[[quoteright:320:[[Webcomic/LoadingArtist http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/magic_misfire_8.jpg]]]]

->''"Magic! It is not... an exact science."''
-->-- '''Merasmus the Magician''', ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2''

A character has magical powers. Either because of inexperience, a MalfunctionMalady, the magic equivalent of PhlebotinumBreakdown, or [[FinaglesLaw some other reason]], the spell screws up, often resulting in an unintended effect or AmusingInjuries, or both. In a game, a Magic Misfire can be a subtype of CriticalFailure. Derived from [[TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons D&D's]] "Magic Missile", it's stock in trade for the IneptMage. This is a convenient way to make inexperienced characters nevertheless impressive, as their misspeaks can function like a RandomEffectSpell and still be potent.

Not to be confused with a magic ''Webcomic/{{Misfile}}''.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Pretty much anything Skuld from ''Manga/AhMyGoddess'' tries to do with explicit magic, though she fares a little better with [[{{Magitek}} quasi-mechanical]] magic devices.
* ''Manga/GirlsBravo'': Lisa is a self-taught mage, having used a tome she found in a hidden laboratory to study dark magic. So the lack of proper instruction, plus the fact that [[CuteAndPsycho she's crazy]], means she has a tendency to botch her spells every now and then. But her magic is impressive when she manages to get it right.
* In ''LightNovel/ScrappedPrincess'', Raquel's attempt to invoke her powerful Thor lightning spell (after she had [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome thoroughly smashed a Mauser priest earlier]]) ends with the church in ruins. Shannon reminds her that she has a tendency to overdo it, especially when [[MundaneUtility doing simple tasks, like cooking]].
* ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'':
** Negi Springfield has a bad habit of accidentally invoking wind magic whenever he [[SneezeOfDoom sneezes]]. This normally results in a sudden gust of wind (always around girls wearing skirts, [[PantyShot for some reason]]), or a [[ClothingDamage clothes-shredding]] disarming spell. Once, however, it helps him win a BeamOWar.
** Despite not having any special or magical ability of her own, [[ComedicShotacon Yukihiro Ayaka]] manages to pull what is called a ''Pactio Backfire''; because of her [[ThePowerOfLove extreme affection]] for Negi, she [[BeyondTheImpossible managed to reverse the Pactio system]] and nearly gave ''him'' a Pactio card instead of the other way around.
* ''VisualNovel/{{Happiness}}'':
** Magic Misfires happen all the time in the show. Especially when that magic-user tries any ''MundaneUtility''.
** In what has to be the strangest example, two boys hit with a combination of attack, defense, and butterfly spells are turned into [[AttractiveBentGender magically sexy girls]] until expending a one-time magic charge.
* In ''Anime/MagicUsersClub'', Sae Sawanoguchi's immense (but [[IneptMage poorly-controlled]]) magical power means that the net effect of any magic the club performs as a group is a result of her passing stray thoughts.
* In ''Anime/DiGiCharat'', Puchiko's attempts to use her EyeBeams power cause her eyes to emit strange slime creatures that crawl away.
* A common problem when attempting more powerful kidou in ''Manga/{{Bleach}}''; Renji in particular seems to have every other kidou he cast explode in his face. Renji [[InvokedTrope Invokes]] this against [[MadScientist Szayel Aparro Granz]] as part of a distraction ploy for Uryu's attack. [[spoiler:It doesn't work. It damages him, but they didn't account for the fact that Szayel could eat his subordinates for healing. In the end it just results in a hurt Renji and ClothingDamage]].
* Free of ''Manga/SoulEater'' has been in prison for a long time, and is thus out of practice when it comes to fighting, so this happens to him several times. [[GoodThingYouCanHeal Good thing he's immortal.]]
* In ''Manga/YuYuHakusho'' Rando has [[PowerCopying has acquired the techniques of defeated martial arts masters]] and used a shrinking curse to defeat Kuwabara. He tries the same thing on Yusuke but [[HoistByHisOwnPetard it backfires]]. Genkai explains that a curse will affect the user if the intended victim cannot hear it (at that moment Yusuke had algae in his ears). Yusuke is too tired to continue fighting at that point, so he lets gravity finish the job.
* Not magic, but similar in principle, were Ash's Anime/{{Pokemon}} trying to master new attacks. Most notable were Snorunt's inadvertently freezing Ash with attempts at Ice Beam, Scraggy's Focus Blast spiraling off target and petering out, and (most hilariously) Gible's Draco Meteor not only failing to split like it's supposed to, but invariably tracking down [[ButtMonkey Dawn's Piplup]] and whacking him instead of the target.
* One episode of ''Anime/DigimonAdventure'' has several Digimon trying and hilariously failing to digivolve, due to having no energy. It takes Agumon a while to notice.
-->'''Tentomon:''' Tentomon digivolve to... (''fails'') KABU... never mind.\\
'''Agumon:''' Agumon digivolve to... (''fails'') Greymon! Greymon!! Greymon, yeah I'm Greymon! I'm big and I'm bad!
* ''Anime/CardCaptorSakura'': This is how Kinomoto Sakura's adventure starts off. Without even knowing that she could, she activates the Windy card by trying to pronounce its name and the resulting wind causes the rest of the Clow cards to scatter, leaving her with only Windy.
* Spells going wrong and being played for comedy occur so often in ''Franchise/{{Jewelpet}}'' that it'd need its own page. In the first season, almost every spell that protagonist Ruby tries to cast ends in an explosion that sends everyone flying, for example.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBook/{{Runaways}}'' has Nico and the Staff of One, which has the limitation that you can only use the verbal command for each spell once; trying it again will result in something entirely different, such as when she repeats herself in battle and ends up teleporting with a teammate out into the desert.
* ''ComicBook/SabrinaTheTeenageWitch'' features various stories involving this trope (thanks to Sabrina still learning the proper use of her powers).

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Everywhere'' in ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' fanfiction. Twilight messing up a spell has caused, among other things, body swaps, time travel, long-distance teleportation trips, hauling of multiple creatures from other worlds (most frequently humans), and blasting of Equestria into its component atoms.
* In ''Fanfic/WithStringsAttached'', As'taris's ineptness with a stone-to-flesh spell is apparently what causes Paul's transformation. It's actually the C'hovite gods empowering him. [[spoiler: Actually, it's Jeft.]]
* In the ''FanFic/TriptychContinuum'', striking a unicorn's horn while they are using their field produces ''backlash'', which comes in four stages. Stage Zero, which applies when the field is being used for simple everyday TK or light, simply disrupts the flow for a moment and may cause the unicorn to drop whatever they're manipulating. Stage One, which requires the field to be near a full primary corona, causes some of the disrupted magic to discharge back down the horn into the unicorn. The exact effects vary based on how strong the unicorn is, but can include bruises, soreness, a weakening of magic for a few hours, pulled muscles, and even unconsciousness in especially bad cases. Stage Two, which can only be induced if the unicorn is at a double corona, can easily snap bones and cause severe lacerations. In addition, at this stage some of the disrupted magic will discharge outwards in a semi-random form, heavily tending towards fire, kinetic force, and other raw energies. Stage Three requires the full triple corona, and is ''always'' lethal.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* Due to a slip of the tongue in ''WesternAnimation/FernGullyTheLastRainforest'', Crysta shrinks Zack down to fairy size, as opposed to giving him the gift of fairy sight, but at least he gets an [[GreenAesop important lesson about the environment]] out of it. Nearly gets him killed in the process, though.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Whenever Ergo the Magnificent from ''Film/{{Krull}}'' tries to cast BalefulPolymorph, he ends up hitting himself (explained as Hillfolk wizards "lacking the power to do real harm"). He eventually learns how to use this [[PantheraAwesome to his advantage]].
* Film/{{Willow}}'s attempts to remove a BalefulPolymorph from his teacher and BigGood Fin Raziel (placed by BigBad Bavmorda) just turn her into a different animal because he's a magical novice. Either he'd lose control of the wand from pain or he'd be distracted. It's only towards the end that he forces himself to keep chanting through the pain long enough to take her through a series of changes until she finally emerges as human.

* The Harpels of the ''TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms'' books are magical {{Mad Scientist}}s who researched utterly bizarre spells and frequently used said spells before they figured out the side effects.
%% * Schmendrick the Magician from ''Literature/TheLastUnicorn''.
* Fizban in ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}}'' is prone to this; all part of his [[spoiler: ObfuscatingStupidity, as he is actually [[BigGood Paladine]].]]
* In the ''Literature/InheritanceCycle'', Eragon tries to bless a newborn child, and his blessing includes a phrase that he thinks means 'May you be shielded from misfortune'. But, not being too good with the Ancient Language ([[LanguageofMagic Language of Magic]]), what he actually said was 'May you be a shield from misfortune', so the child is forced to absorb the pain of others and help them whether she wants to or not. He later finds her and tries to fix it, but she's kinda messed up by that stage…
* The wizard Ebenezum in ''[[Literature/TheExploitsOfEbenezum A Malady of Magicks]]'' and all the following books was seeking a cure for his allergy to magic. He could get very creative about avoiding spellcasting, which would make him sneeze fit to blow his head off.
* And of course, ''[[OlderThanTheyThink The Sorcerer's Apprentice]].''
* In ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' pretty much all magic works like this: With the amount of difficulty involved in getting magic to do what you want, as well as its side-effects and leakage, it's treated a lot like nuclear power; it's extremely powerful but is only used by a select few, because the average person would rather just use a bonfire and be done with it than risk using a bar of plutonium to cook a fish.
** When Magrat inherits a magic wand in Discworld/WitchesAbroad that can turn anything into anything else, she finds that the only thing she's capable of producing is pumpkins. She tries wishing as hard as she can, banging it on things, and even shouting "anything but pumpkins!", yet pumpkins is what she gets. At the end of the book, Granny discovers that you need to twist the rings into new positions to make other things. She tells Magrat that wishing for things to happen is useless unless you work out how to ''make'' them happen.
* ''Literature/HarryPotter'':
** Ron Weasley has neither the raw determination of Harry or the bookish scholarliness of Hermione, and so can seem to lag behind the other two in magical power or skill, but nothing was worse for him than when his wand was broken. Offensive spells tends to rebound on the caster -- i.e. him. This, however, turns out to be a good thing when Gilderoy Lockhart steals Ron's wand and tries to erase Harry and Ron's memories with it. (You can guess what happens.)
** This is also apparently a very serious risk when experimenting with creating new spells. Luna Lovegood's mother was killed in an explosion caused by a spell she was researching.
* This happens all the time to [[IneptMage Questor Thews]] in Creator/TerryBrooks' ''Literature/MagicKingdomOfLandover'' books.
* Happens constantly to Wodehed, the IneptMage of the Literature/WelkinWeasels. He's turned wineskins into frogs by putting potions in them, leaving the drinker unharmed, attempted to turn a shrew into a human and technically succeeded but the result was still only an inch tall, and caused a rain of apples when attempting to conjure a bottle of juice.
* In ''Literature/TheMagicians,'' casting advanced spells when upset will generally result in the caster transforming into a creature of pure magic, with lethal results (both for the caster and for anyone in the way). As a last resort in the battle against [[spoiler: Martin Chatwin]], [[spoiler: Alice]] does this deliberately.
* The villains of ''[[Literature/KittyNorville Kitty Takes a Holiday]]''- [[HalfwayPlotSwitch or at least the first part]]- try to lay a curse on Kitty's cabin as part of a ScoobyDooHoax to get rid of her. Not only does it not work due to their inexperience, but [[spoiler: it winds up attracting a skinwalker which then causes havoc.]] [[EvilIsNotAToy Curses are not toys, people.]]
* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'': Happens occasionally and usually as a result of another wizard interfering. Interestingly enough, magic ''is'' an exact science for wizards, but it's not a ''consistent'' one: being able to bend the rules of reality is only predictable after you've been doing it for several decades. Before that, a wizard is functionally learning the boundaries of his or her power and reality, possibly resulting in some... weird stuff.
* Due to being [[spoiler:an absenscantia]] Yil usually had his spells break down in some way, occasionally explosively, until he learns how to get around it.
* ''Literature/AMagesPower'': The spell "Magic Sight" is tricky when you are first learning it.
** Eric accidentally blinded himself when he first tried it.
** Basilard relates a story when he rendered himself ''color'' blind and remained that way for several days.
* These are basically Schmendrick the Magician's entire ''stock in trade'' in ''Literature/TheLastUnicorn'' (both book and movie version). It's sufficiently bad that his old master finally [[spoiler:cast a spell on him to make him immortal until such a time as he finally figured things out]], although [[AllThereInTheManual only the book explicitly mentions this]].

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': While time travelling to the past to learn a final lesson from the Three-Eye Crow, Bran and his group come under attack by white walkers. Meera's shouting to Bran to "Warg Hodor!" panics him and causes Bran to possess Wylis (who would grow up to be Hodor) in the past he was visiting as well as the present Hodor, connecting all three minds. Wylis can't handle this sudden influx of information and has a seizure, causing him the brain damage that turned him into the Hodor of the present.
* [[OncePerEpisode In every single episode]] of ''Series/WizardsOfWaverlyPlace'', Alexis would use magic to solve a mundane problem and lose control of it which created a bigger problem.
* ''Series/{{Charmed}}'': When Piper Halliwell's powers evolves from freezing things to full molecular manipulation, her misfires make things ''explode''.
* Aunt Clara on ''Series/{{Bewitched}}''. Samantha, too, when she catches a cold.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'':
** Willow, several times. Once, she accidentally lets loose her vampire doppelganger in Sunnydale. Another time, her argument with Anya lets loose Olaf the troll. And let's not forget the spell that was supposed to erase two people's recent painful memories and mind-wiped the whole group instead.
** The recurring witch-character Amy Madison has this in Season 2. Xander gets her to cast a love spell on Cordelia using Cordy's necklace as a focal point, but Amy's still a bit new to magic and she messes up the spell so that it affects Sunnydale's entire female population (including female vampires and Amy herself) ''apart'' from Cordelia.
** Tara Maclay (usually the poster-girl for ethical and responsible witchcraft) has her own solitary magic misfire in the Season 5 episode 'Family'. Believing (falsely) that she's [[HalfHumanHybrid part-demon]], she casts a spell to [[PerceptionFilter hide this]] from her friends, but it makes ''all'' demons invisible to them. Since they live in a town atop a Hellmouth, mortal danger ensues pretty quickly…
* Similarly, ''Series/{{Angel}}'' had Lorne's spell to restore Cordelia's memory, which backfired and turned everyone into their 17yr old selves.
* Haruto Soma, also known as ''Series/KamenRiderWizard'', is occasional victim to this. His spells take the form of magic rings, but the problem is that there's no way to tell what the individual rings do until he tries them. This trope comes into effect the first times he tries the Sleep ring (puts the wearer to sleep) or Smell ring (makes the wearer emit a horrendous odor). Fortunately, he's smart enough to avoid this happening twice with the same ring.
* In ''Series/{{Kaamelott}}'', IneptMage Merlin's attempts at magic commonly result in a misfire, if they work at all. Once, trying to cast a spell to make plants grow results in Arthur and Léodagan being afflicted by GlowingEyes for a while. Léodagan especially isn't happy about the pinkish glow of his eyes.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/MageTheAwakening'':
** Havoc Paradox causes this to happen to spells, at best causing them to hit an unintended target, at worst rearranging the spell's effect. Given that Paradox is '[[CosmicBeing the manifestation in this reality of a truly abhorrent flaw in the universe]] this is always, ''always'' a bad thing.
** And Havoc's just ''one'' form of Paradox. For instance, there's Branding, which warps your appearance to take on mythic (and monstrous) elements associated with your Vice. And at the top of the clusterfuck chain is Manifestation Paradox, where one of those things from the aforementioned flaw in the universe enters our world and starts rearranging the furniture.
* ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40000'' has this as a rule for psychic powers, called "Perils of the Warp". In older editions, if the psyker rolled a double 6 or double 1 on their Leadership test when trying to cast psychic powers, Perils was triggered; the psyker took a wound with no saves allowed, but on a double 1 (which is automatic success for Leadership-based rolls) the power still worked. In the 7th edition rules, with the introduction of the Psychic Phase, Perils has been completely retooled. Now, when making Warp Charge rolls with 2 or more dice, seeking rolls of 4+ to create Warp Charges to fuel psychic powers, Perils is triggered if you roll two or more 6s, although the psychic power is still successfully cast (provided the opposing player doesn't negate it). The pysker must then roll 1D6, with the result triggering an effect on a Perils of the Warp table which can be anywhere from the psyker being killed and possibly taking most of his comrades with him to gaining massive benefits, with an entire range of effects (almost all negative) in between. [[YourHeadASplode There are other side effects.]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'':
** It has an extremely similar rule, Miscast. Here a roll on a chart is used to determine the effect of the miscast, ranging from the spell just failing to the mage getting sucked into the Warp.
** Orc and goblin shamans draw the energy from other goblinoids and consequently aren't vulnerable to the Warp in that fashion. But if an orc loses control of their magic, the extra energy can make [[YourHeadAsplode their heads blow up]].
** In Storm of Magic games, miscasting on an arcane fulcrum is like a regular miscast on crack, with results that can include turning all wizards into frogs, creating a massive power surge, teleporting everyone on fulcrums between them at random, or the wizard ''and'' his fulcrum exploding in a spectacular display of pyrotechnics that can level almost anything near it.
* The roleplaying game variants of both the above go into gloriously horrific detail about just how ''badly'' one can botch a roll. Best case? Milk around you spoils, and unnatural winds kick up. Worst case? Chaos/The Warp eats you.
* ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}'' uses a similar system to ''Warhammer''. The effects range from "nothing," "illusory effect," "wrong target," "opposite of intended effect" all the way up to "summon malevolent demon". Alternate critical tables offer anything from [[CosmicPlaything funny]] to [[EldritchAbomination summoning things that are even worse]]. The chance of critically failing a cast is affected by the mage's skill with that spell. Some very powerful spells (eg, Great Wish) can only be learned up to level 15, which means there's ''always'' a good chance of backfire. And that's in addition to the enormous energy cost, of course
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'':
** The "Wild Mage" class, best known for appearing in ''VideoGame/BaldursGateII'', casts the same spells as a standard mage with a 95% chance of expected results... and a 5% chance of something else, ranging from dropping a cow on the target to summoning gemstones out of nowhere. For added fun, their unique level 1 spell "Nahal's Reckless Dweomer" can mimic almost any other spell but has a much higher chance of bizarre effects.
** In some editions, arcane spells also have a chance to simply fail outright if the caster is wearing armor. Deafness and some other conditions can also cause a chance of spell failure, as can being distracted during casting (by taking damage, for instance).
* For just about any RPG that uses magic, it's considered traditional to have a [[LongList long and varied list]] of the various misfires that can occur when a spellcaster rolls poorly. HilarityEnsues. In the notorious RPG ''TabletopGames/{{FATAL}}'' it is actually possibly to cause a magical misfire that ''destroys the entire world'' by accidentally casting the spell list's world-destroying spell. And [[CrapsackWorld nothing of value is lost]]. That's just one result out of ''thousands''; the misfire list goes on for a dozen pages and also includes [[MemeticMutation RANDY GAY OGRES!]]

* ''Theatre/{{Wicked}}''. [[RuleOfThree Monkeys that fly, steal a man's heart, make a cripple walk,]] oh my. Then there's [[spoiler: Fiyero...]] a (preemptive!) CameBackWrong.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Happens in the ''VideoGame/{{Wizardry}}'' series-all spellcasters barring those who use the alchemy spellbook have a skill called Oratory, representing the character's ability to correctly speak magical incantations. Until this skill is built up, spells have a chance of fizzling or backfiring on the party, and errant backfires have destroyed many a party. Alchemists and those who use their spellbook (rangers and ninjas) are fortunately exempt from this, but if they do change to another type of spellcaster, they have to then learn Oratory or their spells will fizzle and backfire.
** It's understandable that Alchemy (potion magic) needs no Oratory, but it is an oddity that Psionics (mind magic) need Oratory. Perhaps the stat translates to a Psionic's ability to mentally concentrate and construct the spell.
* In ''VideoGame/SagaFrontier'', the spell "Psychic Prison" forces one of these on the target--The next time they try to use magic, the effect "Backfire" occurs instead, damaging them.
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII'', low-level magic has a higher chance of not working, except for FireIceLightning and some other BlackMagic, and [[WhiteMagic Cure]], which simply do less damage / heal less. Some spells have nasty side effects at low levels; Teleport, for instance, will send you outside the dungeon when cast out of battle, but it drains the caster to between 1% and 0.3% of their max HitPoints.
* In ''VideoGame/ZAngband'', Chaos mages can cause chaotic side effects when they fail a spell. Usually they're not too bad, but they can be pretty awful. Or awesome.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'': The backstory behind Rikku's fear of lightning is that her brother once tried to use a [[ShockAndAwe lightning]] spell to protect her from a monster.....and hit her instead. Ouch.
* ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind'': At lower skill levels, it is possible to fail when casting spells. The result is the magical "whoosh" of the spell being cast, but no effect taking place. A pop-up message will then appear alerting you that you've failed to cast the spell.
* In ''VideoGame/DungeonCrawl'' every spell has a chance to misfire, with the consequences growing progressively more catastrophic with the strength of the spell and the extent to which you failed. Botch a routine ice dart and you might get some frost on you, flub a complex translocation spell you aren't qualified to use and you might find that you [[HyperSpaceIsAScaryPlace aren't in Kansas anymore]]. If that wasn't bad enough these failures cause magical "glow" that builds up in your system. Glow causes ill effects such as mutations and inevitably culminates in a [[YourHeadAsplode violent terminus]] for those too desperate or stupid to stop casting.
* In ''VideoGame/UltimaUnderworld 2'', your character can damage themselves with their own spells if their casting skill isn't high enough.
* The weakest Imps in the ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'' series, and especially ''[[VideoGame/DragonQuestHeroesRocketSlime Rocket Slime]]'', fight almost ''exclusively'' with these. They're really terrible at magic.
** In ''Rocket Slime'', standing still while an Imp tries to attack you will cause his magic to explode in his face. Running will cause him to chase you, trip, and ''explode,'' damaging everything in the area around it, meaning you, other enemies, and itself. This is all they can do.
* In the ''VideoGame/MonsterHunter Tri'' games, the Qurupeco species are capable of imitating monster calls and singing various buff-inducing songs, ranging from basic healing to increasing attack or defense to inducing rage mode. All of these can be disrupted with a bomb (Sonic Bombs are really good at this) and leave 'Peco open to free shots (or by wounding most parts, but that works for any monster), but wounding the throat sac during these songs will cause it to buff ''your party'' instead (if it attempts the rage song in such an occurrence, you get infinite stamina).\\
Additionally, sometimes those monster calls are successfully executed, they still demonstrate a combination of this trope and [[TooDumbToLive exceedingly poor judgment]]. Among the monsters it can summon are Felynes, more of a nuisance than a threat... and [[HorrorHunger Deviljho]], which ends about as well as you'd expect a prey animal summoning an apex predator to.
* Merasmus of ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' is actually a reasonably competent mage--he can cast powerful and damaging spells with ease, or [[VideoGame/PropHunt disguise himself as a piece of scenery]] while healing--but he's also a ''bumbling'' mage, and his "Wheel Of Fate" is, in theory, just another a way to kill the mercenaries in an amusing fashion. As per Sod's Law, the Wheel of Fate will tend to fail in the worst ways at the worst times. Sometimes the result is detrimental to the mercenaries, sometimes it's actually beneficial, but Merasmus can be relied on to screw up his spellcasting in comical ways. He'll be positively sheepish when he accidentally makes everyone NighInvulnerable, and genuinely horrified and apologetic when he makes it rain [[UrineTrouble Jarate]].
* VideoGame/StarWarsTheOldRepublic: Nadia Grell, the Consular's padawan, is the first and only known Force Sensitive of her species. This meant there was no one around to ''teach'' her how to use it. Mix this with a strong affinity for telekinesis and things ''explode'' if Nadia gets too happy, too sad, too angry. Her emotions fueling her powers meaning she'd probably make a strong Sith, but she's ''entirely'' too sweet to thrive under that philosophy.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Black Mage from ''Webcomic/EightBitTheater'' once [[http://www.nuklearpower.com/2004/06/17/episode-430-very-long-range/ missed a volcano]].
* In ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' pretty much every spell cast using the [[TomeOfEldritchLore Book of E-Ville]] invokes this trope.
* ''Webcomic/DanAndMabsFurryAdventures'': Dan has refused to learn or use magic ever since he [[http://www.missmab.com/Comics/Vol_551.php accidentally hit himself in the face with a rock]] as a child.
* Ratheel of ''Webcomic/{{Juathuur}}'' [[http://www.oneway.juathuur.com/?id=118 learns the power of words]].
* {{Implied}} in ''Webcomic/DraconiaChronicles''; dragons can only use {{Magick}} at point-blank in the rain, unless they have an AmplifierArtifact.
* In ''Webcomic/TheDementiaOfMagic'', miscast spells often produce "nasal flies": disembodied noses with wings.
* Invoked in ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' when a character with absolutely no magical training [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots1020.html activates]] a harmless scroll so ineptly it explodes, [[spoiler:quite deliberately, because he needed a weapon]]. Incidentally, the scroll is written in a CypherLanguage that decodes into a reminder of [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0970.html the comic that foreshadowed this possibility]], since the ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' 3.5 magic misfire rules are ambiguous on the details.
* Causing YourHeadASplode in [[http://www.loadingartist.com/comic/magic-trick/ this]] strip from ''Webcomic/LoadingArtist''.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In the ''Literature/WhateleyUniverse'', the mage Fey is powerful enough that she routinely generates hobgoblins by accident. Her teammates have learned to look out if they hear her say "Oops". The first time she had PMS, there were real thunderstorms in the dorm hallways. And monsoons.
* This tends to happen whenever Perf of ''WebVideo/JourneyQuest'' tries to cast a spell straight from the book rather than from memory. Later explained by the fact he's suffering from dyslexia.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Ben 10}}'': Gwen was a frequent victim of this, before she gets her Anodite powers in ''[[WesternAnimation/Ben10AlienForce Alien Force]]''.
* ''WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck'': This is a chronic problem for Morgana Macawber.
* [[MagicalGirl Anna Maht's]] spells in ''WesternAnimation/WorldOfQuest''.
* Happens in ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures'' when Jade, who shouldn't be playing with magic in the first place, casts a spell and something besides the desired result occurs. This is done typically by casting the spell incorrectly or misunderstanding the spell altogether.
* ''WesternAnimation/DungeonsAndDragons'': This happens to Presto. What usually turned out to be useful in some manner he hadn't expected, such as a garbage can lid shield giving courage to a coward.
* Orko from ''WesternAnimation/HeManAndTheMastersOfTheUniverse1983'' is [[IneptMage very prone to this trope.]] His whole gimmick is that he was actually a great magician from another world who lost his ability to cast spells properly due to losing a certain magical artifact (which was either a medal or a wand depending on which version you watched). Because of that he always ends up shooting flowers out of thin air whenever he tries to summon a tornado or something. Like Presto above, his shtick got old pretty fast as well.
* Happens repeatedly through ''WesternAnimation/PrincessGwenevereAndTheJewelRiders''. Often to the evil Lady Kale, unable to fully control her Dark Stone (once she even ruined her own castle while trying to blast the Jewel Riders and then made her dragon fall on top of her) as well as the Crown Jewels she captures, ending [[CriticalFailure especially badly]] (for her) when she manages to steal them all. In "The Faery Princess", all of the magic in the Faeryland was working in a different way.
* Happens a fair bit in ''WesternAnimation/{{Trollz}}'', as spells can vary depending on how you word them.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'':
** Happens in the episode "Too Many Pinkie Pies", where Twilight is trying to turn an apple into an orange. Pinkie Pie slams into her twice whilst she's attempting it, leading to both a jaybird and a frog being turned into orange hybrids. [[spoiler:The frog-orange becomes important near the end of the episode.]]
** Her attempt to tamper with the parasprites in "Swarm of the Century" makes the situation worse, the Want It, Need It spell in "Lesson Zero" causes a mess so big Celestia has to step in and ending up having to drive home the aesop of the day, and another attempt to adjust the natural behavior of animals start up the main plot in "Bats!"
* Ziggy the genie from ''WesternAnimation/TrustMeImAGenie'' often has his wishes backfire due to sand in his can.
* WesternAnimation/BugsBunny has some fun at the expense of magician Ala Bahma's dignity in "Case Of The Missing Hare." While Ala Bahma can do no more than pull a carrot out of his hat, Bugs does him one better -- pulling ''himself'' out.
* On ''WesternAnimation/PunkyBrewster'', the magic powers of Punky's furry little friend Glomer can go haywire sometimes. In "Fish Story" he wants to help Punky win the role of a mermaid in a school play, so as opposed to creating a more quality-like outfit, he turns Punky into an actual mermaid.
* ''WesternAnimation/RobotChicken'' has a sketch parodying Harry Potter where potions and spells have a small and disturbingly lethal margin for error. A flower conjuring charm can turn your hand into a face-eating chimpanzee head if you mispronounce a syllable and a potion that changes eye color can shoot your teeth out of your mouth before blowing your head up if you add ''one'' extra drop of an ingredient.
* Star Butterfly of ''WesternAnimation/StarVsTheForcesOfEvil'' practices magic with far more enthusiasm than finesse. While her combat spells can do a lot of damage, her ''non''-combat spells often do a lot of damage as well, such as when she tried to remodel Marco's room and instead sucked it into a black hole.
* Happens often to Zummi (the bear wizard) in ''WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfTheGummiBears''. The BigBad Igthorn even comments once "I'm yet to see Gummi magic works properly".