TheChosenOne receives the CallToAdventure: picking up the AppliedPhlebotinum dropped off on their doorstep, stepping through the portal to a MagicalLand, impressing the [[MentorArchetype Mentor]] seeking to pass on the mantle. It takes some [[RefusalOfTheCall longer]] than [[JumpedAtTheCall others]], but either way they do the job. They fight the EvilMinions, [[GottaCatchThemAll collect]] the [[MacGuffin magical charms of power]], and master the ins and outs of the GreenLanternRing.

Then, as soon as they've adjusted to the heroic lifestyle, [[BecauseDestinySaysSo Destiny]] calls back. "Remember when you answered The Call? Turns out I had the wrong number; I was actually trying to find that ''other'' orphan with a [[OrphansPlotTrinket plot trinket]]."

What? TheHero was actually just an InnocentBystander [[RightManInTheWrongPlace in the "wrong" place at the "wrong" time]]? The ''real'' chosen one Missed The Call? Those who JumpedAtTheCall suddenly feel jealous and cheated, robbed of their right to [[InHarmsWay enjoy the adventure]]. Those who [[IJustWantToBeNormal just want to be normal]] feel even more cheated -- What do you mean I never actually ''had'' to give up [[HomeSweetHome my normal, happy life]] for this?! And those who personally learned that TheCallKnowsWhereYouLive… [[BigNo What the hell, Destiny!?]] Gimme back my DoomedHometown!

Either way, their feelings are irrelevant. Destiny may not have planned it this way originally, but it did ultimately choose ''them'', and the Hero who started this adventure will be the Hero to see it through. They'll either be all the more [[{{Wangst}} angsty]] about it, or [[TheUnchosenOne they'll triple their efforts to prove themselves worthy of The Call]].

Caution: there ''will'' be a problem if the "real" chosen one discovers they Missed The Call.

Compare IJustWantToBeSpecial, TheChosenWannabe.

See RefusedByTheCall for when you answer the call but end up being rejected.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/BokuNoHeroAcademia'': [[spoiler:Midoriya wasn't supposed to receive the One For All from All Might. Originally, when All Might started looking for a pupil, Nedzu suggested the third year Mirio Togata, who had an {{Intangibility}} quirk and is considered the closest to succeed All Might as number 1 hero, even among pros. However, before Mirio was even approached by All Might to talk about the subject, he met Midoriya and decided to give his quirk to him.]]
* [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] in ''FistOfTheNorthStar'': Toki was originally chosen to be the successor of Hokuto Shinken over Kenshiro, but his exposure to radiation sapped his physical might and he was obligated to cede the successorship to Kenshiro. However, Toki does not begrudge Kenshiro for this, and in fact his biggest regret of not being successor is that he could not spare Kenshiro of the immense burden that successorship carries.
* Otogi/Duke in ''Anime/YuGiOh'': He came close to inheriting the Millennium Puzzle in [[Manga/YuGiOh the manga]], when his father lost a game for it against Yugi's grandfather, leading them to believe it should have been Otogi's.
* ''Anime/YuGiOhGX'' Season 2: the villain ultimately can't decide whether Judai (TheHero) or Edo (the AntiHero) is TheChosenOne. Although a prediction years ago said that Edo would be the one to stop him, Judai has the unique power to ScrewDestiny. To that end, he puts them through a few tests, with Edo (obviously GenreBlind to OnlyICanKillHim) determined to prove he's TheChosenOne.
* In ''Anime/JubeiChan'', UsefulNotes/YagyuJubei passed on his power in the form of a [[EyepatchOfPower "Lovely Eyepatch"]], eventually going to a girl hundreds of years in the future because he believed his heir had died in Russia. Actually, she didn't. She was just [[HumanPopsicle frozen in an iceberg]]. By an amazing coincidence, she thaws in the same time period Jiyu receives the Eyepatch and is furious she didn't get it.
* In ''Anime/CorrectorYui'', [[spoiler:Yui wasn't supposed to be TheHeroine. Her best friend Haruna was. Yui, who originally JumpedAtTheCall, is devastated when she hears the news and sees how much of a natural Haruna is at the job that Yui actually had to work at. Just when Yui concedes her position, she's needed again because Haruna's [[BrainwashedAndCrazy fallen under the control]] of the BigBad.]]
* Ken from ''Anime/DigimonAdventure02'' was about to receive his Digivice when his older brother Osamu insisted that it was really for him. The resulting jealousy and anger, [[MoreThanMindControl played on by outside forces]], left Osamu dead and Ken evil.
** Well, Ken ''sort of'' missed the call. He did answer it for Wonderswan game ''Tag Tamers'' (which, naturally, [[NoExportForYou wasn't released outside of Japan]]) to team up with [[CanonImmigrant Ryo]], and they defeated Millenniummon, who was responsible for the dark spore in his neck. When Ken got back, Osamu got pissed off at him for touching the Digivice, and you know the rest. In a sense, he picked up the call, then dropped it.
** Hikari also missed the call at the start of ''Anime/DigimonAdventure'' due to being sick. Coincidentally, her partner was in the hands of a BigBad by then, having been lost as an egg and taken in by Myotismon... which raises the question of what would've happened had Hikari not missed the call and gone to the Digital World anyway.
** Four random kids in ''Anime/DigimonFrontier'', Katsuharu, Teppei, Chiaki and Teruo, ironically, miss the call to ''go home'' from the Digital World and end up just wandering around doing all of nothing while the real adventure is taking place on the other side of the planet.
** Also in ''Anime/DigimonFrontier'', Kouichi missed the call... because he fell down the stairs and [[DeadToBeginWith died]]. However, he made it into the Digital World anyway, initially corrupted, but became good later on.
** In ''Anime/DigimonTamers'', Ai and Mako got Impmon and became Tamers a lot earlier than anyone else, but because they were three or four at the time they were too immature for their partner to handle. He left them, and they subsequently missed out on adventuring to the Digital World and fighting the BigBad up until the last minute possible.
* Depending on how you define "the call," almost everyone in ''Anime/PrincessTutu'' misses it in some way, but the title character in particular [[spoiler:voluntarily gives up her fated role as Mytho's true love, [[IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy allowing Rue to marry him instead]]]].
* In the BW arc of ''Manga/PokemonSpecial'', the call wasn't missed; it ''broke''. Bianca and Cheren were chosen to be Dex Holders (which is a pretty big deal in this series), but unfortunately their Pokedexes were dropped into a puddle and short-circuited. Meanwhile, Black (who was also chosen) kind of ran off with the last Dex without seeing what happened to the other two. At least Bianca and Cheren still got their starters...
** Now, it's beginning to look like Bianca and Cheren were never meant for the (main) call in the first place. [[spoiler:Bianca gave her Pokedex to White, while Cheren's was eventually completely destroyed by N's Pokemon.]]
* In ''Anime/BrigadoonMarinAndMelan'', while Marin has an important role to play [[spoiler: it turns out she isn't the "Creis". She helps save the world anyway.]]
* In ''Anime/FreshPrettyCure'', [[spoiler:after Eas [[RedemptionEqualsDeath is killed for turning against Labyrinth]], the Red Pickrun confronts her and reveals that she'd always meant to be the fourth Pretty Cure, but couldn't get near her because of her evil influence. With her HeelFaceTurn and death, it's able to fix this problem, resurrecting her and allowing her to become the fourth Pretty Cure, Cure Passion.]]
* A minor one from ''Anime/CodeGeass'': right at the beginning of season 1, when the Britannian forces are purging the Shinjuku ghetto, we see everyone's favorite [[EnsembleDarkhorse Ensemble Darkhorse]] Jeremiah Gottwald verbally ignore an order to return to the staging area, where a certain [[SuperPrototype Super Prototype]] knightmare frame, the one and only Lancelot, was waiting for a pilot. Later, with the original choice of pilot a no-show, Suzaku Kururugi gets to [[JumpedAtTheCall answer the call]] instead. Given how everything worked out for the two of them, one has to wonder [[WhatCouldHaveBeen what could've been]].
* In ''Manga/TalesOfWeddingRings'', Prince Marse was chosen to be the Ring King, but Hime instead chose Sato. On the plus side, Marse didn't want to be the Ring King and is happy that someone who genuinely loves and knows Hime has taken the role instead. On the negative side, it is later revealed that he made a promise to marry one of the Water Kingdom's princesses so giving up the title has caused him problems romantically and socially with his family, but he is still genuinely supportive and appreciative of Hime and Sato being wedded.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Kyle Rayner was explicitly chosen at random to be the [[LastOfHisKind last Green Lantern]], but adapted very well and eventually rebuilt the GL Corps. However, the shadow of Hal Jordan always hung over him, as well as his randomly being empowered. With the later return from the dead of Hal Jordan, Kyle felt that he was now replaced by the "true" Green Lantern of Earth. Admittedly, Hal took over for him in the GL comic, but Kyle got a massive power up and his own limited series.
** In a more direct example of the trope, it is revealed at one point that the ring Hal Jordan received could have gone to either him or Guy Gardner. Hal was chosen because he was physically closer. Guy would later receive his own call.
*** It was later revealed that the ring chose Clark Kent first, but the Guardians of Oa ordered it to ignore him. They [[FantasticRacism really, really hate Kryptonians]], and now, generally act like {{Jerkass}}es to {{Superman}}.
** Ironically, Kyle Rayner is widely considered the greatest Green Lantern BECAUSE he was chosen at random. Hal and Stewart were both military men (with Gardner a former cop in the new 52 and raised in a rough home prior to), so both were naturally capable of not being afraid, (thus making them unprepared when they are overcome by it). Contrast to Kyle, who as an artist, is subject to he worry and fear of his work coming under scrutiny and criticism. As such, he accepts his fear and understands terror and started the trend of having Green Lanterns overcome their fear rather than simply not being afraid.
* In the Top Cow Productions comic book series ''Freshmen'', Norrin, the only member of the team who ''wanted'' to be a superhero was out for pizza when the AppliedPhlebotinum exploded and gave everyone else superpowers. He takes it fairly well and becomes the team leader and resident BadassNormal.
* Comicbook/XMen has a villain version: It was revealed that Charles Xavier, not Cain Marko, was actually intended to get the Ruby of Cyttorak and become the Juggernaut, but as luck would have it, Cain was really, really ''good'' at being Juggie in the end, so the demon Cyttorak didn't make a fuss... until Jug's HeelFaceTurn.
* The premise of the comic book ''ComicBook/MajorBummer'': the ImportedAlienPhlebotinum that gave uber-slacker Lou Martin his powers was intended for uber-samaritan Martin Louis, but the alien who left it on Lou's doorstep didn't realize that the phone book prints last names first. Since the phlebotinum can't be removed without a fatal surgical procedure, Lou's stuck with his powers, but for the entire length of the series, he tries his hardest to maintain his slacker lifestyle. Unfortunately, the [[WeirdnessMagnet plot keeps finding him]].
* Lampshaded in ''ComicBook/UltimateSpiderMan'' when the genetically modified spider flew off Peter Parker's hand after biting him and lands on MJ's chest, before being knocked to the ground and stomped on. When MJ finds out that Peter is Spider-Man, she exclaims that "I could'a been Spider-Man too".
* In the future setting of ''{{ComicBook/Fray}}'', the demons that plague the Franchise/{{Buffyverse}} were largely evicted years ago, leading to the weakening of the slayer lineage. Cue the return of the vampires, and the calling of Mekala Fray who has the strength, agility and speed of a Slayer but none of the dreams and memories of those who came before her. [[spoiler: Turns out it had all gone to her twin brother, Harth, who was turned and became the BigBad.]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''Fanfic/GameTheoryFanFic'' [[spoiler:Nanoha's mother Momoko has significant magical talent, but because she grew up on Earth, where there's no knowledge of magic, she never got a chance to use it. Although that's changed recently.]]
* In ''Fanfic/PokemonResetBloodlines'', at the beginning of the story, [[PhysicalGod Arceus]] decides not to tell Ash that he chose him to save the world because he couldn't save Cynthia and Lance before the reality collapsed in itself.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* This trope functions as the center point of ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek 2}}'', as Prince Charming shows up to woo Princess Fiona as part of his role as the hero, but instead finds out that Shrek had saved her during the events of the first film. This causes the catastrophe of events that follow in the sequel.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Nearly happens to Brian in ''Film/MontyPythonsLifeOfBrian'', when the wise men come to the wrong stable. Luckily, they realize the Messiah they were looking for is just down the road. Though they have to get their gifts back.
* Subverted in Film/TheMatrix. Neo asks the Oracle if he is the one, and she replies "Sorry, kid, [[spoiler:maybe [[{{Foreshadowing}} in your next life]]." After Morpheus gets nabbed by the Agents, Neo says ScrewDestiny and goes to confront the agents and free Morpheus even knowing he's not [[TheChosenOne The One]]. The reveal is that he just needed to decide he was The One to become The One.]]
* In the 2010 ''Film/AliceInWonderland2010'' movie has Absalom declare Alice to be "not hardly" the Alice they're looking for. [[spoiler: Later, Absalom tells Alice that ''at the time'', she was "not hardly" Alice; by the time they meet again, she's "almost" become Alice.]]
** [[spoiler: One interpretation of his statements, that all the other characters miss, is that she is not the Alice shown on the scroll because it is not yet the Frabjous Day.]]
* ''Film/CatsAndDogs'': The BigBad manages to abduct Buddy, the dog agent posing as the Brody family's pet (he's fine). The dogs need a new agent in place immediately, and when Mrs. Brody goes to a farm to find a new puppy, Dog Intelligence has replaced the existing litter with handpicked new recruits. However, Lou's quest for adventure kept him away from the switchout, and he ends up being picked over the recruits.
* ''Film/TheFourthWiseMan'': In a strange confluence of this and refused/was refused by the call, Artaban's own decency prevents him from traveling with the other Magi to Bethlehem, when he delays his journey to tend to a grievously sick man. He spends thirty years trying to catch up and present his gift of gems, but time and again stops to help the needy and giving them away one by one. At the last, he ''nearly'' saves Jesus from crucifixion, but chooses instead to spend the gem saving a young woman from slavery. He dies, and is embraced by his Lord who tells him that in tending to the sick and poor, he was doing exactly as he should have all along.

* Literature/SirAproposOfNothing, of the series of the same name, collects a lot of missed calls. He's not at all happy about it.
* [[spoiler:Neville Longbottom]] in ''Literature/HarryPotter'': Both Harry and [[spoiler:Neville]] fit the conditions of the prophecy of the one who would defeat Voldemort, but Voldemort unknowingly made Harry TheChosenOne by "marking him as his equal." Harry suspects the other could still be the one to defeat Voldemort, but he is shot down by Dumbledore saying that while [[spoiler:Neville]] may once have been a candidate, he is no longer, as Voldemort chose Harry. That's what happens when you [[PropheticFallacy go by half a prophecy]].
* In ''Literature/TheWestingGame'', Sydelle Pulaski is noted as being the only heir with no connection to Sam Westing. This is discovered to have been because [[spoiler:she was never supposed to have been an heir in the first place. The invitation to the game she got was actually supposed to have gone to a ''Sybil'' Pulaski who was friends with Westing's wife.]]
* In the ''Literature/DragonridersOfPern'' novel ''The Skies of Pern'', it's said in T'lion's backstory that he was never meant to Impress his bronze, Gadareth -- his brother was the actual candidate -- and though his brother, K'din, Impressed a brown, to K'din, his little brother -- who was barely old enough to be a candidate -- Impressing a dragon of a higher rank was completely unforgivable.
* In the book ''Literature/GoodOmens'', an order of Satanic nuns accidentally misplace TheAntichrist, switching him at birth one too many times. For eleven years, a perfectly normal child gets groomed to be [[OverlyLongName the Adversary, Destroyer of Kings, Angel of the Bottomless Pit,]] [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Great Beast that is called Dragon, Prince of This World, Father of Lies, Spawn of Satan, and Lord of Darkness]]. Most importantly, though [[spoiler:the real Antichrist ends up getting groomed to be... a perfectly ordinary little boy. Phew!]]
* ''Literature/WarriorCats''
** During the story arc of the three, [[spoiler: Jayfeather believes that Hollyleaf is the third cat because he and Lionblaze are two of the chosen cats and she's their sister. As it turns out, Hollyleaf was completely normal and the real third wasn't even born yet.]]
** Also, in the second arc, [[spoiler: the Tribe thinks Stormfur is the chosen "cat with a silver pelt" who was going to save them from Sharptooth because the real silver-pelted chosen one was covered in mud at the time, hiding her fur color.]]
* In Creator/HollyLisle's ''Minerva Wakes'', Minerva and her husband were sold wedding rings that were supposed to wake their innate magical abilities and turn them into magical guardians who stand against the [[BigBad Unweaver]]. When this is finally explained to her, Minerva is startled but ready to step up and meet her destiny; she's less than thrilled when it is further explained that the people who were ''supposed'' to get the rings showed up half an hour later.
* In Charles Phipps's ''Literature/TheRulesOfSupervillainy'', Merciless receives the cloak of the Nightwalker in the mail and goes on a crime spree. He later learns that the cloak was intended for [[spoiler:his wife]].

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* A variation happens in ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', seventh season. [[spoiler:Dawn and everyone else believes she's been chosen as one of the Potential Slayers, due to Willow's location spell seeming to aim right for her. Unfortunately, she later finds out it was in fact aimed at the girl ''behind her'', behind the door, in fact, just outside the house. The spell also frightens the girl, causing her to run away, further delaying the reveal. She takes it remarkably well, considering her history. Almost... heroically well.]]
* On ''Series/TheMiddleman'', Wendy happens to run into Tyler, who it turns out was another candidate considered to become the Middleman's sidekick. As luck would have it, he missed the call: his roommate forgot to give him a phone message, and by the time he got it Wendy had the job.
* In ''Series/{{Kaamelott}}'', King Arthur seems to be TheChosenOne: he is the only one who can pull Excalibur out of the stone, and [[FlamingSword Excalibur]] only glows when Arthur wields it. But it is later revealed that Excalibur glows even brighter when Percival wields it, and [[spoiler:Lancelot]] was the first choice of the Gods. When Arthur puts back Excalibur into the stone so that everybody can try to become the new king, they both don't try. Perceval refuses to try it because he is loyal to Arthur, and Lancelot is hiding in a remote location.

* OlderThanPrint: In [[KingArthur Arthurian]] legend, Galahad missed the call and it went to his father Lancelot instead.
* Very nearly happened all the way back in ''Literature/TheBible'': Samuel knows he must anoint one of the sons of Jesse as the next king. The first son he sees looks every inch a king to him. His name? Eliab. Samuel goes to give him the king makeover, only to be told by God that it isn't Eliab he's after... it's David.
** There was actually quite a number of sons and all but one of them were gathered in the house because they were apparently that impressive. The runt of the litter (David) was outdoors tending sheep.
** You could argue it was played Straight with Saul, except it's repeatedly made clear God rejected him for what the did after being Chosen, and he's still considered the LORD's anointed.
** Then there was that whole Jacob-Esau mess. Esau eventually mellows.

* During the Metru Nui storyline of ''Toys/{{Bionicle}}'', the Toa Metru learned that they only became Toa because the BigBad Makuta interfered with the Call, directing it away from the intended recipients. Ultimately subverted, as it was a KansasCityShuffle by the HeroSecretService: Makuta was going to make dang sure ''someone'' Missed The Call, so fake targets were set up to be passed over in favor of the ''real'' heroes.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''KingdomHearts'' Riku was originally going to be the one to receive the Keyblade but succumbed to TheDarkSide right beforehand, [[RefusedByTheCall which weakened his heart]], so it got passed to Sora instead.
** This is first seen when Sora finally catches up to Riku and shows him the Keyblade. Riku is able to take it from Sora effortlessly, and Sora can't call it back (though it's a humorous moment that doesn't seem important at the time). Riku is a good sport, so he gives it back. [[spoiler: Later at the Hollow Bastion Riku takes it from Sora by force to aid Maleficent. Sora has to fight through the Bastion without the Keyblade and without Donald and Goofy until he duels with Riku.]]
*** In ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep'' we discover that this is all because Riku was [[TakeUpMySword formally promised Terra's keyblade]] when he was very young.
** Following the second game, there was no longer THE Keyblade, but rather, MANY Keyblades. By the time ''Dream Drop Distance'' happened, we had seen a grand total of 14 Keyblade wielders. Sora, Riku, Roxas, Xion, Yen Sid, Mickey, Terra, Aqua, Ventus, Eraqus, Master Xehanort, Vanitas, [[spoiler:Kairi, and Lea (Axel's Other)]], and that the Call is not as easily missed as Riku's actions would have you think. When ''Kingdom Hearts X'' came out to show the prelude to the Keyblade War, we found out that the number of Keyblade Masters (and thus, Keyblades) was nigh-uncountable due to the fact that Keyblades were once gifted to talented wielders en masse.
* In the first ''[[VideoGame/DotHackR1Games .hack]]'' game, the Twilight Bracelet was supposed to go to Kite's friend Orca. In fact, it did, but a minion of the BigBad took Orca out before he knew how to use it.
* There's an element of this (and possible subversion) in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'''s prequel ''VideoGame/CrisisCore'': both Zack and Cloud want to be heroes, but Cloud fails to get into SOLDIER, while Zack is clearly [[TheAce 100% cut from Hero cloth]] and just the kind of guy who's gonna save the world and get the girl... until he's [[ForegoneConclusion killed by a literal army of Mooks at the end of the game]], clearing the way for Cloud to step up to the plate.
* ''VideoGame/GuardiansCrusade'' actually does this twice. First with the adventuring party of Kalkanor, who clad in white armor usually tends to defeat or at least weaken all major bosses before you arrive and generally act as the hero of the tale, until he is betrayed. Second is Darkbeat, whom most everyone in the game assumes is the real hero after all, and sends you off to gather the Holy Equipment in his place. He didn't know that gathering the equipment was the test after all.
* Dan from ''StreetFighter'' got a most literal taste of this. During the events of the Alpha StoryArc, Dan befriended Blanka, who was in the Street Fighter II games, while Dan was not. With his emergence in Street Fighter IV, Dan's absence from the II games was explained as such: Blanka did try to call him, but Dan had his phone cut after he hadn't pay his phone bill.
* In ''VideoGame/MagiNation'', Tony Jones is originally hailed as the hero and the only one who can stop the Shadow Geysers, until it turns out that maybe it was his presence that caused them to appear in the first place. Oops.
* The main character to ''VideoGame/TheLongestJourney'' series April Ryan practically defines this trope. She spends the game begrudgingly sacrificing everything by fulfilling one prophecy after another to prove that she's next in line to be the Guardian who will watch over the universe for the next 1,000 years. She's even told so by several people who know what they're talking about. But it's revealed that she's not actually the Guardian at all. [[spoiler: The true Guardian was the villain April just fixed. April ends the game having given up everything because destiny told her to and having no purpose to her life after all]]. Talk about a downer.
* Roger Wilco from ''VideoGame/SpaceQuest'' seems to qualify, according to the ''Companion''. Captain Quirk was intending accomplish every single heroic task that Roger achieved himself since Space Quest 1, and now hates him for it. Near the end of Space Quest 5, he still fails and turns into the game's BigBad.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* Subverted in ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight''. Shirou ends up with the gamebreaking Saber, the best Servant in the Holy Grail War (except she's not as strong as she should be) out of a sheer fluke when Tohsaka had previously been setting up a ritual in a very careful manner in order to get said hero class. Instead, she got Archer because her timing was an hour off. But then it turns out Tohsaka [[spoiler:was going to get Archer no matter what due to the pendant he has]] and Shirou [[spoiler:could never hope to summon another Servant other than that very Saber due to having her sword's sheath inside his body.]]
** And according to some theories, Tohsaka was trying to summon the most powerful Servant in her current cycle. [[spoiler: Archer is ''probably'' the strongest Servant, despite several of the other ones being outright [[GameBreaker breaking the game]].]]

* The Real Light Warriors from ''[[WebComic/EightBitTheater 8-Bit Theater]]'': as they were LevelGrinding, the [[DysfunctionJunction dysfunctional protagonists]] [[ got the]] DesignatedHero job. And later they become [[RunningGag recurring]] [[YuppieCouple comedy victims]], for missing the call repeatedly due to the Light Warriors getting first.
** Though near the end of the series it is revealed that they went on a different adventure of unspecified details. We're told that it involved other dimensions, but beyond that, it's never made clear.
* ''Webcomic/CaptainSNES'' suggests that Ryan was originally supposed to be the Game Master, but Alex ([[ "Second best Captain SNES"]]) ended up filling the role instead. The reasons why are not entirely clear, but it's fairly clear that the certified perfectly ordinary cat was somehow involved.
* In ''Webcomic/GuildedAge'', Payet Best fulfills almost all the requirements of a prophecy made by a mad woman in the town and is declared the "Epic Hero". The real Epic Hero (who fulfills the one requirement Payet missed) shows up after a few days, but the mad woman has a heart attack right after due to the strain of shouting "THE PROPHECY!" over and over.
* In The Drunk Duck webcomic ''The Wrong Hero'', a top hat wearing cat ends up 'waking' the wrong man. It's too late for the right guy as his house explodes, so Simon (the titular Wrong Hero) is stuck with it, whatever ''it'' is...
* This is the premise of the ''Webcomic/{{Footloose}}'' sub-comic [[ Cherry: Origins of a Magical Boy]]. Steve Lewis is standing ( [[WholesomeCrossdresser in drag]] ) on the sidewalk, when the opportunity to be a magical girl drops from the sky, just barely missing the girl it was probably intended for. Steve decides to take on the role. He's straight, by the way.
* Harrison the Shark of ''Webcomic/{{Nedroid}}'' constantly pines away to be swept up in some big heroic adventure like Beartato and Reginald often are. He's offered several chances practically on a silver platter, but turns his nose up at all of them until recently. Then he comes across Beartato[[note]]Well, actually just a Beartato {{doppelganger}}[[/note]] and Reginald, who ''fell'' into the same thing he was chosen to do.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Spacetrawler}}'', the alien Nogg uses a powerful computer to find the six humans most likely to help him on his mission. One of them, Bill Landing, is located in Australia. Nogg swoops down to Bill's address, stuns the guy who matches the picture, then leaves with his newest "volunteer". After getting too far to turn back, Nogg realizes he grabbed Bill's brother, Dustin, by mistake. Dustin, of course, wants nothing to do with the mission, and is little more than a thorn in his shipmates' sides for the rest of the adventure.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Nara of ''WebVideo/JourneyQuest'' seems to feel like this about the Sword of Fighting going to Perf instead of her.
* In ''WebVideo/ImAMarvelAndImADC'', Lex Luthor attempts to bring a hero to a [[spoiler:post-apocalyptic future in order to prevent it from happening]]. He was aiming for {{Superman}}, but instead, he got [[spoiler: {{Deadpool}} and the Green Goblin]].
* As revealed in ''WebVideo/ToBoldlyFlee'', WebVideo/JesuOtaku missed his chance to be one of the WebVideo/SuburbanKnights because he doesn't check his mail often. (The cast of ''WebVideo/SuburbanKnights'' were all lured into the quest with the promise of a free car, and [=JesuOtaku=] is introduced in ''WebVideo/ToBoldlyFlee'' by coming to claim said car.)
* In ''Series/WarpZoneProject'', this happens to [[spoiler:Edouard]] due to one of the worse cases of MentorOccupationalHazard ever. The mentor only has time to say, "I'm here to mentor that guy who just started developing super-powers." before getting killed by the villains.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* [[spoiler:Grandpa Max]] in ''WesternAnimation/{{Ben 10}}'': Three seasons after the EmpathicWeapon bonds with Ben, [[spoiler: he learns the [[ImportedAlienPhlebotinum Omnitrix]] was sent to Earth for his grandfather from his GreenSkinnedSpaceBabe, and the only reason they can't fix the mix-up is that [[ClingyMacGuffin it won't come off]].]]
** And in the early second-season AlternateUniverse episode ''Gwen 10'', [[spoiler:it's ''Ben'' who misses the call. He gets a PeggySue back to the start of the series and inadvertently screws things up by knowing too much... causing Gwen to be the one who winds up with the Omnitrix. Ironically, the episode ends with the Omnitrix attached to ''Grandpa Max'' after Vilgax removes it from Gwen]].
* Somehow, ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'' plays this straight, lampshades it, then ''subverts'' it in the Wishology Trilogy. [[spoiler: Played straight at the end of Part One, where Turbo Thunder is revealed to have been the one apparently chosen but missed the call because he was asleep when the Darkness returned. This is lampshaded throughout most of Part Two, mostly by Timmy trying to send the bad guys after Turbo Thunder instead. It's subverted near the end of Part Two, when it turns out that Timmy really is the chosen one.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'''s first adventure was in response to a call intended for Team Impossible, a group of [[OnlyInItForTheMoney heroes for hire]]. In one episode, Team Impossible, annoyed that her helping people free of charge cuts into their business, tries to force her to quit.
* A brilliant one in ''WesternAnimation/ArchiesWeirdMysteries'' that combines with a ProphecyTwist. In the three-part vampire arc has [[RoyalBrat Veronica]] as the [[ChosenOne ender]] of a Vampire Lord after Archie's guess that a girl called Scarlet is the one seems to be wrong. As it turns out despite being a vampire and a loyal servant of the Vampire Lord, Scarlet was the true ender and Archie [[TheCuckoolanderWasRight was right all along]]. A line from the prophesy was misinterpreted:
-->'''Veronica:''' "Raven and red upon their heads. Destiny awakens. One girl is the ender. While another is mistaken."
* Sissi of ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko'' gets a nasty one in "X.A.N.A. Awakens" pre-sequel. In that episode, it was Sissi, not Yumi, who found the factory with the others. She even planned on entering the "game" later, but before she did XANA got loose for the first time, and Sissi tattled because this was getting too real. As a result, the whole group was nearly arrested, and the others unsurprisingly agreed to keep her in the dark [[spoiler: after returning to the past. [[NiceJobBreakingItHero Sadly, Ulrich decides to be a jerk to Sissi about it even though she doesn't remember what her mistake was]], resulting in her becoming the group's AlphaBitch nemesis for a good long while.]]