"We dreamed of creating the world's strongest Pokémon... and we succeeded."You'd think the opposite of Gone Horribly Wrong would be a good thing, right? You'd be wrong. Maybe even dead wrong. Rather than have something unexpected happen that sabotages the program, the researchers have everything proceed in an orderly fashion. The results are everything they hoped for; better, in fact. Unfortunately, they've succeeded too well, and it's this success that dooms them. Either it turns out to be too intense, too powerful, or they didn't fully consider the consequences of what they wanted to do. Or maybe they just made an awesome stealth device...that they can't find because they can't see it. The results are either a runaway chain reaction that threatens to destroy the facility/city/world/Universe, a weapon that not only annihilates its target but has high (or total) collateral damage, or a Psycho Prototype that obeys orders only too well. Other times, they find out the result was something they shouldn't have attempted in the first place. The Potential Applications were so exclusively in the evil/destructive side that the project had no possible use but to destroy. Things that have Gone Horribly Right might not be immediately apparent. The researchers may create and market an entire product line based on their Super Prototype that only later turns on them, or over-performs their duty like, say, a genetically engineered plant that has a high CO2 consumption out-competing every other plant on the planet and causing massive fires to keep feeding. Usually this is paired with a Fantastic Aesop that (heavily) implies the intended use or goal of the research is to blame. This trope may be most succinctly captured in Jurassic Park, and directly spelled out in Aesop fashion, with Ian Malcolm's line "Yeah, yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, that they didn't stop to think if they should." Most examples of A.I. Is a Crapshoot are this (and see also The Computer Is Your Friend). A Sub-Trope of Literal Genie, putting it in the scientific category as opposed to Be Careful What You Wish For, which is when what the character wanted falls in their lap through coincidence or magic rather than their own planning and hard work. Since Love Potions never work, any one that "works as intended" will usually end up in this category. Compare Springtime for Hitler, What Could Possibly Go Wrong?, Nice Job Breaking It, Hero! or Hoist by His Own Petard. Didn't Think This Through often follows the realization of this trope. A form of invisibility that the creators now can't find because it's invisible could be considered Useless Useful Stealth.
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- A UPS ad from the nineties features a very small company opening for business. The dozen or so employees hover over their brand-new website, then celebrate when the first order comes in...dozens of orders...thousands! And then they stare in dawning horror as the number of orders rapidly rises to tens and then hundreds of thousands.
- Stride chewing gum's first ad campaign was about the company growing increasingly desperate because their gum's flavor lasts so long, all their customers are still chewing on their first piece of gum, forcing them to halt production and find ridiculous ways to force people to spit out their gum and chew more.
- Sonic the Comic:
- Commander Brutus, once a generic Trooper Badnik, was hand-picked by Robotnik to be programmed with a copy of Robotnik's brainwaves to serve as his Dragon. However, Robotnik failed to anticipate that, in uploading his brainwaves onto Brutus, he also programmed the robot with his personality and his ambitions, and it doesn't take long for Brutus to betray him and try to take over Mobius for himself.
- Metallix, the STC version of Metal Sonic; the first two were a success, but the rest were an army of mass-produced Robotnik-built rebellious robots.
- In one of the later arcs, Robotnik, having been sent to a sub-atomic universe called Shanazar, eventually created a "Dimension Blender" to enlarge Shanazar until it occupied the same space as Mobius, fusing the two planets together; in the expected chaos and destruction created from the merger, Robotnik planned to conquer Mobius once again. The plan backfires when Mobius and Shanazar fuse without ill effects; instead, the Zones from Shanazar as simply added onto Mobius.
- In the American Archie Sonic the Hedgehog series, the former Julian Kintobor Robotnik creates a robotic vine known as Krudzu, which runs rampant in the Great Forest until they're destroyed with water. Snively and Antoine attempt to find another set, but are destroyed in the process. One last batch evolved into a deadly "Krudzu Hybrid Hydra", only to be destroyed by Dr. Eggman, who felt that only he could defeat Sonic.
- Also in the Archie comic, Mina Mongoose, suffering from PTSD after the Magitek-wielding Iron Queen took over New Mobotropolis, used her status as a public icon in an attempt to send a message for the citizens to rise up against fear and take care of themselves. It worked, only she didn't expect Ixis Naugus to use his magic to amplify the existing fear and anger of NICOLE, eventually leading to NICOLE being exiled from the city completely.
- A cartoon from Quino (of Mafalda's fame) has a man teaching his son to be a ruthless businessman caring only for money. Then, when the man is old, he's forced to live in the street because the son doesn't want to pay for his retirement home. The last panel has the old man begging to a passerby, saying something in the vein of "help me, my son grew up right!"
- An issue of Justice League of America has the two Mad Scientists Dr. Ivo and Dr. T.O. Morrow team up to both destroy the JLA and prove which of them is the better scientist. Ivo creates a robot body so sophisticated that it can pass as a living thing even to the enhanced senses of Superman. Morrow creates a mind so advanced that it is truly sentient and can fool the telepathy of Martian Manhunter. The resulting "Tomorrow Woman" contains a bomb, and at the moment when the League is at its most vulnerable she will detonate and destroy them all. But she pulls a Heel–Face Turn and sacrifices herself to save them instead. Morrow takes this as proof that he is the superior scientist. His robot brain was so advanced that it developed the concept of morality on its own, even though this was deliberately left out of her programming. He even claims that what they witnessed was "a soul being born". Morrow actually suspected this would happen, he's had problems with that before.
- Dr. Morrow goes and does it again with 'Genocide' who runs off and decides to kill everyone ever. Personally. Then she discovers mental torture.
- A classic flaw of power mimics such as Amazo. Some such mimics copy the weaknesses of their target in addition to the strengths, since the weaknesses are inherent to and inseparable from the powers. The ultimate expression of this might well be the time when Amazo was defeated by Superman declaring that the Justice League was officially disbanded. Superman was the chairman of the Justice League at the time and thus had the authority to do so. Since Amazo's powers are based around mimicking the powers of the Justice League and not the individual members of the League, Amazo's powers immediately vanished, allowing him to be disassembled pretty handily. The Animated Series took a similar take on this, where Amazo copied Superman's powers, enabling Batman to defeat him with Kryptonite. And then Martian Manhunter deliberately exposed himself, so that Amazo would copy his telepathy...and read Lex Luthor's mind to discover that he was being manipulated by Luthor and that Luthor had implanted a self-destruct device in Amazo. Cue Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal.
- In the Red Daughter of Krypton storyline, Supergirl fought Lobo. Knowing he couldn't go toe-to-toe with a Kryptonian, Lobo tried to piss her off so she was so irrationally angry that she couldn't fight effectively. He succeeded and he drove her mad. He drove her so mad that she flew off the handle and crushed him like a bug.
- Livewires: a team of ultra-tech androids created to control the spread of ultra-tech in the Marvel Universe. They started with the scientist that created them.
- Of course, the scientist in question planned it that way. Project Livewire itself was the government acknowledging that rogue agencies were constantly screwing up ultra-tech projects and making the government look bad when superheroes intervened - and decided to start up a project dedicated to that one purpose. The implication is that the head scientist was disgusted with how the government started Livewire without understanding the implications - that they have created so much runaway ultra-tech that they were now starting ultra-tech projects for the sole purpose of policing ultra-tech. His idea was that they should create ultra-tech that replaced human authority, so he made sure the androids would have a Zeroth Law Rebellion.
- The Red Skull was the result of Hitler claiming that he could turn even a simple bellhop into a great Nazi. He succeeded so well that eventually Hitler became afraid of him.
- The Skull's plan to use a Cosmic Cube to Retcon Captain America into being an Evil All Along HYDRA mole became this when Rogers barged into his office, accused him of not being loyal to HYDRA's objectives, and then pulled an Eviler Than Thou by killing him and taking over HYDRA, setting up the Secret Empire Crisis Crossover arc.
- Multiple examples from X-Men:
- In The Dark Phoenix Saga, Mastermind manipulated Jean Grey's mind to remove both her morals and the blocks she'd put on her cosmic power. The result was... a little more than he could handle. Dark Phoenix "rewarded" Mastermind by giving him exactly what he wanted: she made his mind "one with the universe", shattering his sanity in the process as the human brain lacks the capacity to comprehend what he'd experienced.
- This is the recurring problem with the Sentinels, courtesy of A.I. Is a Crapshoot. See, the Sentinels are programmed to eradicate all mutants. Mutants evolved from baseline humans as a result of a specific combination of genetic traits. The Sentinels are equipped with genetic scanners that let them identify this "X-Gene" both in active and in passive form. Meaning they can not only track mutants, but they can also track humans who might turn into mutants, and even humans who have a chance of having mutant children. Logically, then, the next step is to start wiping out those humans too. And if humans attack the Sentinels in defense of those humans, then the Sentinels, by virtue of their self-defense programming, are obliged to terminate those humans as well. Needless to say, the very first of the Bad Futures the X-Men were involved with was the Days of Future Past storyline, involving a universe where Sentinels wiped out mutants and then all humanity.
- Similarly with the Purifiers, who gave Bastion a new body so that he could help them kill the X-Men. Bastion took one look at their plan, dismissed it and created his own, almost instantly hijacking the Purifiers' purpose completely. Unluckily for the Purifiers, they didn't know Bastion had no qualms about using ordinary humans as weapons...
- Similarly, with Madelyne Pryor: When S'ym and N'astrir unlocked her powers and corrupted her, they assumed that they would be able to control her only for Maddie to hijack the entire Inferno plan to go after her husband Cyclops.
- In Supergod, the entire world is totally screwed because each nation was a little too good at creating an unstoppable Physical God during their superbeing arms race.
- In one story, Bizarro, the imperfect clone of Superman, decides to use the duplicator that created him on himself, creating a Superman that looks exactly like the man of steel. This went beyond mere looks, however; While the regular Bizarro was immune to Krytonite, the new clone was such a perfect physical copy of Superman that he melted when exposed to Kryptonite radiation. This was lampshaded by the original Superman.
- The Death of Superman: Doomsday was genetically engineered to be the ultimate warrior, courtesy of genetic experiments that made it capable of Lamarckian evolution. The creators succeeded, and were wiped out by their own creation, which was so traumatized by the Genetic Memory of countless deaths that it had come to view all other life as a terrifying threat to its own survival. On top of it all, it turns out that said creators were so focused on the experiments that they never actually thought about what to do once their experiment actually worked.
- In All-Star Superman, Lex Luthor manages to gain Superman's abilities for 24 hours in order to place himself on the Man Of Steel's level. However, the rush of sensory data and enhanced perspective has an unexpected side-effect - seeing the world the way Superman sees it makes him (at least temporarily) rise to Superman's level in the empathic and moral sense, too.
- The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck show that Scrooge receiving his #1 Dime was planned out by his father to teach his son to be more careful not to be cheated like their ancestors were. It works, but when Scrooge starts insisting on receiving receipts for the money he gives his family (For tax purposes!) Fergus remarks, "Hoots, mon! Ah may have overinspired the lad!"
- The Smurfs comic book story "The Smurf Threat" had Papa Smurf create a group of evil duplicates of himself and his little Smurfs so that they could see in the duplicates what they were becoming with all their fighting among themselves. It succeeds all too well in bringing the Smurfs together when the duplicates become such a threat that they nearly destroy the village and take the original Smurfs captives. Near the end of the story, Papa Smurf works on a way to make the duplicates disappear.
- Another story called "The Strange Awakening of Lazy Smurf", which is actually an adaptation of the cartoon show episode "Smurf Van Winkle", where Lazy is led by his fellow smurfs to believe he has been asleep for a few hundred years and that his friends have aged while Lazy somehow stays the same physical age (He didn't think to check himself in a mirror to see if he had aged as well). It's actually a huge Faked Rip Van Winkle masquerade by the other smurfs. It's basically done to teach him a lesson about not being lazy all the time. However, what the other smurfs didn't know, is that the prank would lead to...unforeseen consequences. In the cartoon, the "gone horribly right" part comes in after Lazy, who actually IS convinced that hundreds of years have passed while he took a nap, tries to make things go "back to normal" by giving the other smurfs a rejuvenating potion, wich turns them all into children smurfs. In the comic, however, Lazy figures out that he's being pranked much sooner. He gets revenge on the other smurfs by making them believe that they drank a rejuvenation potion and that they will all de-age pretty soon. The "gone horribly right" part comes in when the others smurfs actually do believe that Lazy is telling the truth, wich leads them to go to Gargamel's house to search for a potion that will make them age a few centuries to negate the effects of the supposed rejuvenation potion. They nearly succeed.
- Mortadelo y Filemón: in "El racista", the vice-president is a racist that is intent on kicking all members of other races and/or ethnic groups out of the TIA, assigning them dangerous and difficult missions so that, when they fail, he can present that as a consequence of what they are. After failing at helping those other agents with their missions, Mortadelo and Filemón plan to have Mortadelo disguise himself as an agent of another race and then Filemón tells some big story about that agent. The president becomes so impressed at those stories (without checking whether they are true or not) that he kicks the vice-president out... and then decides to put people of other races in charge of most of the organization's operations, leaving the Súper as a lowly delivery boy.
- Big Hero 6: In one story of the Comic-Book Adaptation, Fred asks Hiro to make an invisible suit. Hiro does such a good job that neither him nor Fred can find it afterwards.
- In the Shadow of the Bat story "The Ugly American", Batman learns of a man who was trained and experimented on to be the perfect patriotic soldier, building up his loyalty to the US. However, it worked a little too well, turning him into a madman who considers anyone not "white" to be "the enemy".
- In Violine, Muller forces Violine to read the minds of several of the president's ministers to prove that she can read minds, so he can weaponize her. Unfortunately, being in an African dictatorship, all the ministers are plotting the president's overthrow, and after several such revelations, the room descends into chaos as all the ministers put their plans in action at the same time, all calling on the same military to support them.
- In Preacher, God deliberately creates the Saint of Killers, an unstoppable undead assassin capable of killing absolutely anything with a single shot. God found out that this had been a bad idea when the Saint was informed of how badly God had deliberately screwed his life up to prepare him for taking on the role.
- In point of fact, it was the Angel of Death who passed his power onto the Saint of Killers. God didn't DIRECTLY create him.
- Superlópez: El Supergrupo's Big Bad creates perfect robot copies of the entire group, the only differences being that they are completely loyal to him and that they never get tired. In the middle of a fight between the real team and the copies, Superlopez realizes this makes them perfect suckers for getting them to fight each other: claim that the copies will surely surrender if their leader - the Superlopez copy - is defeated, and watch the fireworks.
- A major arc for Captain America involves the Red Skull getting a Reality Warper to rewrite Steve's life so that he was secretly The Mole for HYDRA all this time. However, Steve remains the same; "Loyal to nothing except the dream." Formerly, it meant loyalty to the American Dream and not the government. Now it means loyalty to the dream of HYDRA... and not Red Skull. Suffice to say, things quickly go bad for the Red Skull.
- In The Punisher MAX, one of the gangster capos thinks that it would be a great idea to record a video of him digging up Frank's family and urinating on their bones, then sending it to every news station in the city. The plan was to make Frank incredibly angry, because the gangster believes that angry people always make sloppy mistakes and he can take advantage of that to kill the Punisher. This plan succeeds in making Frank angry all right... but it ends up sending him shooting right past Unstoppable Rage and into pure Tranquil Fury instead. Rather than making mistakes out of fury, Frank uses his newfound focus to effortlessly butcher his way through dozens of local mafia-types en masse until the police bow to his demands to reinter his family.
- Iznogoud: In the story "Scandal in Baghdad", Iznogoud hires scandalmonger Leguenn Scandales to discredit the Caliph by planting a fake story in the newspapers that he has an illegitimate child whom he abandoned at birth, and soon, the whole country (except, inevitably, for the Caliph himself) has heard the news. The plan backfires when over three hundred people come forward claiming to be the Caliph's illegitimate child, including Wa'at Alahf and a woman old enough to be the Caliph's mother, and the kindly Caliph adopts them all.
- In Hackbent, Alleph desperately wants to be taken seriously when he 'commands' his friends and constantly fails. In an alternate timeline he finds out his god tier powers allow him to literally do that. It directly spirals out of control, ends in a massacre of his friends, with the only survivors being Morson and Cyrill.
- In the Death Note fic Tired & Emotional Light adds a little brandy in L's ice cream in an attempt to loosen his tongue so he might learn his true name. Light gets L drunk, alright...
- In the fanfic Duel Nature, Twilight Sparkle Got Volunteered into a duel with Princess Luna. While it was supposed to be a friendly match, emotions quickly got out of control: in an effort to break Luna's concentration, Twilight resorted to psychological warfare, using her knowledge of the princess to hurt her, culminating in a full-blown Break Them by Talking moment, which did disrupt her concentration, but turned a sparring match into a deathmatch.
- In the Fallout 3 mod Mothership Zeta Crew, the PC and company explore an underwater base of the aliens. However, there are no live aliens around. They were killed by Tyranids/Xenomorphs. Later, the PC finds out that The 'nids/'morphs were there because the aliens made them to attack the Olympus. Turns out, they were good at attacking. The aliens.
- Thirty years prior to the events of Sonic X: Dark Chaos Luke the Seedrian - the future Dark Oak - roboticized a young fox named Tsali into the "Ultimate Weapon" that could save his homeworld from a Demon invasion. Tsali quickly freed himself, promptly turned against his creators, and exterminated the entire Seedrian race in revenge.
- In He Can't See It, Marcie helps Xander by pretending to be his psychic powers. Unfortunately, due to how unstable she is, she goes too far and Xander nearly kills himself to protect Buffy and Willow from his out of control powers.
- Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness:
- In Act I chapter 12, Apoch and Astreal brainwash Rason and Dark for aid, only for their master to exploit this and use all four of them as his mindless slaves.
- In Act I chapter 23, Yukari, hoping to help Tsukune and Moka's relationship, creates a special Love Potion that literally makes someone dosed with it crazy with love; as Yukari puts it, "you may not want to be in public then." However, Yukari never anticipated that Moka would share the potion with Kurumu and Mizore during school hours, rather than use it for herself when she and Tsukune are alone.
- Talon Ryashen's backstory. He was kidnapped off the street by Fairy Tale and turned into a Super Soldier. The minute the experiments were complete, he escaped the lab and now seeks to wipe out anyone and everyone who ever worked for Fairy Tale as revenge for the loss of his humanity.
- In Wind Lord, one of Naruto's enemies uses a jutsu to de-age Naruto until he's an infant. He goes too far and temporarily unleashes the Kyuubi.
- In Mass Effect Human Revolution, the Templars wanted to make Hannibal a killing machine to use against Adam. He did become a killing machine... against them.
- The Big Bad of Angel of the Bat revolves around this. Deacon Blackfire groomed Daniel Lebowitz to believe he was a messiah. The success created The Seraphim, whose ego was so great that he betrayed the deacon and stole all of his followers.
- The premise of Wish Carefully is that instead of taking up the fight, Harry Potter surrendered England to Voldemort and the Death Eaters, arranging for everyone else to be evacuated. The Death Eaters now rule England without any opposition or Muggle-blooded taint... with no genetic diversity to prevent inbreeding defects, no working class, skilled professionals, or economic infrastructure to support them, and a murderous psychopath as their leader.
- in Zero Interface, a trio of students learn of Ranma Saotome's phobia of cats and decide to antagonize him using wind magic to make it sound like he's surrounded by cats. This results in Ranma (and via their bond, Louise) activating Neko-ken and going on a rampage.
- In Community Service, most Death Eaters escaped Azkaban after Voldemort's first fall by getting sentences to two years community service, and Voldemort, as in canon, has cursed the position of teacher of Defence Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts to neutralize whoever held it before the first term ended. Then Dumbledore had the brilliant idea of having said Death Eaters spend their sentence as DADA teachers: the lucky ones are the two who merely lost their magic.
- The dragons of RainbowDoubleDash's Lunaverse are a Dying Race precisely because they have such impressive natural advantages. While most races must band together for trade and protection, a dragon's only need is for rocks to eat and they are so powerful that by far the biggest danger any dragon faces is another dragon. As a result of this, dragons have no society to speak of. They don't trust each other, and because they don't trust each other, they don't work together. Their whelps are essentially abandoned to fend for themselves, since no adult would take in a whelp for fear of that whelp stealing some of their hoard. Only a handful of dragons can even read or write.
- This is played with in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic How To Kidnap A Princess where Rainbow Dash and Pinkie attempt to kidnap Twilight Sparkle in order to convince her that her castle's security is too light. It's played with in that Twilight gets wise to their plan and tricks Rainbow and Pinkie into kidnapping a clone from the Mirror Pool. The "horribly right" part comes into play when their little prank ends when Princess Celestia and Princess Luna come down on them personally for high treason and imprison them in Tartarus for kidnapping a Princess.
- M4K30V3R, Rouge's "automatic beautifying system" from Sonic's New Look (and multiple similar stories). Intended to make sure Rouge always looks her best, it does it's job flawlessly. So when it finds Sonic in her room...
- Overlaps with Be Careful What You Wish For in the MLP fan comic series Trixie Vs, Trixie repeatedly states her desire to learn how to fly using levitation. Then at one point, while messing around with a spell that magically turns her back into a filly, she gets the bright idea to test her levitation flight, while she's a child, hoping that her lighter size would make it easier to left herself off the ground. It not only works, but works out so well, she end up on the moon!!! with no feasible way of getting back down.
Film — Animation
- In Firing Range, the inventor created an empathic tank that uses hatred and fear to avoid attacks and attack, respectively, for the purpose of revenge. It succeeds marvelously, shame he grew afraid of it too...
- The Incredibles: Syndrome builds a robot able to analyze the combat style of its opponents and adapt to defeat whatever tricks they were using to fight it. This works very well for him until he tries to stage a fight with the robot, which realizes Syndrome was fighting it by use of a remote control...
- Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs: The eccentric inventor's food machine really works! Unfortunately, it works so well that it starts churning out superstorms of food big enough to crush landmarks and bury cities, causing an apocalypse on a global scale.
- Astro Boy. The President wants to put the evil red orb inside the war machine to make it more aggressive and violent. Well, it worked...
- In the Sorcerer's Apprentice sequence of Fantasia, Mickey Mouse brings a broomstick to life to carry buckets of water to fill his master's cauldron. However, he doesn't know enough about magic to stop the broom once the job is done and the cauldron overflows. Mickey tries to destroy the broomstick with an axe, but each piece turns into a new broomstick with its own buckets.
- In Meet the Robinsons, Lewis, feeling low after another family chose not to adopt him, bitterly complains that even his own birth mother didn't want him. Mildred, the director of the orphanage, tries to convince him that he doesn't know that—she may well have wanted to keep him but couldn't, for some reason. Unfortunately Lewis takes this mean that she definitely did want him, and that his only hope for a happy family is tracking her down.
- Harry Chapin's "Cats in the Cradle":
And as I hung up the phone it occurred to meHe'd grown up just like meMy boy was just like me
- Kate Bush's song "Experiment IV", which tells the story of a group of scientists contracted into a military experiment to create a sound-based weapon. In the original song the lyrics are somewhat ambiguous in regards to the outcome, but in the video, the scientists are unfortunate enough to succeed in creating the sound-based weapon, which proceeds to kill everyone working in the building (and it might have escaped). To make matters worse, the general who contracted the scientists actually seems pleased with the results, implying that he may actually attempt to implement it as a regular weapon.
- Jason once went through a Viking phase, and refused to eat his mother's broccoli stew, since he would only eat what the Vikings ate. He realized his mistake when his mom agreed to make him some boiled sheep's head.
- In another strip Jason Fox mentioned to Marcus that the last time they went as fast as they did via tobogganing on a hill in the winter, they were thrown off the toboggan when they released the brake chute, so they learned from that mistake by taping themselves with a lot of tape so they can't be thrown off when they use the brake chute. It worked too well, however, as while they were successful in not falling off, their toboggan was shown flying through the air with them on it due to it being a windy day.
- Calvin and Hobbes
Hobbes: He's a clone of you, all right.Calvin: What are you talking about?! This guy's a total jerk!
- Calvin didn't want to clean his room, so he made an identical clone of himself and ordered the clone to clean his room. Naturally, the clone didn't want to clean Calvin's room either, so he ran off to cause mischief, knowing the original Calvin would be blamed. Later in the story, Calvin's clone gets a hold of the duplicator and starts cloning himself, with predictable results.
- In the second clone storyline, Calvin makes a clone of simply his good side. The good version of Calvin does indeed do all the chores cheerfully and gets excellent grades — unfortunately, he also writes poetry and makes Valentine cards for Susie. Again, the original Calvin has to face the consequences.
- The Snow Goons story. Calvin built a snow man with the intent to bring it to life. He succeeded... and it immediately tried to kill him.
- Wanting to approach birds without being noticed by them, Garfield glued some feathers on himself and put on some swin fins. He ended up being chased by other cats.
- In several early U.S. Acre strips, Orson uses hypnotism on Wade in order to remove his fears. It works all too well, and Wade goes from being a lovable coward to shortly being a fearless and reckless Jerk Ass who fears absolutely nothing.
- In Prickly City, the solar-powered drone works right the first time, and targets Winslow.
- An old Mexican joke tells us that Pepito used to play pranks on his family. He would go to his relatives and say with an evil smirk, "I know everything." The relatives would bribe him to keep the secret. It worked perfectly well, until he said it to the milkman, who instead of bribing him, hugged him and yelled: "My son!!!"
- Some versions of Aesop's "wolf in sheep's clothing" tale end with the farmer deciding to kill a sheep for food and settling on the wolf.
Philosophy of Religion
- The concept of "felix culpa" or fortunate fall in Christianity makes the temptation in the Garden of Eden this for the Serpent. The fall allowed God to bring good out of evil and set up the eventual birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
- In one episode of The Men from the Ministry Mr. Lamb is being depressed by the utter boredom of his life, and Mildred and Mr. Lennox-Brown decide to make him take dancing lessons so that he will find more joy in his life. He does find dancing very enjoyable, so much that he plans to quit his job in the Ministry and become professional dancer.
- Listed in Cracked article "5 Things That Were so Effective They had to Be Banned".
- The MythBusters guys made a robot so destructive is was banned from Robot Wars.
- The Olympic Committee banned a speedo swimming suit for making swimmers too fast.
- A missile-avoiding drone designed to test missiles was axed because it was so good their missiles had no chance of hitting it.
- A bass-fishing lure mimicking a school of fish was banned from competitions for being too effective.
- Operation Castle was a series of high-yield nuclear tests made by the United States at Bikini Atoll in 1954. It's famous for the fact that the yield of the thermonuclear blasts was much higher than what the scientists expected. (For example, Castle Bravo was predicted to have a yield of 6 megatons. The actual explosion had a yield of 15 Mt. Castle Romeo was predicted as 4 Mt, the actual blast being 11 Mt.) The scientists had accidentally created thermonuclear bombs that were over twice as powerful as they expected, due to atomic interactions they did not anticipate.
- Any attempts to reduce the population of an animal or plant considered a pest come with the risk of benefiting anything that it was keeping down. For example, there was an attempt in Australia to reduce the population of dingoes, with the goal of reducing dingo predation on livestock. It worked, except that it led to an explosion in the population of brush turkeys, which the dingoes also preyed on. As a result, the brush turkeys devastated crops.
- For the 1984 season, the San Francisco Giants introduced the Crazy Crab, meant to serve as an "anti-mascot" as opposed to a regular mascot, which teams everywhere were adopting at that time. Fans were encouraged to boo the crab whenever it appeared. Giants fans went overboard, regularly throwing dangerous objects like batteries and beer bottles. Even the Giants players and opposing players got in on it by throwing such objects as rosin bags. Two San Diego Padres went so far as to tackle it, causing performer Wayne Doba to sue for injuries. The Crab was shelved after the season, though it has reappeared a few times in recent years thanks to newfound popularity.
- Wyatt Cenac says that he gets so irritated with his friends trying to set him up with the only other black person they know, that he decided to say that he's into weird fetishes. Until they said he should meet another person they knew.
- Cyrano de Bergerac:
- Given his own company, the Gascon Cadets, disrespects him, De Guiche plans a Last Stand for them. Later in the play, De Guiche at last wins the respect of the Gascon Cadets, but the enemy army is already there… De Guiche will die Lonely at the Top, his only real moment of popularity would be among the men he sacrificed.
- Cyrano loves Roxane, but he plans to Playing Cyrano to Christian so he can win Roxane’s love Christian dies and given Roxane will love his memory for years, that dooms Roxane and Cyrano to a loveless and shallow life
- Hamlet did reach his end goal of killing the king ...
- Depending on the interpretation his madness may also be this by the end.
- Theatre/Hamilton did clear his name of embezzlement accusations. They way he went about it - releasing a pamphlet stating that he was not embezzling government funds to James Reynolds, but instead using his own money to pay the man off in exchange for allowing him to sleep with his wife - absolutely cleared his name because he had no reason to implicate himself in something just as bad if he was lying. Unfortunately, it nearly destroyed his marriage and inadvertently led to his son's death. At least he wasn't being accused of perjury anymore, right?
- Madness Combat: The Auditor started creating magnified soldiers to combat Jebus, Hank, Sanford and Deimos. An "agent magnification chamber" was constructed to speed the process up, and for all we know it worked: Mag v4's were seen in action less than five minutes after the incomplete v3 was killed. What the Auditor didn't expect was the possibility that Deimos would use the chamber on Hank.
- In Red vs. Blue, the point of Project Freelancer was to create an unstoppable super soldier. Guess how well that went?
- Chirault: The mages wanted to find a way to expand their living space without breaking peace with tree spirits. They created a Reality Changing Miniature of their whole planet instead. Accidentally.
- Homestuck: Vriska decided to, though Stable Time Loops and manipul8ion, become responsible for creating all the misfortunes currently besetting the protagonists, most notably setting up a multi-million-year-long Stable Time Loop to create a Physical God whose powers would later be transferred to the Omnicidal Maniac Big Bad beseiging her and her friends at the time she executed her manipulation plan. All so she could defeat the Big Bad herself and bail out her "ungr8ful" friends from this mess. It worked...aside from the 'bail her friends out' part.
- Andrew Hussie, the author, knew Act 5's EoA flash [S] Cascade. would be very popular, so decided that he'd best go and look for an outside host. He chose Newgrounds, a site well-known for being able to handle freaking huge numbers of persons. And then, upon release, his fanbase crashed the site. Then Hussie proceeded to crash several of Megaupload's servers when he offered it up for download after Newgrounds failed. There's a reason it's called the post that broke the Internet.
- When Meenah saw that Rufioh (who was dating Damara at the time) was showing interest in Horuss, she tried to pester and mock Damara about it until she snapped and got angry. She did... at not only Rufioh (who she crippled) and Horuss (who she killed), but Meenah as well, killing her in the ensuing fury.
- The Order of the Stick:
- Redcloak transforming Xykon into a lich in Start of Darkness went perfectly, as it allowed them to escape a trap set by a druid who had developed a magic-nullifying disease (undead are immune to disease). Of course, it also added the powers of lichdom to the already Chaotic Evil Xykon, in addition to making him smarter, thus changing him from Redcloak's more-or-less equal partner into a Big Bad determined to prove how much Eviler Than Thou he could be. Xykon proceeded to take over Redcloak's agenda and rule him with an iron fist, to the point where Redcloak is now forced to gamble everything on the completion of his Plan before Xykon grows too strong/impatient/finds out what he's really planning. It is, however, later stated that Redcloak is actually feigning it all, is subtly manipulating Xykon, and views Xykon as nothing more than a useful tool that he only pretends to cow to so that Xykon doesn't get suspicious.
- After Haley kills Crystal, her rival in the Thieves' Guild, the guild leader Bozzok spends a pretty penny turning Crystal's corpse into a flesh golem that retains Crystal's memories, skills, and personality, without Crystal's lack of intelligence or focus. In Bozzok's own words, she's now the perfect killer. When he sends her after Haley, she manages to convince Crystal that Bozzok's responsible for her current state, and she turns on him. Even her greater intelligence is a part of this going wrong for him, as she realizes Haley "just" killed her, while Bozzok made it so that she Came Back Wrong in constant, horrific pain, which was arguably worse.
- Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic: Gruumsh, the chief Orc god, sought to create a warrior who combined the best of humanity and orcs to unite both people under his banner and conquer the world. When several attempts turned out to be "flawed" in one way or another (one of them being Glon), he intervened directly, removing all the traits he could that wouldn't result in The Ultimate Warrior. The end result of this was Jone, a nigh-unstoppable Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl warrior. Unfortunately, in removing the non-"killing machine" bits from Jone, he seemed to have removed the off switch for her Berserker Rage, resulting in her slaying friend and foe alike and going after Grummsh himself, when he manifested to try and take control of Jone's rampage. We find out later down the line that Glon has a similar berserker inside of him, but his is far harder to bring out and far easier to stop.
- Sluggy Freelance:
Dr. Kirko: You wanted her unstoppable. We made her unstoppable. And now you expect us to stop her?
- Hereti-Corps alien killing machine creation project:
- Though it's a long-standing mystery how she was created and just what she is, and usually she's quite useful, Kusari can apparently slip into this territory. She seems to have been created as a perfect One Woman Army that obeys the CEO of the evil corporation Hereti-Corp absolutely. Where this can backfire is when someone manages to become the new CEO through Loophole Abuse and sics her on the old one. Such technicalities would hardly otherwise be so significant in a company that's secretly acting outside the law all the time, but Kusari makes them so.
- In Dominic Deegan, the elf-tyrant Raf MaLiksh orders his mages to create an Acibek—a golem of Pure Law, whose power would help end the chaos of rebellion and uprisings he's struggling with. Acibek is lawful, all right, but he immediately realizes that the chaos is due to the tyrannical nature of Raf's leadership, and acts accordingly.
- In Peter Is the Wolf, Butch comes up with a GREAT plan to get Peter! At present? Well, see this trope...
- The main cast of FreakAngels wanted to do something so impressive with their powers that the government would get scared and back off. The story is set a few years after they succeeded.
- The evil Syndicate in Weapon Brown set out to create the ultimate killer with Project Noodle. They succeeded so well that they've kept the only survivor in cold storage ever since rather than risk having him roaming around.
- The major plot element of the first arc of Teh Gladiators, a World of Warcraft webcomic, is the fact that, to increase the popularity of the Arenas, the leaders of the Horde and Alliance arranged for a team of losers and idiots (the eponymous heroes) to win the Arena season by casting a Scroll of Unconditional Victory on them. This plan backfires horribly when two of the team members, Mad Scientist Murlocs Sharon and Yolanda, create a Frankenstinian monster named Cyclonator X32A, which runs wild and wrecks most of Azeroth. Buffed by the scroll, it's unstoppable until Teh Glads manage to lose a match, which breaks the enchantment.
- Schlock Mercenary:
- The Dark Matter entities gave what they said was the plans to turn the galactic core into an engine to the F'Sherl-Ganni so that their respective galaxies wouldn't eventually collide. But many extra Dark Matter entities present at the activation of the drive made it give birth to a new universe that would expand and destroy the galaxy. This was intentional on the part of the Dark Matter entities. But then the plan failed and the core reactor was taken over by Petey, who promptly sent word (and lots of kinetic and photonic energy) back that we had finally noticed we were at war.
- Then there's Dr. B explaining how Project Laz'R'Us synergizes dozens of soldier boosts:
Bunnigus: They found that the right combination of these technologies would make any human functionally immortal.
Breya: Okay, but what were the side effects?
Bunnigus: You mean besides turning the entire population into a standing army of Super Soldiers? No side effects. Clean as a razor sharp, double-edged sword-whistle.
- One of the city guards in Goblins torments a captive owlbear in order to turn it into a more brutal killing machine. When he lets it loose on the goblins, he finds out first-hand just how savage it is.
- In Bob and George, Wily created Bass to be superior to Megaman (who, in this comic's universe, is an all-powerfull idiot) in everything. He succeded: Bass is faster, stronger and an even bigger idiot.
- Brian averts/defies this trope in Our Little Adventure. His plan was to demonize and discredit an old magic teacher of his that he tried and failed to recruit to his side. When Brian's part of the plan succeeded better than he imagined it would, he called off the rest of the attack. Brian was worried other attacks would threaten the credibility that one person alone would be able to do them.
- In Commander Kitty, long-suffering #2 Mittens ends up finding his confidence with the help of a spiffy new outfit. Before long, however, the rest of the cast starts to get worried that he's going to overshadow all of them.
- Crankrats: Creating a bunch of walking electrical storms for the express purpose of exterminating your enemies is revealed to be a bad idea.
- Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal: What happens if you make a robot smarter than yourself.
- In Something*Positive, after Sanderson loses a bet and has to produce a play from a director he despises, he orders Davan to write a script that the director will hate. Davan reminds Sanderson how good he is at that.
- In this strip of Another Videogame Webcomic, Player One petitions to get Tim Tebow on the cover of Madden 2013 in the hopes of passing the Madden Curse onto him, because he's sick of all the attention and coverage Tebow is getting. It works and Tebow suffers a season ending injury, but unfortunately SportsCenter likes covering Tebow more than they do actual football, so they suspend all sports coverage in favor of non-stop reports on Tim Tebow's road to recovery.
- Artie comments on this trope in a Narbonic side story:
"Before you ask for an unstoppable killing machine, make sure you really want an unstoppable killing machine."
- In Elfslayer Chronicles, the DM established that in her world, Humans Are Bastards and you Can't Argue with Elves. This backfired on her when a player annoyed by the elf posturing decided that his character, a human, would not be an exception to the rule and therefore have no reason to play along with the DM's plot of helping the elves. Oh, and he would also be a total Magnificent Bastard who used the elements the DM introduced to turn the campaign into an Xanatos Gambit of getting away with sabotaging the party's mission via murdering the guy who they were supposed to escort back home to stop a war.
- In one of the SMBC Theater skits, a woman designs a Lie Detector, a Reframing Detector, and a Change The Subject Detector because she is tired of first date bullshit. However, it works so well that by the end of it, it's revealed that her date is an unemployed, horny homeless guy living under his friend's van, and she made these in order to humiliate a man after her last boyfriend dumped her, and that she doesn't believe she could do better than the guy she's currently on a date with.
- In the Whateley Universe, Generator invented some 'shoulder angels' to play a prank on Phase. Soon, everyone on campus was getting into the act. The school nearly turned into a giant battlezone before the headmistress managed to stop things.
- Or Jobe's experimental method for creating a real drow girl to be a girlfriend. He ended up getting dosed by accident. The process is working really well.
- In Atop the Fourth Wall, Linkara's gun is powered by a soul of a little girl, who was tortured and killed in order to make the ultimate weapon for a cult. Needless to say, the gun killed the cultists, proving that they had, in fact, made the ultimate weapon.
- In 2010, Christian Weston Chandler pretended to be a troll named JuniorJenkins and posted on a troll forum under that name in an attempt to get the trolls at their own game. Trolls knew it was Chris from the getgo, so they humored him by asking him to take pictures of Chris from across the road and gather any further info he could. Eventually, the trolls decided to have a contest - $9001 would be awarded to anyone who could destroy Chris's PS3 and provide video evidence. Even the trolls did not think Chris (posing as Jenkins) would actually do it. HE DID. Since it was clearly Chris in the video, it was a clear violation of the rules and he didn't get the money (which didn't exist anyway). Chris's parents finding out about this led to them more or less banning him from the internet, but he did end up getting a new PS3.
- Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog:
- Affably Evil Dr. Horrible dreams of joining the Evil League of Evil. To get in, he has to commit murder (which he doesn't like doing). He ends up compromising by planning to attack his downright evil hero nemesis, Captain Hammer, and kill him to get into the ELE. He gets into the Evil League of Evil, alright, when his plan goes pear-shaped and Hammer tries to kill Horrible with his own gun. The gun explodes and shrapnel kills the girl Dr. Horrible loved. Her death counts as the necessary murder to get in.
- In a prequel comic, Horrible tries to beat Hammer by making a Super Serum using Hammer's DNA to give him the superhero's strength. It works... but it also reduces his intelligence to Hammer's level, resulting in Horrible and Hammer engaging in an unending slugfest until Horrible grabs the Idiot Ball again and restores his intelligence by using the antidote... while also leaving him the same weakling as before, allowing Hammer to pummel him.
- Starwalker Earth: The new drive works perfectly. It can modify the gravity around a star to open a door to another star by going outside the universe. This has two effects: It turns the drive into a time machine and it damages the stars it flies through.
- In Pay Me, Bug!, Grif Vindh wound up with the score of a lifetime, through more than a little blind luck. Of course, blind luck doesn't do much for one's reputation, so he spun a yarn involving him breaking into Ur Voys (The Empire of the Radiant Throne's most secure facility) single-handedly, stealing the contraband, and smuggling it out right under the noses of The Radiant Throne's Swords. Unfortunately for him, a certain black-ops division of The Alliance of Free Worlds' military hears the story. They also want to steal something from Ur Voys, and they're not above blackmailing someone of Vindh's "skill" to get it for them.
Grif Vindh: If I'd known the Alliance was going to get wind of this, I'd have thought of a much less self-aggrandizing lie.
- Several man-made SCPs collected by the SCP Foundation have this as their origin story. Mostly those made by The Factory, Dr. Wondertainment or Prometheus Labs (though the former two are so enigmatic that it's hard to tell what they were trying to accomplish).
- Simon Lane, while playing a modded game of Minecraft, once decided to spawn in numerous nagas with the intention of trolling Duncan Jones and Kim Richards. They did their job too well, killing him numerous times and utterly destroying parts of the server.
- During Cornerstone, Smiffy of Hat Films attempts to troll Sjin, Rythian and Hannah Rutherford by posing as a Creeper. They panic and then kill him.
- The one-time enemies of Team Avolition, Rice Think, implemented a system on their Minecraft server that detected changes to individual blocks, theoretically alerting admins to abuse and griefing. In practice, all this meant was that Team Avo had to wipe the structures off the face of the earth.
- One hypothetical situation on Atomic Rockets had a computer virus intended to sabotage missile anti-countermeasure computers by allowing them to "endlessly self-modify their programming" results in the missiles gaining sentience and declare themselves a sovreign nation. And they all lived happily ever after-the newly sapient weapons force a cease fire agreement between the warring factions and go on to become galaxy-wide diplomats.
- Parodied in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: The Abridged Series, where some students tried to summon Jinzo... and they did!
- In Sword Art Online Abridged, Rosalia subjects Kirito to a Breaking Speech intended to reduce him to a gibbering wreck before she and her Titan's Hand goons mug him. However, this doesn't change the fact that Kirito is still thirty levels higher than them, so they can't even harm him even when he's not bothering to dodge their attacks. All Rosalia succeeds in doing is turning a Jerkass into a Laughing Mad killing machine, then slamming several of his Berserk Buttons, which turns out to be a fatal mistake.