Evil Blah: ... what the hell are you doing here?
The famous last words of any villain at the height of their power, just before the tide begins to turn in favor of the heroes and everything starts to go wrong for the villain, who can then only scream "Noooo! This can't be happening!
It's usually followed by the Big Damn Heroes
suddenly making their presence known, with a wry statement that says in so many words, "Oh yeah?" just before the climactic battle begins.
No phrase on Earth is as powerful as this one when it comes to invoking Finagle's Law
, with the possible exception of "At least things can't get any worse
Heroes, on the other hand, should avoid saying anything like "What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
A form of Tempting Fate
. Compare Nothing Can Save Us Now
. Also see Near Villain Victory
and the Darkest Hour
, the point at which the villain is most likely to say this.
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Anime and Manga
- Mazinger Z: Curiously, Baron Ashura tends to utters that sentence in two types of situation: when Big Bad Dr. Hell is showing another of his Robeasts to him/her/it (cue Mazinger Z obliterating the Mechanical Beast twenty minutes later); or when one of his/her/its schemes succeeds or is about of succeeding. Examples of the second use are when a Mechanical Beast has utterly trashed Mazinger Z, when he managed to steal a sample of Alloy Z...
- It is disturbingly frequently used by Prince Garuda from Combattler V. When he blew Hyoma's arms off, when he blackmailed the Japanese Government in blowing up the Nanbara Connection -the HQ of the heroes-, when he deceiving the Japanese police to get the Combattler team under arrest... Some would think he would learn NOT tempting fate after the first time.
- Death Note: Episode 36, the one before the series finale, ends with Light (who is actually the series' protagonist) saying "This is my win", and by that revealing himself as Kira, while thinking the SPK members are going to be killed by Mikami's Death Note. However, when Near and the other SPK members don't die, it becomes clear that Light has been out gambitted.
- Code Geass: Lelouch has this happen to him on an almost episodic basis; whenever one of his 'flawless' plans nears completion, Lelouch gloats to himself that, "All the conditions have been cleared." Within seconds, something goes terribly wrong, commonly due to something that Lelouch couldn't have possibly known about beforehand.
- Quattro of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS, after managing to keep the Saint's Cradle running despite the destroyed engine, triumphantly announces "We're not finished yet!". Then Nanoha spots her. Cue Oh Crap moment.
- Noir: You would almost think it was deliberate that they were writing off the "Daughter of Corsica" while she was driving a jeep towards them with a handgun on the passenger seat. Especially since they repeated the claim while she was entering their base.
- Inverted with Asuka in End of Evangelion. After waking from her coma and discovering about the connection between her EVA and her mother, this trope is in play. Asuka was fighting very well but three factors would ensure her defeat, the cut power supply, the Mass Produced EVAs, and the Diabolus ex Machina. Cue Heroic RROD at THE worst possible moment.
- Pokémon: Zoroark: Master of Illusions: Grings Kodai finally absorbs the Time Ripple he's been searching after his Evil Plan seems to go off flawlessly. Having a massive ego, he just can't help going into one of these rants in front of Ash, telling him that he'll get away with it and there's nothing anyone can do. Turns out Zorua destroyed his illusion canceler, something Zoroark took full advantage of and the Time Ripple he just absorbed was a fake and Karl caught his entire EvilGloating session on tape and plays it to the entire town the next morning, including the cops. While Kodai would've been defeated even if he hadn't gone into his speech, it was the final nail in the coffin as it had him admit to causing a massive disaster 20 years ago and being perfectly willing to do it again, ensuring his arrest.
- Science Ninja Team Gatchaman Berg Katse or one of his captains does this every few episodes. Generally shortly before a kaboom aimed at or in the mecha/base of the week.
- James Bond movies
- Never Say Never Again: Blofeld says this as the warhead is being sent to the target.
- You Only Live Twice: Blofeld says "Interception will take place in eight minutes. Nothing can prevent that."
- The best use of "I am invincible!" is delivered by Boris Grishenko (Alan Cumming) in GoldenEye, who has it as his Catch Phrase. When he survives the destruction of Trevelyan's base after the second Goldeneye satellite smacked into the atmosphere, he utters the line, and immediately gets frozen to death when some tanks of liquid nitrogen explode right behind him. Also a Chekhov's Gun, as the liquid nitrogen tanks obviously been there the whole time. (It serves as coolant for the computers.)
- Star Wars: Though it takes a little longer (probably because it's in a secure conference room) for the full backlash, admiral Motti announces that the Death Star "is now the ultimate power in the universe!" He is nearly choked by Vader moments later, for scoffing at the power of the Force, and we all know what happened to the Death Star...
- Of course, proving that karma often works faster in movies than it does in real life, the Death Star's destruction is heralded by Grand Moff Tarkin's refusal to abandon the station in their "moment of triumph".
- Before that, we get the following line from Darth Vader himself: "This will be a day long remembered. It has seen the end of Kenobi; it will soon see the end of the Rebellion."
- Also when the Emperor says how secure the shield base is on Endor, guarded by a full legion of his best stormtroopers.
- Hey! Don't underestimate the power of the bears.
- Gundam Wing has an example in Tsubarov's demise, where Tsubarov is laughing and claiming that his mobile dolls couldn't possibly be defeated. His last words were "I am invincible." The difference is that his mobile dolls had just been destroyed by Wufei Chang and the room he was in was crumbling and clearly about to blow up due to Wufei's berserk attack on the base.
- In The Fifth Element: "Nothing can break through this glass!" Thirty seconds later, she breaks through the glass.
- Demolition Man: In the Sylvester Stallone movie, Wesley Snipes' Big Bad Simon Phoenix has John Spartan at his mercy. Before he kills him with a pole he utters the line "This... is the best day of my life!" Unfortunately for him Spartan has a container of a substance that instantly freezes whatever it touches, which he smashes against the ground and grabs onto a crane to avoid. Phoenix gets frozen and then has his head kicked off when Spartan swings back around on the crane.
- A classic cinematic example occurs at the end of Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry As their car speeds away, Larry declares, "Ain't nothing gonna stop us!" The car then broadsides a freight train and explodes.
- Subverted in A Bridge Too Far: it is a Nazi officer who says in horror "Nothing can stop them now", the 'them' being the Allied tanks crossing the bridge he has just failed to blow up. As it happens they are in fact stopped later and we get a downer ending.
- The Love Bug features the villain's henchman telling him "You can't lose, sir! You can't possibly lo...", trailing off as he sees that Herbie (half of him anyway) is passing them right before the finish line. Later the villain tells him "Couldn't lose, I think you said."
- A heroic version occurs twice in Tremors.
- As Val and Earl are leaving Perfection for Bixby:
Val: Now there's nothing, and I mean nothing, between us and Bixby.
[They encounter two dead bodies — the first warning of the Graboid threat]
- After returning to warn Perfection about the murders, they head for Bixby again to get the police:
Earl: There's sure as hell nothing to stop us now. Everybody we know between here and Bixby is already dead.
[When they get to where a crew was doing roadwork, they find an avalanche blocking passage. The road crew tells them it could be a few days before it's cleared.]
- Monsters vs. Aliens had a lot of these.
- Immediately after the Big Bad says "That force field is impenetrable." Ginormica rips through it and punches him in the face.
- In the chase scene that followed this, Ginormica easily rammed through several blast doors without even slowing down.
- "You can't crush a cockroach!"
- The AI system of the Alien's ship has a security system that functions just like DDR. After the AI declares her security code unbreakable, Dr. Cockroach busts out the moves and unlocks the system.
- In Batman: The Movie (1966), Catwoman says it as Batman is pursuing the submarine in which the villains are escaping.
- In Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End as Mercer tells Cutler Beckett: "There's nothing that can stand against the armada, not with the Flying Dutchman at the lead." Beckett quickly replies: "Nothing we ''know'' of."
- They did not know of Calypso.
- Nor did they know that the Dutchman would be turned against them.
- Westworld: Welcome to Westworld, where nothing can go wrong... go wrong... go wrong...
- The Last Starfighter. Xur, the resident Big Bad, receives an incomplete transmission from Earth saying simply "The last Starfighter...". He automatically completes the sentence himself: "...is dead. The last Starfighter is dead. Nothing Can Stop Us Now!" No prizes for guessing how that worked out for him.
- Uttered by Professor Z, The Dragon of Cars 2. Cue Finn McMissile's arrival.
- The big song of Cats Dont Dance is a heroic example.
- The Man Called Flintstone. When the Green Goose learns that the good guys' anti-missile missile isn't operational yet, he orders that his missile be prepared to fire and says "Nobody can stop me now!"
- Flash Gordon: Ming The Merciless gloats, "Pathetic Earthlings! Who will save you now?" (Three guesses what the answer is.)
- Aladdin: The Return of Jafar: "Give it up, boy. You can never have my lamp, and there is no one here to save you this time." Cue Iago.
- Loki gives one of these to Tony Stark just before the Chitauri invasion in The Avengers. True to form, Tony never loses his cool.
Loki: I have an army.
- In Soon I Will Be Invincible, (The book is even named Soon I Will Be Invincible) Doctor Impossible has defeated the heroes and his nemesis and his Doomsday Device is working perfectly...
It feels so good, I just have to say it:
"So much for CoreFire. And so much for those wretched Champions!"
Then, right behind me, someone clears their throat, and I freeze.
- In Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident, the main villain Briar Cudgeon states "And nobody can get in here to stop me." the narration remarks "Of course, you should never say something like that, especially when you're an arch villain. It's just asking for trouble." Predictably, the author is correct; shortly thereafter the main character's butler/bodyguard-who-happens-to-be-the-third-best-martial-artist-in-the-world/cook shoulders his way through a supposedly secure door; then the other archvillain learns that Cudgeon has betrayed her and kills him with plasma that he himself had activated.
- Spore, in Galaxy of Fear, says something to this effect while chasing Tash through an Asteroid Thicket. It taunts her with a twisted version of a We Can Rule Together speech, saying she's not nearly strong enough to stop it. Then the giant space slugs show up.
- The very second book, City of the Dead, has the Big Bad monologing to himself about how soon his control over the galaxy will begin, nothing can stop him. Immediately after that, an alarm sounds and he finds out that his first experiment has suddenly gone offline.
- All The Lorax and adaptions, the Once-Ler, fed up with the Lorax's complaints and warnings, tells him flat-out that nothing will stop him from cutting down truffula trees and making thneeds. Unfortunately, that's when the last chop is heard...
That's it. The very last one. That may stop you.
Live Action TV
- In Smallville, Zod says this when Kal finds a map of Chloe's kryptonite weapons and they are ready to destroy them all.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- "Two To Go," in the finale the following occurs:
Dark!Willow: There's no one in the world with the power to stop me now!
Giles: (appears behind her) I'd like to test that theory.
- This turns out to be a Double Subversion: Willow beats Giles fairly soundly and steals the magical power he was using, but Giles' defeat was part of his plan to get Willow to stop herself.
- The above exchange is repeated in an issue of the Buffy Season 8 comic, with a nice twist:
Amy: A hundred slayers and there's not one person here who can take me on.
Willow: As a friend of mine once said... I'd like to test that theory.
- Cue literal Curb-Stomp Battle.
- An example of this presumed causation working its way into the text: the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Spiral". Dawn reassures Buffy that things can't get worse. Immediately, an arrow flies into their RV. Buffy tells Dawn, "This is your fault for saying that!"
- Near the beginning of the sixth season of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Gul Dukat has a particularly good one just before Sisko gets the wormhole aliens to destroy the Jem'hadar fleet. This is followed by a very bad villainous BSOD, worsened when one of Dukat's officers shoots his daughter Ziyal for betraying the Cardassian-Dominion alliance by breaking a group of terrorists out of prison. At the end, Dukat, having gone over the course of the episode from the effective leader of the Cardassian empire and one of the three most powerful beings in the Alpha Quadrant to a war criminal in a prison cell, has obviously cracked and is huddled up in the corner of the prison talking to Ziyal.
- Doctor Who:
- Lampshaded in "The Satan Pit":
The Doctor: "'No turning back'? That's as bad as 'Nothing can possibly go wrong'!"
- A So Bad, It's Good example from the original series. Outrageously accented Mad Scientist Professor Zaroff cackling "Nuzzink in ze vorld can shtop me now!!!"
- Or the Rani's "I have the Loyhargil! Nothing can stop me now!"
- The Doctor's "I'm the Doctor" speech from "Voyage Of The Damned" falls under this trope, given how spectacularly he fails.
- Except for the bit where he manages to save all six billion people on Earth.
- One from the new series, "Journey's End":
- To be fair, he DID stop every backup plan, which is impressive for a villain.
- In "Parting of the Ways":
Dalek Emperor: I will not die! I CANNOT DIE!!
The Doctor: There are laws of time. Once upon a time there were people in charge of those laws, but they died. They all died. Do you know who that leaves? Me! It's taken me all these years to realise the laws of time are mine! And they will obey me!
- In the British automotive series Top Gear, the team of presenters is frequently given an automotive related challenge of some kind (e.g., each one is to purchase a used vehicle, convert it to be amphibious, and then sail it across the English Channel). Usually, on being given the task, presenter Jeremy Clarkson launches into it asking the enthusiastic rhetorical question, "How hard can it be?" Answer: usually very (e.g., both times the Top Gear presenters were challenged to convert vehicles into cat-boats, Richard Hammond's conversion sank).
- Wouldn't the example be an actual subversion, considering that Clarkson in each of these boat challenges, is the only one to actually make a seaworthy vehicle? (and I still think he capsized the "Toyboata" on purpose to allow him to use a more refined design in the next iteration, but I digress...)
- This has been Lampshaded in several episodes. In the first episode of the series' 9th season, (the episode in which Hammond returned after recovering from a serious brain injury sustained in a dragster crash), Clarkson ended his introduction to a challenge with the fateful words
Jeremy Clarkson: ... How hard can it be?
Richard Hammond: [dramatically] Oh, how I've missed the pang of dread every time you say the words "How hard can it be?"
- And in another episode later that season:
Jeremy Clarkson: How hard can it be?
Richard Hammond: Don't say that!
- Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: In the episode "Two For One", the Red Dragon Thunderzord is getting its skidplate handed to it by Lipsyncher, to the point where it can no longer stand. Lord Zedd proclaims, "Victory is mine." Cut to the other Rangers arriving on the scene and summoning their own Thunderzords to back up the Red Dragon. In "Hogday Afternoon Part II", after defeating the Shogun Megazord, Hydro Hog proclaims, "Nothing can stop me now!" only to have the Falconzord show up, shoot him up and make him drop his sword, and link up with the Shogunzords to form the Shogun Megafalconzord, which blasts him into oblivion.
- Nine Inch Nails album The Downward Spiral uses the line 'Nothing can stop me now' in the songs Piggy, Ruiner and Big Man With A Gun. Fitting into the trope is that the concept album ends with the character's suicide.
- Both instances of the line also mark the two distinctive stages of the character's descent into insanity: Piggy's ending marks the beginning of his God-complex, and Ruiner's ending marks the beginning of his purely nihilistic side taking control. Adding even more irony to the situation is the fact that the line is cut short at the end of Ruiner.
- The recurrence of this phrase spills over in the next Album, The Fragile. The Penultimate track on the first disc, La Mer contains the phrase, but this time in Creole French. Rien peut m'arr?r maintenant.
- The Fragile's "We're In This Together Now" also features the phrase "None of them can stop us now".
- And then "nothing can stop us now" showed up on the back of Trent Reznor's wedding invitations (much to the horror/amusement of the fanbase).
- The exact phrase "Nothing Can Stop Us Now" can also be found in the song Sunspots, from With Teeth.
- In The Protomen, Act I, Track 5 (Vengeance), Mega Man taunts the enemy with the words "Send your armies, there's no man or machine who can stop me!" As a matter of fact, he's absolutely right, but the trauma of having to kill his turncoat brother Protoman while the crowd does nothing triggers a Heroic BSOD that ends with him turning his back on all of humanity and allowing the remnants of the robot army to slaughter the crowd.
- M?e Brennan's Against The Wind:
Defying their leaders
Holding out for free will
The strong dare to echo
Nothing can stop
Nothing can stop us now
- Laibach's B Mashina:
Millions of machines on nitroglycerin
Thunder in us
There is no force no money and no power
To stop us now and change our fate
Before we rise
- Quoth Moby: People they come together/People they fall apart/No one can stop us now/'Cause we are all made of stars.
- Starship's Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now.
- A rare non-villain example is found in Bye Bye Birdie, where Rosie says to herself, "Oh, Rosie, nothing can stop you now!" Cue her fiance's mom walking onto the stage. Probably one of the funniest moments in the play.
- Makai Kingdom: This is the first line spoken by Villain Protagonist Zetta as he effortlessly slaughters his way through guardians of a forbidden library, burning it down around him as he does. Zetta then proceeds to prove the trope right when he causes the netherworld he's standing on and everything on it, himself included, to get Critical Existence Failure in a spectacularly stupid attempt to Screw Destiny.
- Time Splitters: Future Perfect: Done for laughs using time travel by the Big Bad (referring to himself and his past self): "Nothing can stop me now! I mean, us! Well, me!" He isn't foiled immediately afterwards, however.
- In Halo 2 after Tartarus had brought him the Index, the Prophet of Truth proclaimed nothing, not even the Flood can stop them. Accordingly, A Spartan-II materialized right in front of him.
- Semi-justified, since the appearance of said Spartan did not actually have any eventual effect on whether the Great Journey occurred or not.
- But the Arbiter appearing at the same time near the control room sure did.
- In Halo 3, after Truth's plans to cause galactic omnicide are stopped, Gravemind chimes in that his are still on track:
"Now the gate has been unlatched, headstones pushed aside;
corpses shift and offer room, a fate you must abide!"
- In Adventure Quest Worlds, after defeating the Mafic Dragon, just when the hero is about to collect the Chaos Focus Gem and accept it into the Supreme Arcane Staff, Ledgermayne snatches the gem and crushes it into pieces, afterwards telling the hero to go back to the Tower of Magic and await Lore's demise. It even says "There is nothing on Lore that can stop us now," before teleporting back to the para-elemental plane of magic. However, Ledgermayne made one mistake — it didn't check to make sure there were no shards left from the Gem, so, being the optimistic fellow he/she is, the hero accepts the shards left behind into the staff itself.
Hero: I'm not just going to lay down and die, Ledgermayne. This will have to be enough to stop you.
- Metal Gear Solid
Liquid Snake: Nothing will be able to stop Metal Gear nooow..
- A line from Lightside!Starkiller's "World of Cardboard" Speech:
Starkiller: Vader can't stop me now. *more quietly* Vader can't stop me now. Nobody can.
- Count Waltz from Eternal Sonata in the first battle against him, but only in the original Xbox 360 version (in which it also happens to be the only battle against him.)
- Featured on Homestar Runner. At the end of Issue 8 of "Teen Girl Squad", Cheerleader brags from offscreen "Everybody died 'cept me!" A chomping noise and an "Aw, crap!" from Cheerleader indicate that she was eaten by a shark.
- Used in KateModern: Precious Blood, where it illustrates the villain's insanity, since his plan consists of blowing up the building and everyone in it.
Steve: It's not going to happen like this, Terrence!
Terrence: See, that's where you're wrong, Steven. This is exactly how it's gonna happen. Nothing can stop me now. I'm invincible, Steven, you hear me?
- From the Evil Overlord List:
24. I will maintain a realistic assessment of my strengths and weaknesses. Even though this takes some of the fun out of the job, at least I will never utter the line "No, this cannot be! I am invincible!" (After that, death is usually instantaneous.).
- Brute Chieftain Malwreckus adopts this attitude, laughing triumphantly as his Scarab busts through Horizon's defensive wall... and wanders right into point-blank range of some artillery cannons. Bang.
- The Simpsons
- Parodied in"$pringfield", in which Mr. Burns and Mayor Quimby build a casino. Burns - who has become extremely germophobic - remarks "Nothing can stop me now... except microscopic germs. But we won't let that happen, will we Smithers?!" It doesn't: even after Homer wrecks the casino, Burns returns to the power plant because he misses it.
- Parodied with reference to Westworld and Jurassic Park when the family are flown out to the Itchy And Scratchy Land theme park:
Pilot: Welcome to Itchy And Scratchy Land, the advanced amusement park where nothing can possibligh go wrong. Possibly go wrong. That's the first thing that's ever gone wrong.
- Subverted in the animated movie Cats Don't Dance, where the good guys literally sing "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now", in a big dance routine, at the movie's climax, and though the Enfante Terrible Big Bad makes the obligatory over-the-top attempt to put the lie to their lyrics, she succeeds only in playing right into their hands.
- Was turned into a running gag on Drawn Together. Every time Spanky says "Nothing can possibly go wrong!", something inevitably does.
- Goes double for humor of The Fairly Oddparents
- At the end of the Avatar The Last Airbender episode "The Earth King" the usually Genre Savvy Sokka says "Come on. What could possibly go wrong?". Cue cuts to different plot revealing ways it will, by Ba Sing Se being taken over by Azula and the Fire Nation.
- Somewhat used in the original The Transformers: The Combining Mecha Devastator always claimed to be unstoppable upon forming. Over the course of the series, he was defeated by everything from the Autobots to two of the cassettes. ()
- Dr. Drakken in Kim Possible is prone to this, to the point that his sidekick Shego will try to stop him saying it.
- In a variation of this, The Venture Brothers had one character die a couple episodes after discovering his own Plot Armor. Though technically speaking it was his friend that said they were immortal, the one that actually died wasn't nearly as arrogant, and even called him out for Tempting Fate.
- Jem and the Holograms:
- In "Totally Outrageous: Part 1 - The Beginning" — Pizzazz of the Misfits says that "they [The Misfits] got it made." Before the Eric could announce the Misfits as the winner of the rigged Battle of the Bands, the Holograms start playing "Only The Beginning"
- Used straight by Eric when he's dealing with mob in "Intrigue At Indy 500", just after saying that, the host of the party announces that driver the mob was afraid of—got a new sponsor, Starlight Music.
- Used straight again by Eric when talking to the Misfits in "Glitter N' Gold"—thought he doesn't get screwed right after saying that.
- The Stingers in the team-up song, "Now", sings "Now, (now,) nobody can beat us".
- Another rare non-villain moment: during the The Backyardigans episode "Catch the Butterfly", Pablo, Tyrone and Uniqua sing a song called "How Hard Can It Be?" as the coach, currently floating on a river, falls into pieces. Lampshaded during the song:
Tyrone: Maybe we should stop this song?
Uniqua: Let's do just one more verse!
- In Captain Planet and the Planeteers, when Looten Plunder makes his first villainous appearance poaching elephants somewhere in Africa, he boasts of how he's going to hunt them to extermination. "And no one can stop me! Bwahahahah!" Guess who shows up to prove him wrong?
- Donkey Kong Country combines this with Chekhov's Gag: King K Rool is setting up a trap in the middle of the jungle with a barrel suspended on a vine, and he instructs Krusha to drop the barrel when he says "Now!" He then proceeds to get the barrel dropped on himself several times due to not being careful what he says, and eventually gives up. Later in the episode, he gets his hands on the Crystal Coconut, and is running through the jungle with it at breakneck speed, gloating to himself.
K Rool: NOTHING CAN STOP ME NOW!!!
*the barrel falls on him*
Krusha: He definitely said now this time. I heard him. He said "now."
- Danger Mouse has this exchange:
Greenback: Only one thing can stop me now!
Stiletto: And what is that, Baroni?
Greenback: That idiot narrator saying—
Narrator: And tune in next time for the next exciting installment of The Invasion of Colonel K!
- Invader Zim: Zim's supposedly impervious Voot Runner was reduced to a pile of flaming rubble by a bee. After a fairly risky rescue operation to get it out of the hands of the Saucer Morons, Zim comments to GIR:
- Teen Titans: After the Brotherhood of Evil captures several Teen Titans, the Brain taunts Robin by asking who among them could possibly stop him now. The answer would be Beast Boy.
- Discord from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic states that harmony is offically dead in Equestria after the Elements Of Harmony fizzle out when the heroes try to use them on him and pretty much declares victory. Unfortunately for him, the heroes manage to turn things around and this very mentality is what causes his downfall.
- Super Friends 1973/74 episode "The Androids". Dr. Rebos and his assistant Loco are in their laboratory toasting their mission to stop the U.S. space program. Dr. Rebos says "No one can stop it!" He then does a Spit Take as he looks up and sees the Super Friends, who have just entered the room.
- When he decides to partner up with Siskle and Ebert, Jay Sherman sings on The Critic.
- Before her ill-fated maiden voyage, it was widely boasted that nothing, not even God, could sink the Titanic. Turns out, God loves a challenge...
- The Hindenburg was frequently billed as "Uncrashable." It burned. And then its burning hulk crashed.
- No matter where you go, the prelude to a stunt that will end in catastrophe and humiliation is "Hey, Watch this!". There is a book on deaths at the Grand Canyon, and "Watch this!" or "Look what I can do!" are the most frequently cited last words uttered by people listed in the book, almost always immediately followed by a description along the lines of, "They then attempted a cartwheel, and fell off the cliff."
- World War I: "It'll all be over by Christmas".
- They forgot to say which Christmas....
- World War II:
- The initial duration of Operation Barbarossa was planned to be about three months.
- Two weeks after the Attack on Pearl Harbor, Goebbels wrote "We hardly find it necessary today to rely on a belief in our national invincibility to predict that victory is certain and inevitable." Then came Midway, Stalingard, and El Alamein.
- The Allies expected the war to be over by Christmas after the Normandy landings.
- Herman Goering, Air Marshall of the Luftwaffe, was heard to boast that the Luftwaffe would easily brush aside the British Royal Air Force and ensure uncontested German supremacy of the skies for a German invasion of Britain. Turns out, the RAF had other ideas.
- There was an indie band called Repliforce. Their motto was "No one can stop us" (this and their name are references to Mega Man X 4). They lasted about two or three years. The real Tear Jerker was that their final album was actually called "No One Can Stop Us".
- There have been several ships named HMS Invincible. Of these, one was wrecked off the coast of Norfolk, another sank during a storm, and another blew up when exchanging fire with a German warship during World War I.
- Subverted with the most recent ship to bear the name, which served 25 years as the flagship of the Royal Navy and was never even damaged prior to its retirement. It should also be pointed out that it belonged to the Invincible Class of Ships, which all made it to their retirements.
- Napoleon Bonaparte
- Napoleon declared that a certain decisive battle was as good as won. Said battle being Austerlitz, he was right, and made that statement when he had been told that general Kutuzov, the experienced and capable commander of the Russian army, had been replaced by the Austrian general Weyrother (much less experienced and excessively aggressive, and already trounced once by the French, specifically Moreau) as commander of the Russo-Austrian army (Kutuzov saw through Napoleon's plan and placed his troops exactly where Napoleon needed to place his artillery, but Weyrother and the Tzar fell for it and made him move, allowing for what was being an hard struggle to become an utter Curb-Stomp Battle).
- During the Russian campaign he had proclaimed victory after conquering Moscow, only for the Russians to burn down the town to deprive his army from shelter and Kutuzov (the same one who had seen through his plan at Austerlitz) blocking the only way to food, forcing him to retreat. The following year, Napoleon declared he had practically won the War of the Sixth Coalition upon hearing that Kutuzov had died of old age, and the trope seemed subverted as Napoleon was winning... Cue the Sixth Coalition to summon Von Clausewitz and Radetzky, who found the weakness of Napoleon's armies and put in place the strategy that allowed for Napoleon's decisive defeat at Lutzen.
- He had the following proclamation to the Belgians and the inhabitants of the (German) left bank of the Rhine printed after crossing the French border in 1815. The entire print run was captured by the pursuing allies after the battle of Waterloo (which took place on June 18 several miles south of Brussels and Laeken):
The ephemeral successes of my enemies have detached you for a moment from my empire. In my exile on a rock in the sea I heard you pleas: the god of battles has decided the fate of your fair provinces.
Napoleon is in your midst: you are worthy to be French.
Rise up in masses, join my invincible ranks to exterminate the remnants of these barbarians who are your enemies and mine; they are fleeing with rage and despair in their hearts.
In the imperial palace of Laeken, June 17, 1815. Napoleon.
- George W. Bush' infamous "Mission Accomplished" statement. The war drags on for more than a decade, and the neocons' dream of oil remains a pipe dream.