the language.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In "Once More With Feeling" Xander brings the singing demon Sweet to Sunnydale through a talisman. Thought that it was just a spell to bring "dances and songs," not realizing that Sweet would kill people.
- Game of Thrones:
- Inverted, where illiterate villain Amory Lorch tries to send a letter containing the Lannisters' plans for moving forward to his ally, Lord Damon Marbrand, accidentally sends the letter to one of the Starks' vassals, Lord Marlin Dormund.
- Bran does this, with disastrous consequences, in season 6. While warging without the aid of the Three-Eyed Raven, he sees the Night King, who is able to mark Bran and render the tree vulnerable to invasion from the White Walker army.
- Good Luck Charlie: This happens to both Teddy and PJ in "Butt-Dialing Duncans".
- Are You Afraid of the Dark?: A character hears an urban legend about a guy named Billy Baxter who was imprisoned by "The Phone Police," a secret group who punishes people who make prank phone calls. He looks up Billy Baxter in the phone book and calls him for a joke. Once he does this, the Phone Police start targeting him.
- In Marlowe's play Doctor Faustus, though Faustus himself knows exactly what he's getting into when he starts summoning demons, Those Two Guys that serve him don't. They're larking around, mimicking Faustus's incantations more as a joke than anything else, and end up summoning Mephistopheles himself. Needless to say, he's not happy at all and they get transfigured into animals.
- In Fallout 2, there is a computer in the Gecko power plant that you can use to contact Enclave, the game's Big Bad organisation. You have an option of insulting the soldier you're talking to in a number of ways, and if you do, they will send a squadron of Power Armor-wearing soldiers after you. You WILL encounter them later in a special encounter, and unless you're high level by that point, or unless you have a high enough Speech skill, it's not going to be pretty.
- In some of the Mario Party games, you can get a Bowser phone that instantly calls him to deliver misery. When you dial him, he asks who is calling. You can lie and say whoever you want. You can also be honest. The final option is "Who do you think?" which yields a random result. Woe unto you if you choose the last option and Bowser guesses correctly.
- In NetHack, the Big Bad Wizard of Yendor lives in an isolated tower in the middle of a dungeon level, which can normally only be reached by going down through the outskirts of that level, to a lower level which contains a magic portal to the tower. If you have a telepathic pet, the pet may helpfully wake the Wizard with a ranged psychic attack when you first cross his level, which can draw him out before you're ready to fight him.
- In The Witcher 3, agreeing to have some drunken time will lead to phoning Heirach Hemmelfart, the head of the dominant religion in the North and the man who all the witch-hunters (theoretically) answer to, while he's on the crapper. He does not take it well.
- World of Warcraft reveals that the cause of the Eredar joining with the Burning Legion and a small splinter faction becoming the Draenei was because one of their master summoners continually sought greater and more interesting things to bring to Argus from across the universe... and managed to call Sargeras, who taught him how to summon demons and the power of fel magic. The summoner went on to show off his new "pets", was told to never do it again, decided to create an army of demons to take the world for his own, and was defeated because his favored student informed the leaders of the Eredar. The reason this isn't a happy ending? Said pupil was Archimonde, who wanted the summoner's position for his own, and was just as enthralled by fel; he just hid it better until Sargeras came to their world personally.
- The second level of Medal of Honor: Rising Sun has you manning the AA gun of a PT boat during the Attack on Pearl Harbor. Near the halfway point, the boat takes damage from a bomb exploding, which causes the radio to go on the fritz and for a moment it picks up Japanese radio chatter.
- Some scientists have expressed concerns about the radio transmissions our civilization has been sending out into space over the past century or so, saying they could inadvertently attract the attention of powerful and hostile/indifferent aliens. Deliberate transmissions (such as the Arecibo Message) and physical artifacts (such as the pulsar maps on the Voyager spacecraft) have also caused worry.