Remember that guy your girlfriend cut in traffic while she was talking to you on the phone and addressing you by your full name? Turns out that guy is your new boss. He got you to do extra work because of this, which made you miss that call from your brother, you know, the one that was facing foreclosure and needed you to lend him money. And now your brother, his wife and five kids live with you. Because of a traffic cut. Meet Hellistics, Holistics from Hell.
Holistics, or holism, states that all things are interconnected. This trope comes into play when unrelated events are interconnected solely to screw over the characters, preferably humorously. Basically, everything is interconnected... For the worse.
Compare Contrived Coincidence
, Can't Get Away with Nuthin'
, Laser-Guided Karma
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Anime and Manga
- Great Teacher Onizuka: Onizuka is on a train on the way to his last-chance interview for a teaching position. He spots an old man fondling a woman's behind and, being the direct sort, headbutts him. Good coincidence: the young woman is also applying for a position at the same school and is grateful for his help. Bad coincidence: the old man is the principal of the school and the one interviewing him.
- Happens in both Dirk Gently books. The title character, a holistic private investigator, is always in the middle of The End of the World as We Know It thanks to a string of ridiculous coincidences; the first book alone involves a crash-landed Ancient Astronaut, a malfunctioning robotic monk, and time travel leading to an old college friend of Dirk's becoming a murder suspect.
- In Childrenof The Lamp, Philippa grants a police officer three wishes. One of these wishes results in Layla Gaunt's body being incinerated by a volcano.
- Harlan Ellison's short story "The Man Who Was Heavily Into Revenge" exaggerates this, as the Jerkass protagonist finds that the entire universe is apparently out to get him in the name of the man he wronged.
Live Action TV
- Seinfeld had plenty examples of this trope, for instance, George needing a car battery to power up an arcade game (long story), Kramer's friend carrying said battery in the night and Jerry having to remain with a girlfriend he loathed because he heard news of a serial beheader and mistook Kramer's friend with the battery for the psycho carrying a head.
- In Seinfeld we also have the "maroon Golf" Jerry ("black Saab") blocked in traffic and who paid him back.
- In Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry's Jerk Ass behavior often causes him getting screwed over because of this trope.
- In the episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air where Will and Lisa are supposed to get married, Lisa's dad complains about some battleaxe of a woman who he had to sit next to on the plane ride there. Then Will's mom arrives and complains about some man she sat next to who called her a battleaxe. Will and Lisa decide to let them have dinner together so they'll start to like each other. Meanwhile, Will is having doubts about his upcoming marriage to Lisa. When he goes to talk to his mom about it, he finds that she slept with Lisa's dad. At the altar, Will and Lisa end up canceling their marriage...and Will's mom and Lisa's dad decide to get married in their place.
- Classic adventure games operate under this principle, from the early text-based adventures to the super high-tech graphics based LucasArts and Sierra ones.
- Shows up a lot in Ghost Trick. To name one example: an undercover cop working as a waitress at a restaurant spies a couple of suspicious foreigners, and plants a bug in their food to be monitored by her colleague. One of them spots the bug, and burns it, causing the one listening to receive extreme feedback. This knocks him out, causing the van he was driving to crash into the same restaurant, killing him and one of the patrons.
- In Misfile, Missi causes problems between Heather and Emily, to be solved on the tracks. Emily wins. Heather gets pissed. Heather gets a prodigy to try to beat Ash. Said prodigy and Eponine, a friend of Cassiel, hit it off at a party. Cassiel takes it upon herself to try to help said prodigy win the race with magic. Rumisiel attempts to keep Cassiel from rigging the race, which causes Logan to crash. The police arrive to check up on the accident, also finding Emily, who they were looking for since she ran off in the middle of the night to watch said race. Emily's mother blames the night on Ash, forbidding Emily to hang out anymore, though Molly quickly steps in and takes the blame while also calling Ms. McArthur out on being so overbearing toward Emily. This results in Ash inviting Missi. Long story short, Ash eats with Missi somewhere. Getting out of said eating place, Ash and Missi are approached by two men who hint at raping them before the aforementioned prodigy shows up and threatens to call the cops.
- Happens a lot on The Simpsons, mostly because Homer fails to think something through.