From Bad to Worse
aka: It Gets Worse

Kavar: I think the situation has gotten even worse.
Queen Talia: Worse? How is that even possible?
Kavar: It can always get worse.

Things are bad. In fact, it's all going to hell. Your family's been murdered. Your Humongous Mecha ran out of juice at the worst possible moment. An army of flesh-eating orcs is about to storm your castle. People are dying left and right. We're talking May Sweeps stuff, series finale situations. It's as bad as you've ever seen and just when you'd thought the shit had gone down, just when you thought it couldn't possibly get any worse...

It does. Much worse.

To qualify for this trope, a terrible situation must have some final perfect push over the edge. Sometimes characters within a story, usually when recounting dramatic events to others will, when asked "And then?" say, "It got worse," right before the narrative cuts to the events in question.

Very often the result of a Nice Job Breaking It, Hero. Usually gives that final push that crosses the Godzilla Threshold.

From Bad to Worse usually results in Downer Ending. If the characters somehow prevail, the result will be (if well done) Earn Your Happy Ending, or (if badly done) Only the Author Can Save Them Now.

Cue the Rain is a subtrope for when this comes in the form of a sudden downpour. See also Rock Bottom, where it's the characters who are Tempting Fate by thinking things can't get worse just before they do. Darkest Hour is the logical conclusion of such a chain of events. Hope Spot is a common double subversion; after things get really bad, they seem to get better before suddenly getting even worse.

Compare to:

  • Out of the Frying Pan: That trope involves the solution of one problem causing a worse one, while From Bad To Worse doesn't even require any causal link between the initial problem and the getting worse. If you're in a pool of water with a bunch of jellyfish, and then someone releases sharks into the water, that's From Bad To Worse. If you're in a pool of water with a bunch of jellyfish, and in the act of climbing out you fall into a different pool with a bunch of sharks, that's Out of the Frying Pan.

Warning: spoilers ahead.


Examples

     Other 
  • There's an old joke that is the essence of this trope. A farmer who's been away from home for a week drives back into town, and stops for some cigarettes before he reaches his house. The sheriff pulls up and tells him some bad news...
    Sheriff: John, I have some bad news for you. Your dog is dead.
    Farmer: Aw damn, old Sport? What happened to him?
    Sheriff: He died from eatin' too much horse flesh.
    Farmer: Horse flesh?...wait a minute, you don't mean MY horses?!
    Sheriff: Yup, they perished when your barn burnt down.
    Farmer: My barn?!
    Sheriff: Oh, it was the spark from the house fire that done it.
    Farmer: My HOUSE burned?!
    Sheriff: To the ground, thanks to those damn candles at your mother-in-law's funeral.
    Farmer: Mother Sloan is dead?
    Sheriff: And buried! 'Twas the shock of her only daughter runnin' off with that hired man what did her in.
    Farmer: WHAT?! My wife has left me? You're telling me that on top of all that I have to raise three children without their mother?!
    Sheriff: What? Oh, no, no... your kids all died in the barn fire!
  • A Witney Darrow cartoon for The New Yorker magazine depicts a woman sprawled unconscious on her floor after receiving some stunning/horrific news via phone. Meanwhile, the voice at the other end is saying "...And that's not the half of it! Wait until you hear this!"
  • This trope of all things was subjected to this. It was originally called "It Got Worse" and defined as "a terrible situation getting some final perfect push over the edge". It became a Pothole Magnet for pretty much any situation, In-Universe and out, that might fit this trope. Not surprisingly, the situation got worse and attracted massive sinkholes and misuse as a catchphrase for anything that the editor at least thought is a bad situation, thus leading to a rename to From Bad to Worse and the original name is now a deliberate redlink.
  • Russian Guy Suffers Most: In proior to the dawn of the second millenium, the Vikings attacked Europe and gained a reputation as Memetic Badasses who where out to Rape, Pillage, and Burn. After about 200 years the raids stopped but then the crusades where going on. Then Genghis Khan came along...


Alternative Title(s): It Gets Worse, It Got Worse

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FromBadToWorse?from=Main.ItGetsWorse