That's the real Parker Luck.
"No matter what I do, the ones I love are always the ones who suffer."
A character followed by doom and despair. He himself won't feel the full sting of this cloud of doom. Instead, any character who he knows, is friends with, is related to, or even makes eye contact with, is inevitably doomed to some wretched fate, be it death
, or something worse
A character like this is usually does one of two things: He either goes about his life, uncaring that this is happening, or he goes about life lamenting about how he can't stop causing suffering
Basically, a character who always indirectly has collateral damage all around them.
Any Hitman with a Heart
especially runs the risk of suffering this.
Related to Cartwright Curse
, and Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds
. The more Genre Savvy
sufferers of it keep their It's Not You, It's My Enemies
is a lighter version, causing unlucky incidents but rarely deaths. Walking Disaster Area
is for when the doom happens to a large number of redshirts around the main character, on a much larger scale, but tends to leave major and supporting characters alone. If locations tend to suffer instead of people, then the hero is a Destructive Savior
Compare and contrast Deus Angst Machina
and Trauma Conga Line
, if the character in question also suffers from all this doom. If the character takes this badly, then this will result in Survivor Guilt
. If the character literally causes plants to die and the environment to become dark and dreary, then we're dealing with a Walking Wasteland
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Anime and Manga
- Trigun: Vash the Stampede fulfills this trope like it was written just for him. Wherever he goes, everyone (and their mother) dies horribly, including but not limited to the total destruction of two cities, the deaths of all the occupants of at least four others, and most anyone who says something nice to him. Throughout the story he laments about how "no matter what I do and where I go, I'm followed by blood and gun-smoke."
- There's a reason he's known as the Humanoid Typhoon. Insurance companies call him "A human Act of God".
- And if his ability to attract trouble by itself wasn't bad enough, his Arch-Enemy Knives sics a gang of lunatics on him to make his life hell and ensure there's always plenty of collateral damage and mayhem for innocent people to get caught up in.
- Keita in Kurokami. Everyone he becomes close with dies, and Keita tries hard to have as little friends as possible. And it's not like it's his enemies, even. Just someone's screwing destiny done horribly wrong.
- Technically, all alter egos are one; as they are not supposed to exist any longer, the world will go out of their way to kill them. And if one of those alter egos manages to kill off their Root, he won't be unlucky anymore, but he'll bring that bad luck to everyone else around him.
- Johann Liebert in Monster. Sure he goes out of his way to ensure that doom follows him (and destroys his "loved ones") but a surprising amount of it really isn't his fault, not that he would care anyway.
- The main protagonists of Weiß Kreuz suffer from this phenomenon in spades. Between the four of them they total at least two sets of dead parents, four murdered love interests, nine colleagues killed in the line of duty, and no less than eleven friends/family members/love interests that the protagonists end up having to kill personally. The lucky ones — one sister, two would-be love interests, and one Distressed Damsel — survive to never see the protagonists again.
- It's a part of the Xxx HOLIC plot that Himawari is cursed with this. It later turns out that Watanuki is as well because, as Futurama taught us, all time-travel duplicates are doomed. Things are made worse by the duplicate in question's suicidal tendencies and depression drawing supernatural dangers to him like a lighthouse.
- Guts of Berserk is a literal doom magnet; the Brand of Sacrifice he received during the Eclipse attracts demons to him. He's tough enough to fight them, but many of his friends (And any bystanders who happen to be in his general area when the sun sets) are not.
- Long before receiving the Brand, he was accused of being this by his adoptive father. It's unclear whether this is literally true in the supernatural sense, but it is true that bad stuff tends to go down around him.
- Kenshiro of Fist of the North Star attracts trouble mostly due to his reputation as the World's Strongest Man. After all, "Where Hokuto Appears, Chaos Follows".
- The protagonists of Project ARMS, so much. Because they were all born to be the big fighters to bring down the Egrigori, virtually every mutant, soldier, and experiment is tossed at the heroes. Ryo is forced to watch Katsumi die multiple times, Hayato has the terrible memory of watching his adopted dad being brutally murdered, Takeshi's adopted sister Maya is kidnapped and nearly killed, almost all Egrigori experiments who decide to ally themselves with the ARMS teens wind up brutally murdered, Yugo is killed while saving Ryo, and Al's twin brother is murdered in front of him. Not to mention the fact that all sorts of horrid stuff happens to the ARMS teens themselves, which makes each teammate a sort of a Doom Magnet for the others.
- Wolf Guy - Wolfen Crest: It appears that all werewolves are doom magnets and Walking Disaster Areas no matter how far they run or how big of a Jerk Ass Facade they put up to isolate themselves. An implied werewolf mentions that he'd like to meet anti-hero protagonist Inugami, but doesn't want to risk it because of how severe Inugami's magnetism is (the same psychic pronounced doom on both of them. After meeting the implied werewolf she was hit by a car and hospitalized; after meeting Inugami she nearly had a Heroic BSOD and died a few seconds later when a plane crashed into her house). As for Inugami himself, besides the psychic his parents are hunted down and killed/kidnapped by "commandos", his caring teacher is almost raped and eaten in the same night, and 85 of his adoring classmates and the principal are murdered by a thug on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge with uzis and hand grenades whose brother he insulted and beat into a coma. And that's just one flashback and a few months in school - there's still about 10 years in between we haven't seen yet.
- To be totally honest, about half the bad crap that happens around Inugami is because he is something of a jerk. Let's see, he takes the desk of the local gang leader as his own on the first day of class knowing full well in advance who it belongs to and what is likely to happen as a result of it. He deliberately antagonizes said gang members, whose leader is the sociopathic son of a mob boss, just to prove he is top dog around the campus. He deliberately pushes away any help people offer him which usually leads to a worse situation then if he had simply accepted their help to begin with. Then he has this smug smile of superiority almost constantly on his face, which coupled with his Superior-Than-Thou attitude towards almost everyone meets, which is almost guaranteed to attract the wrong sort of attention.
- The Raregroove family of Rave Master seems to be this. Anyone who means squat to them or they meant squat to seems fated to die in some glorious way. Neither King nor Lucia seem to concerned with the later, but the former drives them crazy.
- Invoked by a Yagyu clan assassin in a later chapter of Lone Wolf and Cub: his strategy was to makes his target believe that they had become one of these by trailing them unseen and unannounced, slaughtering anyone who showed them the slightest kindness and then putting the bodies on display, only moving in for the kill once the despair had eroded their will to defend themselves. Of course, such tactics mean little who those who already walk the Way of Demons...
- Duo Maxwell, resident Broken Hero of Mobile Suit Gundam Wing took on the name "Shinigami" because he recognizes that he's a Doom Magnet. In the backstory, his best friend Solo and his pseudo-family at the Maxwell Church all died, leaving him to fend for himself. At the end of the anime, his mentor Professor G performs a Heroic Sacrifice to stop a Colony Drop. The sequel novel Frozen Teardrop continues the trend by having his wife Hilde die, leaving him to raise their son Duo Jr. by himself.
- Deconstructed in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX. Judai Yuki tends to be this, by season 4 he starts to distant himself with his friends as he is afraid of all the danger he keeps attracting to himself and they usually end up suffering from it.
- Wherever the Cat-Eyed Boy goes, something horrible is bound to happen in the home he settles, though it's not clear whether he's followed by supernatural disasters or if he follows them.
- Nico Robin in One Piece is stated to be one of these by Admiral Aokiji, who claims that every crew she'd ever sailed with was destroyed down to the last man, with her as the sole survivor (though the fact that she'd garnered one of the largest bounties in the Grand Line at the age of nine after learning how to read Poneglyphs, which the World Government has deemed a capital offense certainly helps things along.) The same nearly happens to the Straw Hats once they reach Water 7.
- Terry Bogard believes he's this in the Fatal Fury animated films. Because every woman he get in a relationship with, ends up getting killed by one of his enemies every time.
- Vincent Law from Ergo Proxy has a moment in the eighth episode Light Beam with the killings of those he knew in the first seventh episodes. His thoughts where "I am like the Angel of Death, everyone I touch pays with blood, everyone around me dies... Re-l!"
- In Kotoura-san, during the Darkest Hour of Haruka's decade-long chain of emotional trauma, she began to see herself as this, and decided to wear a Jerkass Façade and drive people away with her telepathic powers so that she wouldn't hurt people—and, by extension, herself.
- The 104th Trainees Corps from Attack on Titan have had nothing but misfortune, weirdness, death, and Nightmare Fuel to deal with literally from the day they graduated. This is partially because protagonist Eren Yeager is among their number, but also because three of their number are Shifter spies, another is a Wild Card with knowledge of the Titans' secrets, and there's a second Living MacGuffin in the form of a Heroic Bastard that is the heir to a noble family involved in an Ancient Conspiracy. Little surprise so much doom centers around their group, with Jean expressing amazement that they've managed to survive so far. Those around them, though? Not so much.
- Dragon Ball Z: Goku believed he was this due to the fact that he unwittingly instigated the events of the Saiyan Arc and the Cell Arc and thought that by staying dead the planet would be safer.
- The Bird Men are all Doom Magnets, since the 'Black Outs' only appear where they are, and it doesn't matter if you only got your power a few days ago and have no idea how to use them...
- Detective Conan, Conan himself is a doom magnet, given everywhere he goes there is either a murder of a theft (mostly the former) going on. But since he's a kid and usually working under a freelance detective Kogoro Mouri, the adult instead gets nicknamed "God of Death" by some annoyed recurring police officers.
- Daredevil. Every new storyline seems to be based around ruining Matt Murdock's life even more.
- Hellblazer. Anyone who John Constantine calls "friend", other than Chas, inevitably winds up horribly dead, completely screwed over, or something worse. Not that Chas really gets off easy either. He's been screwed over because of his friendship with John tons of times.
- Bad things tend to happen to everyone in the B.P.R.D. other than Hellboy. From Liz having the life literally sucked out of her (by Roger the Homunculus), to Johann's new body dying just after he gets it. And don't get me started on all the problems that befall Abe and Captain Daimio.
- Spider-Man. Here's a fun drinking game — in any Spider-Man medium, read or watch from the beginning and take a shot whenever you see someone who's doomed to mutation, insanity, disfigurement, misery, death or any mixture of the above. You won't be sober long. Extra points for remembering to point at the character and yell "DOOOOOMED" every time he/she's onscreen/on panel. Good starting points include Flash Thompson, Eddie Brock, Liz Allan, Betty Brant, Harry Osborn, John Jameson (J. Jonah Jameson's son), Gwen Stacy, Uncle Ben, Felicia Hardy... and the list goes on (and on, and on, and on...) In case you were wondering, that's basically Spidey's entire supporting cast. If you have a clearly stated first and last name in this universe, you're screwed.
- The Incredible Hulk. Oh poor, poor Hulk. Or rather, poor anyone-he-has-ever-cared-about. It stands to reason that being friends with the Hulk would be dangerous, but it goes beyond that. Jarella died in the super-villain equivalent of a random mugging, by a baddie who didn't even know she was the Hulk's girl. His entire planet got laid waste in "Planet Hulk", right after he'd won and gotten the girl. Let alone what a Weirdness Magnet Hulk is just on his own. Unlike most "heroes", all Hulk wanted in the Bronze Age was to hop around the desert and be left alone, but he couldn't go ten yards without stumbling across an alien invasion, lost land, or supervillain plot, and violent hijinks would ensue.
- X-Wing Series: It seems like every woman Wedge has gotten serious with had something horrible happen to them. Mala was killed by Imperials. Iella's husband was found not to be dead, but instead a Manchurian Agent whom she had to kill. Qwi was Mind Raped by Kyp Durron. He's known in universe as a survivor.
- Michikyuu Kanae from Kyon Big Damn Hero, who has caused hundreds of worlds to be invaded by aliens just by being present.
- Emeris Fillson in Consequences Of Unoriginality, whose curse, which he describes as the Gary-Stu-ness Effect, causes him to attract monsters to Equestria for him to fight every week, and even after he wins there is usually collateral damage. "I think we had been only a month away from Celestia impaling me on her horn… and I would’ve let her."
Films — Live-Action
- The Pirates of the Caribbean crew, though in that it's a case of massive Redshirt Army usage. What's more surprising is how they seem to stop doing it as the story continues.
- Taken to extremes in Perfume, in which everyone the central character associates with winds up dying horribly shortly after their relationship ends. For some of them, it's a Justified Trope, in that he's their murderer.
- In Children of Men, every single character who helps Kee ends up dead before the end of the film — including the protagonist, Theo. The same is true of plenty of characters who didn't help Kee but were just in the vicinity of the wide swath of destruction.
- In Star Wars, Luke and Leia can probably be considered Doom Magnets since both sets of parents that adopt them are killed, because they adopted them. (Alderaan wouldn't have been blown up if Tarkin hadn't been making a point to Leia.) The EU makes it worse since characters like Luke, Leia, Han, and Wedge have Main Character Armor (with the conspicuous exception of Chewbacca, and that's only after decades worth of stories in which he was previously just as plot-armored as the human movie characters) and therefore get to watch a hell of a lot of people die, usually in the course of trying to kill one of them.
- The protagonist of The Cooler is a minor example: he's considered bad luck to be around, so a casino employs him to break peoples' winning streaks just by sitting with them.
- In Harm's Way: Paul Eddington, seems to wrap death around himself like a blanket. Any character within two degrees of seperation of him via sexual relationships is killed (four total, five if you include Paul himself by the end.)
- Lone Wolf, from the eponymous Gamebook series, is often said by fans to have a "death aura", in that anyone who sticks around him for more than a few pages is going to die. The pages don't even have to be consecutive. Justified, since he becomes such a powerful beacon of good that he naturally attracts evil (or is himself drawn to it). It also doesn't help that the God of Evil hates him and does everything in its power to kill him.
- In Rieyalindis, the title Elf feels like and literally is this. As a baby she was cursed to be alone; anyone who stays with her will eventually die (painfully). The record for surviving around her is two years.
- Gaia Moore of the Fearless books often laments the fact that everyone who gets close to seems to die. A Justified Trope in her case, since most of those deaths are caused by people who are out to get her.
- Jean Baptiste Grenouille, in Perfume. Everyone who had so much as a passing relationship with him ended up doomed, be it a few years in the future or immediately after his departure. The nun who cared for him in his first days goes nuts. The perfumist who takes him as an apprentice ends up with his house thrown into the river a few minutes after Grenouille decides to leave him. There are at least five people who get their lives completely destroyed just by happening to know him, and I'm specifically leaving out all the girls he kills at the end of the book, and the catastrophe he unleashes when he's about to be executed
- However in a few cases, this was due to following the story of other people to its end. One woman dies close to 70 years later.
- Sinbad the Sailor goes on seven voyages, mostly just to have a nice time at sea. Seven times he's the sole survivor of some sort of cataclysm. The best survival tip the stories give you is: If you're going on a cruise and another tourist happens to be named Sinbad, stay home.
- Odysseus, of The Odyssey, loses members of his crew left and right until, finally, he is only person to survive the complete destruction of his ship in a storm. His being a Doom Magnet is Justified in-story because Poseidon, god of the sea, is very, very angry at him, and his patron goddess has gone off in a huff.
- Tolkien's Legendarium
- Túrin, in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion and The Children of Húrin. Despite his best intents, Túrin's actions cause or catalyze the eventual death of everyone that gets involved with him or cares for him. The narrative leaves it ambiguous whether the reason for this is in Túrin's own character, or in the curse that the Dark Lord Morgoth laid on Túrin's father Húrin:
Morgoth: Sit now there, and look out upon the lands where evil and despair shall come upon those whom thou lovest. Thou hast dared to mock me, and to question the power of Melkor, Master of the Fates of Arda. Therefore, with mine eyes thou shalt see; and with mine ears thou shalt hear; and never shalt thou leave from this place until all is fulfilled to its bitter end.
- Fëanor from The Silmarillion is very much a doom magnet, although the Silmarils are even more so.
The Doom of Mandos,
to be precise: Tears unnumbered shall ye shed; and the Valar (will) shut you out, so that not even the echo of your lamentation shall pass over the mountains. On the House of Fëanor the wrath of the Valar lieth from the West unto the uttermost East, and upon all that will follow them... The Dispossessed shall they be for ever.
- Harry Dresden of Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files is a Doom Magnet; terrible things tend to happen to those in his general orbit, whether they're acquaintances, friends or enemies of his. Being a professional wizard, Harry is also a Weirdness Magnet. It only got worse after Cassius apparently cursed Dresden to 'die alone'.
- People who interact with Covenant in Chronicles of Thomas Covenant have a disturbing tendency to end up dead or insane or at the very least get their life metaphorically shattered. Some of it is due to repercussions of Covenant's own actions, while the rest can be chalked up to the resident Evil Overlord who has an interest in Covenant.
- Author Stephen R. Donaldson is fond of Woobies, so this trope shows up a lot in his works.
- Elric of Melnibone by Michael Moorcock. Elric sacrifices his Side Kick to the Greater Good. And in the Next Book, Elric acquires a new Side Kick and gets angsty.
- It gets much worse. Elric denies the existence of any real Greater Good, to start with, merely wishing to not serve any particular evil. In the course of his efforts, his incestuous love gets put into an endless sleep so the bastard wishing the throne could claim her, he ends up bonding to the foulest artifact in his world, he personally sees to the sacking of his kingdom and feeds his love's soul to his blade in the doing, those travelling with him meet grisly fates as he tries to see just how badly he's screwed himself, he disturbs the peace of mind of his own later and earlier incarnations, he stands witness as what he's done to date leads to the dissolution of the world, his later effort at a love ends up a caterpillar with a human head and gets fed to his sword, and the sacrifice of his sidekick is so he can call forth the end of his world's era. Stormbringer (having fed on the sole mortal that knew the rules of the dance between Chaos and Law) promptly ate Elric and tried for his own plan at that moment of Armageddon.
- The Champion Eternal is a Doom Magnet on the multiversal scale, as it usually turns out whatever madness is engulfing one was the result of a previous incarnation's efforts.
- Arithon S'Ffalenn from Janny Wurts' Wars of Light and Shadow leaves a trail of dead, maimed, orphaned and imprisoned people behind him. His insane half-brother can't get at him, so he instead murders everyone who might conceivably be helping him. Arithon is constantly torn by grief about this, so much so that the Sorcerers forced him to swear a magically binding oath not to commit suicide.
- Kaladin in The Stormlight Archive spends a large amount of his screentime contemplating this fact.
- God, Harry Potter is a doom magnet. Especially later in the series. Many characters in the series say he tends to actively pursue trouble and dangerous situations, or at least behave recklessly, but while he tries to solve the mysteries that keep occurring around him, there's no doubt that often it's trouble that comes to him.
- Harry himself lampshades this whenever someone, usually one of the Weasleys or Hermione tells him to keep out of trouble, he reminds them that trouble usually finds him.
- KJ Parker's The Scavenger Trilogy. Poldarn is likened to a dog running through a cornfield with a torch tied to his tail. To ride with him synonymous with death. Anything and anyone he contacts will come to ruin.
- In the Parrish Plessis series, Parrish has the misfortune of being a doom magnet with Chronic Hero Syndrome. She tries so hard to help everyone she meets, and it so often turns out for the worse...
- In Brent Weeks' The Night Angel Trilogy Kylar Stern's status as doom magnet is a major plot point, since many of the decisions he makes throughout the second and third books of the series, several of which get him killed, are made in ignorance of the fact that every time he dies and is brought back, someone he loves dies as a means to balance the divine economy. His immortality MAKES him a doom magnet.
- Shirakawa Kaede in Tales of the Otori gets this reputation since men who tries to marry or sleep with her has a disturbing tendency to die rather quickly.
- Heavily lampshaded in Redshirts, where the head officers can't go anywhere without their underlings dying. It's particularly bad with Lieutenant Kerensky.
- The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel: It's lampshaded by a few characters that Flamel and his wife bring 'death and destruction with them'.
- Journey To Chaos: Anyone that becomes Tasio's "bestest friend" is thought to become one of these because he is a Trickster Archetype that likes playing with/pranking them. Whether or not this is truly the case various between the friends.
Live Action TV
- The Doctor from Doctor Who attracts doom in every episode. His TARDIS is seemingly attracted to trouble. Wherever he goes, something bad happens (worlds blow up, invasions are happening, etc.). Everyone who hangs out with him (his companions) is in danger of being killed, mind wiped or left behind. Things rarely, if ever, go right for this guy.
- It's still so bad that most people/aliens/organisations that know about him (but haven't met him in person) view him as some sort of avatar of destruction and harbinger of the apocalypse. It's even been said in the show that the Doctor's only one true companion is death. Ouch. To underscore the point, the guy who says this dies in the same episode.
- The Doctor is painfully aware of this, as seen in "The Doctor Dances," which ends with him overjoyed over the fact that no one died over the course of the adventure. It seems it is very rare for him to have a day where someone doesn't get killed. Notably, the episode has a NEGATIVE death toll, as at least one character who was already dead at the beginning is alive again at the end.
- In "The Doctor's Wife", the Doctor complains to the TARDIS (a conscious entity, temporarily in human form) that she didn't always take him where he wanted to go. "No, but I always took you where you needed to go."
- It's hard to say if the Doctor is really a doom magnet. While there are several adventures where the Doctor is the cause of the problem of the week, usually he's just passing through when something terrible happens and without his intervention the death count would be much, much higher. Several characters have pointed out that without the Doctor, the Earth would have been wiped out ages ago.
- It could be argued that rather being a character who is followed by doom, the Doctor is one who is following doom and, unbeknownst to him, is doing so rather deliberately at the behest of his TARDIS. That said, New Who tends to have the Doctor as more of a doom magnet than a Doom Follower.
- Captain Jack Harkness from Torchwood is very much this. Very much so. Exemplified by the fact that he is immortal and thus survives what no one else would, including a bomb in his stomach that destroys Torchwood 3, a building full of a virus that kills his boyfriend (and a bunch of other people), living beyond everyone he knows that doesn't end up dying a horrible premature death, ending up having to sacrifice his own grandson to save the world, and let's not forget the first death on Doctor Who, the lone survivor (other than the Doctor and Rose) of a space station massacre perpetrated by Daleks.
- Hurley from LOST believes he's one of these, having used the series' Arc Words (4 8 15 16 23 42) to win the lottery and bringing a curse on himself. It's left vague whether the numbers actually cursed him, or whether the heart attacks, suicides, plane crashes, and meteor strikes affecting those around him is just coincidence.
- John Connor in The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Just watch the last half of season two and watch the supporting cast drop like flies.
- Possibly justified in this case, as everyone he loves knows just how important John is to the fate of humanity and is usually more than willing to sacrifice themselves rather than risk anything happening to him.
- Smallville has gone this direction. They originally blamed it all on Green Rocks, but later seasons has anyone and anything trying to kill Clark's inner circle...without green rocks. In season seven, Apocalypse, Clark angsts about "ruining Lana's life", and when he received a message that tells him Brainiac is going to the past to erase him from history, he decides to stay put. Chloe is understandably horrified...
- She forces the key into his hand, and of course, he saves the day. She also reminded him on several occasions that he had saved her life countless times.
- In 24, Jack has been indirectly [sometimes directly] involved in the death of several friends of his, and even part of his own family. In the Season 6 finale one character even said that there was a curse on him. Doom Magnet indeed.
- Fireflys River Tam. It is not pleasant to be the big brother of an Ax-Crazy Super Soldier who is wanted by The Government. Because of this, it is not pleasant to take on Simon as a passenger with a mysterious cargo even if one's ship is sufficiently disreputable. Because of this, it is not good to have business contacts with a tramp ship that carries such a hazardous cargo.
- Arguably, River Tam is just one of the many dooms brought on by associating with Mal Reynolds. This is exemplified in the Serenity RPG where his stat block includes the dismerit "Things don't go smooth."
- This is lampshaded by Jayne in Serenity
Mal: I don't plan on any shooting taking place during this job.
Jayne: Yeah, well, what you plan and what takes place ain't ever exactly been similar.
- Well, who knew that the Reavers would show up on the same day that they decide to rob the place.
- Fujimaru Takagi in the J-Drama Bloody Monday, Everyone around him seems to ether get kidnapped at some point or die. Taken to new heights in Season two where in the first episode alone All but one his Co-workers at his part time job as well as a few customer's are killed, and later when his unofficial girlfriend from season 1 is killed via euthanasia, though he was lied to and told she was still alive so he would continue hacking to stop a Nuke.
- Lampshaded in The Peacekeeper Wars before John and Aeryn inevitably get involved in another dangerous situation:
Aeryn: This is not our fight.
Crichton: I agree. But as long as there's a war on, everyone's after me 'cause I'm the winner-take-all weapon guy.
Aeryn: You know, every time we get involved...
Crichton: I know. People die.
- Sheridan is accused of this in Babylon 5, by a Minbari who claims that 'if there is a doom on this station, you brought it here'
- There was also a minor character nicknamed Jinxo, introduced in the episode "Grail", who worked at construction of all the Babylon project stations. And each one blew up shortly after he'd left it during construction (or, in the case of Babylon 4, mysteriously vanished after completion). This convinced him that he cannot leave Babylon 5 lest it suffer the same fate. The person he discusses this turns the viewpoint on its ear; perhaps Jinxo was simply lucky that he wasn't aboard when these things happened. Sure enough, when Jinxo leaves at the end of the episode... the station remains intact. And it continues operation for another 20+ years.
- Later on, in the TV movie "River of Souls", Captain Lochley would make a similar claim in regards to Michael Garibaldi, claiming that the station has been peaceful since he and President Sheridan departed. Knowing that Garibaldi is coming to visit on business, Lochley is gearing up for some kind of crisis to strike.
- There's an episode of Psych in which a young Indian man is convinced he is cursed because every girl he falls in love with almost dies in a freak accident. Shawn and Gus set out to prove to him it's not a curse. Eventually it turns out that the man's sister-in-law-to-be has fallen in love with him instead of her fiancé and decided to take matters into her own hands. Violently. Multiple times.
- Eric Idle's character in the Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch "Prawn Salad". Things just keep happening around him — mirrors falling off the wall, people killing themselves by tripping and falling on antique Brazilian daggers, and so on. He doesn't have anything to do with it.
- While it's rather debatable that he actually is, Daniel Jackson of Stargate SG-1 seems to believe that he is. To the point where he nearly refused Oma Desala's ascension offer. He also seems to reference this belief when talking to Vala; suggesting she and he accept they were at fault for the whole 'Ori' thing.
- Also in SG-1, Samantha Carter lampshades this about herself when she tells one guy she's dating, "I think it's only fair to warn you, all the men that I've dated recently have died."
- Runners in Stargate Atlantis. The Wraith release strong captured humans with a tracking device and hunt them down for training purposes (and/or sport.) Ronon is plagued by guilt because he stopped in a village briefly to recover from injuries and the Wraith killed everyone when they arrived. A similar scenario kicks off the plot of a season 5 episode about a Runner.
- On Supernatural, knowing Sam and Dean Winchester is extremely hazardous to one's general well-being. It would be shorter to list the characters who haven't suffered horribly due to their association with the Winchesters. Justified since the brothers have managed to piss off the forces of Hell and Heaven.
- This also applies to the Winchesters themselves and any other Hunter, albeit to a lesser extent.
- Crowley even makes a point of hunting down everyone whose lives were made better by the Winchesters and murdering them to strongarm the brothers into helping him.
- According to Death, anyone who doesn't die when they're supposed to disrupts the natural order causing "chaos and sadness" for the rest of their lives. He's especially tired of Sam and Dean.
- Murder, She Wrote: No matter where Jessica Fletcher goes, fate will always conspire to bend the personal dramas and tragedies of the people in her vicinity to come to a head the moment she arrives, at which point she finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation working to clear the wrongly accused. It's only on very rare occasions that an individual will actually bring a murder case to Jessica that began before she was involved in any way.
- In one episode of Monk, Natalie begins feeling this way about Monk when the two of them are put into the Witness Protection program when he stumbles across a murder, only for Monk to discover another murder while the two are in cover. However, by the end of the episode when both crimes are solved she comes to the opposite conclusion: he's really more of a Justice magnet, always coming across the murderers in question to make sure they don't get off scot-free.
- Walter White of Breaking Bad, and by extension, his partner in crime Jesse Pinkman. By the end of the series, not only do none of the characters involved in their meth empire/ personal lives benefit at all, but they all suffer, including themselves. Mike, Lydia, Gus, Todd, Gale, Gomey, Hank, Jane, and Andrea all end up dead. Marie is a widow, Walt Jr. and Skyler are permanently traumatized, Saul had to abandon his entire life, and Mike's granddaughter, Lydia's daughter, Brock, and Gus's (unseen) children will probably never understand what happened to their (now dead) parents/parental figures. Walt in particular is such a doom magnet that even Jesse's life is directly ruined by him; by the end of it all, Jesse has no money left, two girlfriends dead, and his life headed in no direction whatsoever. Walt himself loses everything before he dies. To add insult to injury, all of the money they earned has essentially gone nowhere; Jack hid the 70 million in some place where nobody will probably ever find it, and despite an effective threat, there's still no guarantee that Elliot and Gretchen will give that last 10 million to Walt Jr.
- One GURPS supplement had a variant of this as a character flaw — Jinxed would give penalties to any roll someone close to the character (but not the character themselves) made unconsciously (for example, surviving a large single attack), and it could be taken multiple times. Characters with high levels of this tended to have few (surviving) friends.
- Ravenloft setting
- Doctor Van Richten was affected by a Vistani curse that caused the death of almost everyone he cared about or hunted monsters with.
- Ravenloft also has the Bussengeist, the undead spirit of someone who died in a great calamity resulting from their action or inaction. Literal Doom Magnets, Bussengeists almost always have a sad, worn feature from the countless disasters they have witnessed.
- Possibly the player characters in Scion. As the children of the gods, Fate sees to it that trouble finds them. Of course, they might be tough enough to deal with it, but if they aren't or if they don't bother to do anything but save themselves, then others are going to suffer. The game itself dubs this the "Fateful Aura", and admits that it's an in-universe excuse for the Storyteller to drop his plot on them. The stronger you get, the worse it gets - there's even a power available to gods that temporarily ratchets the Character Level down to lessen the effect.
- By the rules as written, this is the exact effect of the "Grim Harbinger o' Death" drawback in Deadlands. No matter where you go, bad things happen, and even when you're unscathed, others aren't so lucky. The Marshall is outright told to describe suffering resulting from any situation where you get involved: if the outlaw shoots you and misses, the bullet blows a hole through the head of a child watching the duel. If the monster doesn't find you hiding, it's because some poor NPC attracts its attention and gets eaten instead. Etcetera, etcetera.
- In Paranoia, one of the Mutations available for characters is called Doom Magnet. Of course, knowledge of precisely how this affects gameplay is of Ultraviolet clearance, Citizen. Then again, this is Paranoia. You're all doomed anyway.
- Madrak Ironhide of the Iron Kingdoms setting has gained this state after spending too long with his cursed axe, the Rathrok. Whenever he gets hit, nearby trolls die instead of him. Storms follow him around. And the axe is a Clingy MacGuffin so he can't even get rid of it.
- The Sluggy Gang tends to be around death and destruction wherever they go, and most characters who aren't major or important better say their prayers. Case in point (not even counting Wispydale).
- Likewise, the Onion Kid (who becomes Sarda) in 8-Bit Theater. Horrible things, usually Black Mage's fault, tend to befall anyone who takes him in, but the child himself escapes with only severe psychological scars. Until Chaos takes over his body, that is. Then it's terminal.
- In Looking for Group, No matter what Cale does or how good his intentions are, death, destruction and tragedy ultimately follow him wherever he goes. This ultimately costs him his friendship with Benny when his doom magnet tendencies end up making Kethenicia's war with Legara worse then ever just when it seemed like it would end.