Whenever you see such a character... run. Far away. Where he or she walks, grass won't grow back.
This is the guy who, on getting out of bed in the morning, somehow manages to trigger a set of Disaster Dominoes
that ends up blowing up his next door neighbor's house. After that, he'll swerve to avoid a squirrel on the commute to work, accidentally running a passing Bus Full of Innocents
off a cliff. When he gets there, he'll distractedly fire a nail gun
straight into the forehead of the resident Butt-Monkey
, then, after lunch, flip his Banana Peel
onto the floor right in the path of an elderly hemophiliac.
He'll never notice any of this. And while others are in the emergency room, he'll probably come out without so much as a scratch.
And what's that high-pitched screaming coming from under his car
on the drive home? Meh. Probably the wind.
Oh, did you see that pile of totaled cars a few blocks back? His is still pristine.
The Sadist Show
is his natural habitat. He's been known to show up in Crapsack Worlds
when they're Played for Laughs
. Can lead to Mistaken for Badass
when people are impressed with the results of his "work."
This trope is The Klutz
taken to its logical
- and much darker - conclusion
, so it could be called a Deconstructed Trope
. But unlike most, it's Played for Laughs far more often
than for drama. It's very close to Lethally Stupid
, though in that case, the problems are caused by the character's general idiocy, and not always specifically by his clumsiness.
See Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds
for the extreme version of this trope. Compare The Jinx
who doesn't directly cause mayhem, but somehow manages to induce bad luck in those around him. Also compare Walking Techbane
when a character is unintentionally destructive to technology. I Just Shot Marvin in the Face
is a Sub-Trope
. Spanner in the Works
, Doom Magnet
, and Walking Disaster Area
are Sister Tropes
. For laughs, may turn out to be Graceful in Their Element
Anime & Manga
- Fran of Franken Fran is one of the few non-comedic examples. In fact, she might be the best example of this trope deconstructed. Since this is itself a deconstruction, that's impressive.
- Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei:
- Chiri tried to be a normal klutz, but ended up this.
- In one episode, Nozomu is being held captive in a government facility, and his students recognize him, drawing on their respective skills. The Apologizes a Lot girl Kaga bows her head to apologize, and keeps accidentally banging her head into guards. She keeps apologizing every time this happens and as a result, accidentally kills a bunch of people.
- Fethry Duck does sometime cause this kind of disasters. Not being a total idiot, he does sometime take advantage of it, such as working in demolitions (that get much quicker and cheaper) or, as in the Italian story "Zio Paperone e l'Ultima Avventura" ("Uncle Scrooge's Last Adventure"), easy and large-scale sabotage.
- Cadet-then-Officer-then-Sergeant Douglas Fackler in the Police Academy movies might be the very embodiment of this trope, constantly causing bodily injury to anyone around him while him being completely oblivious to it. He is such an immensely lethal klutz that throwing an apple core outside his patrol car's window in the first movie causes a chain reaction that results in a city-wide riot.
- Played for Laughs in True Lies, during a scene where Helen accidentally kills a group of terrorists while trying to fire an uzi, to save her husband, Harry. The recoil causes her to lose control and fumble the weapon, sending it tumbling down the stairs in a slow-motion montage sequence where it continues to fire, taking out several mooks.
- In Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Jar Jar Binks destroys quite a few combat droids accidentally during the final battle for Naboo. In one scene he accidentally unlatches the door to a stash of grenadelike devices, sending them into the enemy ranks; in another, his foot get caught in one droid, and trying to escape causes the droid's blaster to fire, taking out several droids, including a Droideka. In the same battle, Anakin destroys the control ship by accidentally crashing into the bay and then accidentally firing at the reactor (which is somehow accessible from the docking bay).
- Jar Jar's tendency for this continues in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Clones assigned to him are convinced he's some kind of military genius, since he unfailingly stumbles into something to defeat the current villain's plan and often takes out most of their forces himself in the process.
- Given the genre, this may be how he interacts with the Force.
- Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult shows that Drebin has accidentally killed his fiancee. He remains unaware of that.
- To elaborate, he lived on top of a steep cliff, and on their wedding day he slammed the door open just as she was about to enter, throwing her off the edge to be eaten by sharks.
- In the same movie he is also celebrated for killing a record number of drug dealers. He laughingly confesses that he backed over the last few with his car by accident.
- The title character of The Incredible Worlds Of Wally Mc Doogle, to the point where he's apparently been declared a "national disaster area". Whatever happens in his misadventures, you can bet that massive property damage and possible intervention from both local and international authorities are sure to follow.
- Inverted with Sergeant "Jinxie" Penlan, of the Ciaphas Cain series, who has a reputation for, among other things, tripping, dropping, and random weapons discharges. Fortunately, she hasn't caused any friendly fire incidents — if she kills anything, it's always something the Valhallans were trying to kill in the first place, and her squad sees her as a good luck charm because she's the most likely member to suddenly discover a minefield without getting anyone killed from stepping on the mines.
- There was an episode of CSI with this guy. He accidentally killed his wife, and then his Nosy Neighbor, and he somehow decided that the best thing to do was bury said wife in fresh cement at a construction site... where he got stuck up to his waist (which didn't stopped a passing thief from taking his wallet). It got worse when they delved into his backstory. Some characters found his antics funny but Grissom was just disturbed.
- Scrubs: JD's girlfriend Julie has classic Klutz tendencies, but when there's someone else for her to hurt she'll find an interesting way to maim them. Elliot was often a victim.
- The titular character in Gilligan's Island. He's a well-meaning, but destructively clumsy fellow, which is the reason the majority of the castaways' attempts to get rescued fail.
- Aperture Science can't build a calculator without it malfunctioning and killing dozens of test subjects. As Portal 2 explains, their founder specifically built it to have No OSHA Compliance and fired anyone who opposed it. That kind of bit them in the ass later.
- In one episode of The Simpsons, Ralph Wiggum runs out into the street directly into the path of an oncoming car. Fortunately, his dad had installed a "security system..." in the form of a spike strip deployed across the road that threw the driver through the windshield and face-first onto the asphalt.
- Homer - who designed said "security system" - is a great example, too. People have died because of said stupidity and a notable example (Frank Grimes) died because the fury he got out of seeing said stupidity (and noticing everybody else preferred to ignore the destruction it brought) drove him to madness.
- Dethklok from Metalocalypse. They manage to kill fans at every show, the faulty and badly-conceived products they endorse cause countless deaths, and that's not even getting into the times when either they or their fans have people murdered intentionally.
- South Park: In a flashback, the last time Butters tap danced in "The Tap Tragedy", he accidentally killed eight people. (Well, technically 11 if you count one woman who was pregnant and two others who committed suicide afterwards).
- The Mr. Men Show Miss Whoops, in whatever job she takes she causes major destruction with it; most of them involve her running things over with large vehicles.
- Mr. Magoo is blind to just about everything, but most of all the chaos around him.
- Annie from Generator Rex is known as "the blonde widow" for this reason and has used this trait as a weapon on occasion. Every normal boy who has gone on a date with her has ended up in hospital due to her clumsiness, and it is speculated that second date would kill them.
- Hal the Misinterpretive Porn Star, who on one occasion, manages to launch his co-star into space.
- Red vs. Blue gives us Caboose, who has a history of team-killing people he tries to help. So much so that, not only does the Blue Team tell Caboose to help someone they want shot, Command has their own keyboard shortcut for his TKs (Control+F+U).