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that has run for so long that the cursed has forgotten what pre-cursed life was like is finally broken. A tidal wave of good fortune follows immediately after, implying that all the good luck had been bottled up by the presence of the curse and is now pouring out by the gallons to compensate for the hardships endured by the cursed for years (and sometimes generations
This is most likely to occur when the curse was clearly undeserved by its sufferers; in cases when the curse is
deserved, the karmic aftermath is usually reduced to a simple return to pre-cursed status quo with an Aesop
Actually breaking the curse seems to be limited to film and one-shots: TV shows are extremely fond of making every attempt to break the curse a failure
to preserve the status quo
, especially if the character is Cursed with Awesome
Compare Karmic Jackpot
. Contrast Karma Houdini Warranty
The title is a pun
on a stock line uttered by the Dastardly Whiplash
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- XXXenophile: "Bequeath the Sheets" deals with a curse designed to make it as difficult as possible for a family to continue its line. The couple manage to incorporate the demon into their sex lives.
- The Holes movie adaptation (and to a lesser extent in the original book) shows how Stanley fulfilling his great-grandfather's promise instantly makes his life better: at the exact same moment, a bolt comes off the wall in his father's house, sending a jar of spices down into a pot where he's boiling an ancient shoe that he's been trying to deodorize for the entire run of the movie. The smell is instantly gone, making for a successful product. Stanley, meanwhile, has found some buried treasure, the authorities involved in the horribly illegal Camp Green Lake scheme are all arrested, it begins raining at the camp for the first time in eighty years, and Stanley pays for his best friend Hector's search party to find his estranged mother. In sum, everyone lives Happily Ever After.
- An example of the second variation is Disney's Beauty and the Beast. Once the wicked prince redeems himself and wins Belle's love, he, his castle and all its enchanted residents are returned to normal. Which, considering the opulence of the place as well as getting a Happily Ever After with Belle, isn't too shabby.
- The 2006 film Just My Luck featured Lindsay Lohan as a girl who exuded good luck out of every pore. To "karmically balance things", there's a guy who can never succeed, played by Chris Pine. Both meet and kiss, switching their luck around. Afterwards, the guy uses his not inconsiderable talents coupled with her luck to rise astronomically, while she, being accustomed to utter luck, sputtered and flailed. Of course they eventually fall in love and their lucks "cancel out", but the guy was the better of the pair for giving her help when she was unlucky.
- Partial subversion in the third Deltora Quest book series by Emily Rodda. When each of the Four Sisters poisoning the land is destroyed, the region it affected heals up immediately (crops grow again, poisoned wells clear up, et cetera)... but once all four are destroyed, disgusting grey gunk starts rising from the ground to flood the land. Fortunately, the main characters manage to destroy that too.
- Cugel The Clever from Jack Vance's Dying Earth series is occasionally cursed and manages to avoid the effects of the curse one way or another, including getting cursed with a different curse that exactly counteracts the first.
- In The Legend of Rah and the Muggles the babies bringing light to the continent of Aura brings about the spontaneous blooming of flowers and trees to the once barren land... contradicted a few pages later when the people who have only ever lived in this supposedly barren land have elaborate ceremonies involving honeysuckle and the like.
- Also, Aura was never actually cursed. It just was blocked from sunlight thanks to a cloud of purple radiation that did let in moon and starlight in...wait.
- Older Than Feudalism: Job in the Old Testament has curses and misfortune heaped upon him and everyone close to him, due to a bet between God and Satan. After sucking it up and maintaining his faith and loyalty for long enough, he received double what he lost, and ten more children.
- Subverted in Little Dorrit, wherein the Dorritt family has languished in debtors' prison for so long that the protagonist, Amy Dorritt, was born there and knows no other life. When Arthur Clennam in the role of a kind of Deus ex Machina discovers an unclaimed inheritance for them, the whole family is sprung from prison and restored to their high-society life. All is not well, however, partly because Amy hates Society with her whole soul, and partly because her family falls apart anyway, culminating in the death and financial ruin of her father and uncle.
- A science fiction version in Poul Anderson's Brain Wave: at the end of the Cretaceous period, millions of years ago, the Earth moved into an energy field which dampened neural function, causing mass extinctions. Some life survived and adapted. When it finally emerges, Next Sunday A.D., all animal life becomes about five times more intelligent in a matter of weeks. Considerable social chaos results, but people are now smart enough to make it work. A short time later, Earth's first interstellar spacecraft accidentally passes through the field, leaving the crew too stupid (that is, reduced back down to our current level) to operate the hyper-advanced controls; it's sheer luck that their course takes them back out again.
Live Action TV
- A rather nasty version, but one that could still be described as played straight, occurs in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Angel's curse of a soul is lifted, resulting in a really good time... for Angelus.
- This trope is occasionally subverted in World of Warcraft. While most curses can simply be dispelled and cease to have an effect, dispelling some of the more powerful ones can cause a backlash as bad or worse than just leaving the curse on. For example, a particular curse note that causes substantial damage over time will, when dispelled, deal the dispeller that damage all at once, as well as silencing them.
- There's also another curse note used by a boss monster that, once the curse runs it's course or is dispelled, a large cloud of noxious gas is released around the victim. Dispelling classes have to work against their instincts to dispel curses during that fight, so that the victims can run out of the group before the gas cloud is released.