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->''"But being chosen doesn't make you a hero; what you choose does."''
-->-- '''Batman''', ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold''

%% One quote is sufficient. Please place additional entries on the quotes tab.

Where TheChosenOne is the ultimate victim of BecauseDestinySaysSo, the Unchosen One is the ultimate perpetrator of ScrewDestiny. This is the hero or heroine who stands up, not because of a prophecy, but because they feel the need or desire to stop the BigBad (sometimes doing so ''in spite'' of a prophecy). The Unchosen One is, in essence, a Chosen One who [[JumpedAtTheCall chooses themselves]].

The reasons for this can vary. Perhaps the Chosen One [[MissedTheCall missed]] or [[RefusalOfTheCall refused the call]], or was killed or incapacitated by a [[ScrewDestiny Destiny Screwing]] villain. Or, in a twist, the Chosen One ''is'' the villain and the Unchosen One decides to stop them. If all the prophecies say evil will triumph, the Unchosen One's reply would be [[ScrewDestiny "screw that."]] Perhaps they were RefusedByTheCall and decided that they should go on adventuring anyway by their own terms. It could also be nothing more than a simple chance encounter allowing them to intercept the CallToAdventure in place of the real ChosenOne. Every so often, the Unchosen is also a Chosen One who's decided to save the world of their own will, regardless of Fate.

Of course, because they ''aren't'' TheChosenOne, things won't be laid out on a silver platter like a proper Chosen Hero often gets. They'll more often have to ''earn'' their place as TheHero. [[TheChooserOfTheOne If there is a being or force doing the Choosing]], they'll eventually have to acknowledge the Hero even if he wasn't the Chosen One. They may also have to deal with the possibility that TheChosenOne [[FakeUltimateHero will get the credit]] [[DudeWheresMyRespect for all of their hard work]]. On the other hand, even the ChosenOne might look in awe of this hero who created great things on his own efforts and is beholden to no one and no destiny.

An Unchosen One has high odds of being a HeroicWannabe, a {{Determinator}}, or any other hero type that is likely to [[JumpedAtTheCall jump at the call]]. There's also the possibility of the Unchosen One being a BadassUnintentional, someone who actually ''doesn't'' want to save the world but may be the only one in a position to do so. A possible fate for those who MissedTheCall.

Some writers can't escape from this frame of thinking, though, and they occasionally write in that the character [[SweetAndSourGrapes really was the Chosen One after all.]] Another common way to work around it is an ontological argument: ''someone'' was bound to eventually take up the sword against [[BigBad Emperor Evulz]] and lead the revolution to overthrow him. There could even be [[TheChosenMany many heroes working together or independently to take him down]]. The "Chosen One" just happened to be the one who ultimately succeeded, and could easily have been replaced by any of the others had circumstances been different.

Compare AntiAntiChrist where someone is the DarkMessiah for the ''bad guys'' and tells them to take a hike.


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Anime/CorrectorYui'' desired to become a hero so much that she was able to overcome learning she was ''not'' TheChosenOne and [[spoiler: [[IKnowYouAreInThereSomewhereFight save the true one]]... when she was BrainwashedAndCrazy by the BigBad.]] Afterward, she remains TheHeroine of the story. [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] later on the 1st season's finale, she was, indeed, the chosen one. [[spoiler:By Grosser, that season's BigBad, because it wanted her and not Inukai's chosen one to be its vessel and allow it to [[PinocchioSyndrome live on the real world]].]]
* ''Manga/FlameOfRecca'': [[spoiler:Recca]] is the cursed one destined to end the Hokage clan and [[spoiler:Kurei]] was meant to be the Hokage clan leader. Subverted in that [[spoiler: Recca really ''did'' end the clan. He defeated their final remaining enemy in the modern day and thus ended the need for the Hokage clan to exist. The spirits of the former dragon clan leaders could finally rest in peace thanks to him "ending the clan."]]
* To quote ''Manga/DeathNote's'' Light Yagami: "The world is rotting and those who are making it rot deserve to die. Somebody's got to do it because the world can't go on like this. And if somebody's got to do it, why not me? In fact, I'm the ''only one who can...''" This is also explicitly stated by Ryuk, when Light asks him why Ryuk chose him and Ryuk notes he ''didn't'', the notebook just happened to land where Light picked it up. However, Light ''never acknowledges'' that he wasn't chosen; all through the plot, events fall into place for him, and at the very end [[MotiveRant he swears blind that he was chosen]].
* Sugimoto from ''LightNovel/TheTwelveKingdoms'' was not chosen -- indeed it was her friend Youko whose destiny was to rule as a Queen. That doesn't stop Sugimoto from [[JumpedAtTheCall and insisting that she is the chosen Queen, and trying to usurp the position from Youko.]]
* Duck of ''Anime/PrincessTutu'', at least in part. Drosselmeyer ''did'' personally select her for the part of Princess Tutu. She just decided what to do with it. For in fact, Drosselmeyer picks specific roles for the cast characters, but they eventually grow strong enough to pick different roles. Duck, Fakir, and Kraehe are perhaps the best examples.
* ''Manga/{{Basara}}'', the main character is the twin sister of the nominal ChosenOne everyone has their hopes on. When he dies still young, she crossdresses to take his place.
* Simon from ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'' is a rather good example. He was just a kid with the right stuff who was lucky enough to stumble across the right mecha at the right time.
* ''Manga/DragonBall'':
** Son Goku is a fine example. For numerous reasons, such as being the son of a low class warrior, being labeled as such himself, but moving on to become one of Earth's finest heroes despite being sent there to ''destroy'' it.
** Averted with his father, who thought he could pull this off after being able to see visions of the future, he failed.
** The same aversion goes for Vegeta, the prince of the Saiyans from ''Anime/DragonBallZ''.
* Made fun of in ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'' where Kuno was destined to be the one to pull the legendary Wish Bringer sword from the stone, simply because he was the one millionth person to draw. The students even commented that there must have been some mistake.
* ''Franchise/{{Digimon}}:''
** In contrast to the Chosen Children of ''Anime/DigimonAdventure'' and ''Anime/DigimonAdventure02'', the cast of ''Anime/DigimonTamers''[[note]]Well, besides Ryo, who was technically a chosen child in the Adventure Universe[[/note]] were not specifically chosen to save the Digital World. They're just kids with Digimon, and for the bulk of the series, it's not clear that they even have anything to save. ''Anime/DigimonFrontier'' returned to a Chosen Children model, but ''Anime/DigimonSavers'' and ''[[Anime/DigimonXrosWarsTheYoungHuntersLeapingThroughTime Hunters]]'' also had unchosen leads. ''Anime/DigimonXrosWars'' falls somewhere in the grey area.[[note]]Taiki and the others ''were'' chosen , but by "ordinary" (albeit powerful) Digimon, rather than the divine Digimon of ''Adventure'' and ''Frontier''.[[/note]]
** A group of four Unchosen Children appeared in the last stretch of ''Frontier'', though a common fan theory is that they would have been the ones to wield to the Earth, Wood, Water, and Steel Spirits had Cherubimon not been corrupted and given them to a quartet of evil Digimon.
* The title character of the ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha'' franchise. As pointed out in the [[Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikerS third season]], it was only through sheer happenstance that Nanoha Takamachi encountered a being who knew about the existence of magic and that she happened to have great magical potential. It was she who chose to involve herself in an inter-dimensional case that would later allow her to [[DefeatMeansFriendship meet and befriend]] a troubled DarkMagicalGirl, and later be instrumental in stopping a world destroying tome. If not for that one incident, she would have lived a normal, carefree life.
* Amuro Ray in ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'', as a civilian, is not supposed to interfere with the warfare in Side 7, but he decides to get on the titular Gundam to kick Zeon's asses. As the story progresses, he goes on maturing as a soldier with his own willpower and the support from the White Base crew and ultimately becomes a hero and source of inspiration to the Earth and the Federation, as well as a [[MookHorrorShow nightmare for any Zeon pilot]] he goes up against (up to the point of calling him the "[[RedBaron White Devil]]").
* In ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamUnicorn'', Bright tells Banagher that this has been the case for every single Gundam pilot in the UC timeline to date: all of them came by their Gundam by circumstance or luck, they were never "chosen" to pilot it. Nonetheless they made the decision to pilot it and combat the evil they saw before them, and through that became heroes. This speech helps Banagher to make that same decision as well.
* The mages of ''Manga/FairyTail'' aren't chosen or even favored by the powers that be like the Magic Council. They just happen to be the people who brought down the three pillars of the [[BigBadDuumvirate Balam Alliance]], were pivotal to the resolution of the Dragon Attack on Fiore, and are now leading the defense of Ishgar against the might of the [[TheEmpire Alvarez Empire]]. [[DestructiveSaviour Through massive property damage.]]
* In ''LightNovel/ISavedTooManyGirlsAndCausedTheApocalypse'', the main character Rekka is both TheChosenOne and TheUnchosenOne at the exact same time. More specifically, he's chosen as destiny's failsafe from sixteen until adulthood. In this period, any time one of the myriad stories in the multiverse winds up without a hero, be it by death or any other circumstance, TheCall will hunt him down. And he's been the designated hero for so many stories he even wound up the designated hero for his future self: by the time he grows up he's saved so many girls, including galactic princesses, sorceresses, and demigods, who all want him, that the ensuing strife in the future will threaten to wreck the earth and more, unless he changes the future by choosing someone and getting the others to give up.
* In ''Manga/PokemonSpecial'', quite a few of the Dex Holders weren't originally chosen by the [[TheChooserOfTheOne regional professors]] to receive Pokedexes. Silver stole his, Ruby picked his up by mistake, Diamond and Pearl got theirs due to a mix-up, and White got hers when the original chosen decided to pass it to her.
* This appears in the backstory of ''Anime/YuGiOhArcV''. The entire series happened because [[spoiler: two ordinary humans decided to become The Unchosen One in different ways; one becoming the worst villain in history by his own power alone and the other stopping him with only some experimental technology and her own skills.]]
* Megumi of ''Anime/HappinessChargePrettyCure'' wasn't chosen to become a Cure like the rest of her fellow members -- Hime just tossed a stone out into the open because she didn't know how it worked and it smacked Megumi on the way down. It was just damn luck it reacted to her.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* [[ComicBook/RobinSeries Tim Drake]]. He doesn't have any tragic backstory that eventually led him into the path of being a hero; he became a hero simply because he wanted to help and make a difference.
* In every prophecy that describes him, ComicBook/{{Hellboy}} is the bringer of the Apocalypse. However, he chooses to fight for the good guys and routinely ''save'' the world, once responding to a lecture on his "true" destiny with an actual "[[ScrewDestiny Screw you!]]"
* Marvel Comics' Daimon Hellstrom aka ''Comicbook/SonOfSatan'' not only rejected his destiny as the Antichrist, not only worked as a superhero, but was actually ordained as a Christian priest!
* Creator/CrossGen loved this trope.
** Sephie of ''[[Creator/CrossGen Meridian]]''. The Sigil was given to her father, who between the stress of receiving the Sigil and being poisoned by his brother, had a heart attack and died, passing the mark and its power on to her.
** ''The Path'' has another example of "inheriting the Sigil from a dead relative", in this case Obo-san's samurai brother who was killed in battle with one of the First.
* ''ComicBook/XMen'' foe Juggernaut, a.k.a. Cain Marko, was not Cyttorak's first choice of being the avatar of his evil power. ''Xavier'' was the one Cyttorak wanted. Cyttorak didn't mind though, since Cain was a natural sociopath who didn't need much encouragement to wreak havoc with Cyttorak's power. It's only when Cain had a brief HeelFaceTurn that Cyttorak started to regret the situation.
* ''ComicBook/YTheLastMan'' has [[spoiler: Yorick, who is the only human male on the planet to survive [[ThePlague the Gendercide]], which causes many different groups to want to get their hands on him. Partway through, they all switch targets to the ''other'' last surviving male, Yorick's pet monkey Ampersand, when it turns out that he's the one with the original immunity, and Yorick just picked it up from him.]]
* [[ComicBook/IronMan Tony Stark]] was supposedly genetically engineered before birth to be a genius and the man destined to make humanity a galactic power, according to the robot 451. [[spoiler:Howard and Maria Stark didn't trust 451 and adopted Tony as a smokescreen while placing their GeniusCripple biological son Arno in seclusion.]]
* ''Comicbook/GreenLantern:'' Most Green Lanterns are chosen by their rings because of their ability to "overcome great fear." However, when Hal Jordan went crazy[[note]]later {{Ret Con}}ned into BRAINWASHEDAndCrazy[[/note]] and started killing the whole corps, Ganthet escaped with one special GreenLanternRing and crashed on Earth. He [[ImDyingPleaseTakeMyMacGuffin passed it onto Kyle Rayner]], who happened to find him, saying only "You will have to do." (However, later writers will sometimes imply that Rayner really ''was'' some kind of secret Chosen One of Ganthet's the whole time.)

* Lero Michealides in ''FanFic/DividedRainbow.''
* The second generation of Chosen Children in the ''[[Anime/DigimonAdventure02 02]]'' fanfic, ''Fanfic/Digimon02TheStoryWeNeverTold'' [[spoiler:turned out to not have been chosen by The Order all along, they are simply artificially made one courtesy of Oikawa.]]
* ''Fanfic/PonyPOVSeries'', during the Finale Arc, the gods choose and empower several characters to be their champions in the conflict. Flash Sentry wasn't one of them, but he plays a pivotal role in saving Princess Luna and even helps defeat the evil goddess Beldam in a fight. It helps that he's ImmuneToFate.
* In ''[[Fanfic/TwiceUponAnAge All This Sh*t is Twice as Weird]]'', it's ultimately revealed that [[spoiler:Victoria is this, while Mahanon may actually be TheChosenOne. She only touched the orb which made them both the Heralds of Andraste because he was holding it and it seemed to be hurting him.]] This discovery prompts a CrisisOfFaith which is not easily resolved.
* Godzilla Junior is this amongst the benign kaiju in ''Fanfic/TheBridge''. All of his teammates and allies had some sort of destiny or miraculous origin behind their being; Mothra is the heiress of a bloodline of protectors stretching back millions of years, Anguirus and Rodan are both artificial creatures created with elemental powers to serve as Guardian Beasts against the BigBad, etc. Junior? Just a random mutated dinosaur who was [[UpbringingMakesTheHero raised]] by a [[MotherlyScientist unremarkable but kindly biologist]]. And yet with his randomly given powers and sheer force of will, he's grown up to be one of Terra's champions. [[spoiler:This stirs Grand King Ghidorah's curiosity. As a fatalist, Grand King Ghidorah doesn't quite know what to make of Junior. One reason he challenges him is to determine whether Junior really is something special or if he's just a mistake that needs "correcting".]]
* In ''FanFic/HarryPotterAndTheMethodsOfRationality'', facing the prospect of going down in history as Harry's sidekick, Hermione sets out to make herself a hero.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* In ''Disney/{{Moana}}'', the Ocean chose Moana return the Heart of Te Fiti and she faces doubts that she wasn't meant to do the task, especially when she fails. But after encouragement from the spirit of her grandmother and her past ancestors she decides will deliver the Heart of Te Fiti, with or without Maui. She even sings "and the call isn't out there at all. It's inside me."
* In ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda'', becoming the Dragon Warrior is presented as a matter of destiny, but is revealed to fall more into this trope. The reveal of the Dragon Scroll is that [[spoiler:there isn't any secret technique and the Dragon Warrior is not really “chosen” by a higher power]]. The real “secret ingredient” that makes up the criteria to be a Dragon Warrior is [[spoiler: the personal growth and training to earn the scroll in the first place]]. This is why Po is chosen while Tai Lung isn’t. Tai Lung’s status as an ArrogantKungFuGuy who had no doubts about himself means that the scroll and its lesson would’ve been meaningless for him.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Franchise/TheMatrix:''
** While ''Film/TheMatrix'' plays TheChosenOne fairly straight, ''Film/TheMatrixReloaded'' and ''Film/TheMatrixRevolutions'' reveal [[spoiler:the prophecy was a lie]]. Thus, when Neo continues to fight on against the Machines he has made himself an Unchosen One.
** The script/art book reveals that originally Neo is the ''sixth'' Chosen One by Morpheus, whose poor track record is part of the reason why [[spoiler: Cypher wants back into the Matrix.]]
** [[http://www.wylfing.net/essays/index.html An alternate interpretation]] suggests that ''The Matrix'' {{subvert|edTrope}}s this one, [[ZigZaggingTrope zig zagging]] the entire messianic concept: The prophecy was intended by the Architect to be an EvilPlan aimed at a continued recycling of the Matrix as a means of keeping the system in place. He is OutGambitted by the Oracle, however, who actually [[BatmanGambit intended for Neo to evolve slightly]] with each rebooting until he'd eventually [[spoiler: reject the Architect's offer to reboot the system and force the machines to reach a settlement with Zion]] that she believed was necessary for the Machines to evolve. This is possible because [[OnlyICanKillHim Neo was the only one]] who could beat [[spoiler: Smith]], who was otherwise poised to bring down the entire machine network (whew!). One hell of a {{Chessmaster}}, that Oracle.
* In ''Film/BladeRunner2049'', Officer K initially believes that he is [[spoiler: the Replicant child of Rick Deckard and Rachael Tyrell that he's been [[HiredToHuntYourself searching for.]]]] Nope. [[spoiler: Not only is he just a regular Replicant, but as he learns, the memories he had that supposedly proved he was the real child were common to ''all'' Nexus-9 Replicants, meaning that every one of them falsely believes themself to be the chosen one.]] This revelation [[IJustWantToBeSpecial drives his decision]] [[GrowBeyondTheirProgramming be more than just a machine]] by fighting for Rick Deckard [[spoiler: even though Deckard is ''not'' his father, laying down [[HeroicSacrifice his own life]]]] in the process.
* In ''Film/{{Willow}}'', the then-infant princess Elora Danan is prophesied to destroy the [[EvilOverlord evil queen]] Bavmorda. However, it is Willow and others striving to protect the princess who actually stop her. On the other hand, novels that continue the story after the movie play TheChosenOne straight, as Bavmorda returns and the now-grown Elora Danan must fulfill her original destiny.
* In ''Film/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesIITheSecretOfTheOoze'' the Turtles are disappointed when Professor Perry reveals that the formation of the ooze that mutated them ''and'' the accident that led to the canister finding its way into the sewer was simply one large accident. No Turtle was more disappointed than Donatello. He believes there's got to be more to the accident.
* In the ''Franchise/StarWars'' Sequel Trilogy, the main hero, Rey, is just a nobody from nowhere. [[spoiler:Not only is she not from some sort of MysticalPregnancy or heroic bloodline like the Skywalkers, her parents were nothing but filthy junk trading drunks who sold their child for drinking money and eventually ended up dead in unmarked graves under the sands of a lawless desert planet]]. Rey only became a hero of the galaxy by choosing to help BB-8, to go with Han Solo and Finn to find the Resistance, to fight back against Kylo Ren's MindProbe (inadvertently giving her part of his knowledge of using [[MagicByAnyOtherName the Force]]) to seek out Luke Skywalker, and to never stop trying to help her friends or those in need.
-->'''Kylo Ren:''' You have no place in this story. You come from nothing. You're nothing. ...[[YouAreNotAlone but not to me]].
* ''Film/TheFourthWiseMan'': Artaban wishes very much to find the foretold savior and gift him with precious gems, but is delayed tending to a seriously ill man and misses the caravan the other three magi take to Judea. Undaunted, he spends the next several decades trying to find the Christ, except whenever his quest is again interrupted by people in need.

* The TropeNamer is Creator/ChinaMieville's ''Literature/UnLunDun'', in which the heroine Deeba was listed in the Book of Prophecy as the [[PluckyComicRelief "Funny Sidekick"]] to Zanna, the real Chosen One. When Zanna is injured and sent home, Deeba returns to unite [=UnLondon=] against [[BigBad the Smog]] and gets named The Unchosen One by [=UnLondon's=] residents. The odd thing about this is that the Book always turned out to be right about the things it claimed were wrong. It later realises this, and is pleased. Also, Deeba realizes that as the Unchosen One, she gets to [[SequenceBreaking ignore the parts of the prophecy that requires her to go on ridiculous sidequests.]]
* Subverted in ''Literature/SirAproposOfNothing'', where Apropos thinks he is this and hijacks the call, only to find... he was the Chosen One after all. It's complicated.
* Brandon Sanderson's ''Literature/{{Mistborn}}'' trilogy just loves to play with this trope. Kelsier, Vin, and Elend were just the people around who were able to do the job. [[spoiler:And, of course, were helped by the Big Bad.]] In fact, just about every good guy in the trilogy could be said to be an Unchosen One with the exception of [[spoiler:Sazed]].
* [[spoiler: Percy Jackson himself]] is in fact not the hero he had heard in the prophecy in ''Literature/{{Percy Jackson|and the Olympians}}.'' Instead, the prophecy was referring to [[spoiler:''Luke'' who would sacrifice himself to destroy Kronos.]]
* Taran, the protagonist of ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfPrydain'' becomes involved in a war for control of his homeland because he went chasing after a runaway pig and came face to face with the series' resident SupportingLeader, Prince Gwydion. He slowly works his way up from being a TagAlongKid to a BadAssNormal warrior and the equivalent of a general and eventually [[spoiler:the High King of Prydain]] because he heeds the advice of his mentors and refuses to give up on causes he believes in.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}:''
** In ''Discworld/IShallWearMidnight'' Tiffany is told that apparently the only thing she was born with was a natural gift for making cheese. Seeing old Mrs. Snapperly cast out of her home and allowed to freeze and starve to death by people who thought she was a witch made Tiffany determined to make sure it never happened again -- what better way to do that than by becoming a real one?
---> I said you weren't ''born'' with a talent for witchcraft: it didn't come easily; you worked hard at it because you wanted it. You forced the world to give it to you, no matter the price, and the price is and will always be, high. [ ... ] People say you don't find witchcraft; witchcraft finds you. But you've found it, even if at the time you didn't know what it was you were finding, and you grabbed it by its scrawny neck and made it work for you.
** In ''Discworld/LordsAndLadies'' Granny Weatherwax makes it clear that she decided to be a witch, she didn't depend on an elder witch seeing potential in her. And she went on to be the toughest witch around.
--->'''Nanny Ogg:''' You mean you weren't Chosen?\\
'''Granny Weatherwax:''' Me? No. I chose.
* ''Literature/HarryPotter'':
** Played with with the titular character. There ''is'' a prophecy indicating him as the ChosenOne who can kill the BigBad, but Dumbledore makes a consistent effort to remind Harry that there are many fundamental problems with prophecies; even if they can be proven to be real, they tend to either be [[ProphecyTwist very misleading]] or [[SelfFulfillingProphecy self-fulfilling]], pointing out that it was only because Voldemort himself ''believed'' the prophecy about Harry causing his downfall to be true, that he ended up attempting to kill the infant Harry, which backfired and caused his first downfall. He also reminds Harry that he always has the option to ScrewDestiny when it comes to making a final confrontation with Voldemort, but points out that both he and Harry himself know that at his core, Harry is simply too heroic to go through with this: he cares too much about the safety of his friends and avenging the deaths of his parents to ever be seriously tempted into backing down from fighting Voldemort, so him continuing to challenge Voldemort is more down to him ''making the choice'' to fight him than fighting him just BecauseDestinySaysSo.
** Neville also applies - though he was [[MultipleChoiceChosen one of two possible candidates]], he'd never heard the prophecy, nor was he marked as Voldemort's equal, but he still manages to turn Dumbledore's Army into a pretty badass rebellion force, openly defy Voldemort even when it appeared all hope was lost, and [[spoiler:kill the snake to thus render Voldemort mortal]].
* Tad William's novel ''Literature/TheWarOfTheFlowers'' features Mud Bug Button, the [[EccentricMentor unassuming sage]] who explains carefully to the hero that he was not [[TheChosenOne chosen]], his family was not [[ItsPersonal killed by]] TheBigBad, and he did not [[HeroicBSOD have a heroic epiphany after seeing an innocent child killed]]. He just thought carefully about the situation and decided that leading a revolution was something that needed to be done.
* In the ''Toys/{{Bionicle}} Adventures'' books, this is {{Subverted}}. All this time, the Toa Metru believed they were the chosen [[{{Hobbits}} Matoran]] of Metru Nui, hence why the former Toa, Lhikan, had arranged for their transformation into Toa. Then, they found evidence that six ''other'' Matoran were meant to take on the role, and their becoming Toa was only due to [[BigBad Makuta's]] tampering with Lhikan's mind. This chimed with their initial failings as Toa heroes. In reality, [[PhysicalGod Mata Nui]] anticipated Makuta's trickery, so he re-arranged the stars over Metru Nui, thereby changing the prophecies about who should become Toa. Thus, when Makuta tried to foretell these prophecies, and then attempted to prevent their fulfillment, he deliberately planted the names of the most unlikely Toa candidates into Lhikan's brain. That is to say, the names of those exact Matoran that ''were'' supposed to become Toa.
* Kavi and Jiaan both from the ''Literature/FarsalaTrilogy'' operate under the name Sorahb, who is supposed to be reborn in a time of need acording to their country's legend. There is no Sorahb reborn, and if the legend they create is anything to go by, there probably never was an original.
* When the chosen one dies in ''Literature/CannonFodder'', the soldiers who were supposed to be his escort, Kelsey and Bobbin Pike, get stuck with his mission as punishment.
* Sam in ''Literature/LordOfTheRings'' While it was Frodo who was chosen to carry the ring, Sam decided to join him, stick with Frodo to the end, and even carried the ring for a while when Frodo was taken in Return of the King. He's also the only character shown to completely resist the ring, and that was where its lure was strongest.
* In ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire,'' [[PosthumousCharacter Rhaegar Targaryen]] once read a prophecy that convinced him he was TheChosenOne. Later in his life, he changed his mind and thought the Prince That Was Promised was his son Aegon - or rather, that TheChosenMany were his children, since he claimed that "the dragon must have three heads". [[spoiler: It could have been a huge plot point since it's revealed that his wife couldn't get pregnant again after the second child, ''so'' this could have been the reason for his abduction of Lyanna Stark. It's rather ironic that he could have been cheated by prophecies once more if TheChosenOne was his child with Lyanna all along, or his yet-to-be-born ''sister''.]]
* In ''Literature/The39Clues'':
** Amy and Dan Cahill belong to the [[spoiler: Madrigal branch of the family, founded by the fifth Cahill child, Madeline, who was born after the fire that caused the family to split up. She never got a serum, so her descendants are ''not'' blessed with SuperpowerfulGenetics like the four main branches]].
** In ''Into the Gauntlet'', Amy and Dan theorize that Creator/WilliamShakespeare was a Janus (the 'artistic genius' branch of the family). He wasn't, [[spoiler: he was a Madrigal.]]
* In ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'', it's eventually revealed that [[SufficientlyAdvancedAlien the Ellimist]] subtly manipulated events to ensure that Cassie, Marco, Tobias and Ax would be part of the six-person group. This leaves Jake and Rachel unaccounted for. [[spoiler: As Rachel dies, the Ellimist admits that he didn't pick her, and that she was "a happy accident" - but no less important for it.]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Chuck}}'', as of the end of Season 2, has graduated to actively being the Not-ChosenOne after being TheWoobie since the beginning.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer:'':
** The Potential Slayers, sort of... they don't have much choice on whether or not they'll join Buffy in the fight against the First for much of season 7, because if they don't, they'll probably end up dead. In the series finale, Buffy gives them a choice - [[spoiler: become real Slayers and fight the First and his army, or not]]. They choose the first option.
** Also Spike, when he chose himself to fulfill the destiny that had seemingly been planned for Angel.
** The [=BtVS=] RPG includes the "Slayer Poseur" template, who is not even a Potential Slayer, but fights vampires anyway.
** Played straight however with Xander, who despite being a somewhat nerdish guy who's vastly outclassed constantly, gets swept into Buffy's larger than life MonsterOfTheWeek/[[ApocalypseHow Apocalypse of the Year]] situations, and continues to help her to the best of [[MugglePower his abilities]]. At one point in the third season he even passes on the opportunity to become a supernatural being ([[OurZombiesareDifferent a zombie]]), realizing the group needs [[BadassNormal someone normal]] (keep in mind at this point most of his friends have displayed some sort of superhuman ability or are themselves supernatural beings). Plus is not like he is always useless, striking one of the most solid hits against [[spoiler:Glory, the BigBad of the fifth season, by attacking her with a construction wrecking ball]]. This even gets {{lampshaded}} in the seventh season, with a speech he gives to Dawn, who herself at this point has become another UnchosenOne since the end of her plot from the fifth season, in which he almost calls the trope by name:
--->'''Xander''': They'll never know how tough it is, Dawnie, to be the one who isn't chosen. To live so near to the spotlight and never step in it. But I know. I see more than anybody realizes because nobody's watching me. I saw you last night. I see you working here today. You're not special. You're extraordinary.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'':
** Sam and Dean dive very heavily into this, particularly Dean who is even more stubborn about not embracing his destiny, and not letting Sam embrace his. Considering their destinies, this is probably for the best. Note that both of them were SUPPOSED to be TheChosenOne in different ways- Sam as TheAntichrist and Dean as Michael's host. The boys [[ScrewDestiny refused to accept the destinies]] forced upon them, then went above and beyond by creating their own roles and getting accomplishing things nobody though possible- especially for two mortal humans.
** Castiel also applies; originally an accomplished angel given the honor of protecting Michael's future host (aka Dean), but not particularly noteworthy. From Season 5 on, he starts taking initiative and [[spoiler: directly or as a direct result of his actions initiates the main plot of seasons 6, 7, and 9]], as well as becoming a major force for driving the plot along.
* ''Franchise/KamenRider:''
** [[IdiotHero Gentarou]], of ''Series/KamenRiderFourze''. He was never meant to be Fourze by anyone, instead coming out of nowhere and actually ''stealing the Fourze driver'' to become the Kamen Rider.
** This trope is a point of much frustration for Shroud in ''Series/KamenRiderDouble.'' Shoutarou transformed with Philip for the first time pretty much out of necessity, with no idea what he was doing. Shroud spends the majority of the season trying to split them up and put her ChosenOne with Philip instead. Unfortunately, her ChosenOne is [[RefusedTheCall rather uncooperative]], and she eventually [[spoiler: accepts that Shoutarou is not only Philip's true partner, but also the trump card that can take down Museum.]]
** Shinji in ''Series/KamenRiderRyuki'' is another by-chance Rider. Ryuki and Raia, another unchosen Rider, become a serious problem for [[TheChessmaster Kanzaki]]. Unlike Kanzaki's handpicked Riders, these two don't have any pressing desires and really just want to end the fighting.
** All of the Riders in ''Series/KamenRiderGaim'' are chosen by Sid and/or Yggdrasill... except Kouta (he got the Driver intended for his dance team's leader, [[spoiler:whom Kouta later unknowingly killed in the first episode because he turned into an Inves]]), Zack (Kaito stole a Driver and gave it to him), and Oren (forcefully got one from one of the person that was chosen by Sid to become a Rider because he made a mess on his bakery).
* Guinevere in ''Series/{{Merlin}}'' was the only main character never to be mentioned in any prophesy uttered by the dragon or any other seer (though she appeared briefly in one of Morgana's [[DreamingOfThingsToCome prophetic dreams]]. She ends up being [[spoiler:the individual who rules over the Golden Age of Camelot, with it being heavily implied that she also unites the kingdoms and legalizes magic]]. Up until the final episode, everyone assumed that this was ''Arthur's'' destiny.

* One interpretation of Chad Kroeger and Josey Scott's "Hero".
-->And they say that a hero can save us, I'm not gonna stand here and wait\\
I'll hold on to the wings of the eagles, watch as we all fly away
* Music/{{Skillet}}'s identically-titled song, "Hero," embodies this trope, with lyrics starting out "I am just a man/Not superhuman... I need a hero to save me now." However, the narrator gradually realizing that they themselves can do everything that a hero ''should'' be doing.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'':
** Link in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker'' was not chosen by the gods to be TheHero. He's not even a reincarnation or descendant of the original Link like every other Link in the series is. He started his quest solely to rescue his little sister at first, then accepted the quest as a whole later. In doing so, re-empowering the Master Sword after it was weakened, and reassembling the Triforce of Courage, the gods eventually acknowledged Link as the "Hero of Winds."
** Unlike Link and Zelda, Groose in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword'' has no real "destiny" to speak of - a fact supported by how unlike those two, he isn't reincarnated in (chronologically) future games to continue fighting Ganon. Still, he does what he can to help Link, stop Demise and save the surface world.
** The BigBad of the series is a dark Unchosen One. His theft of the Triforce of Power has ultimately left him as bound to it as the other two pieces are to their intended Chosen Ones. TheChosenOne who was supposed to get the Triforce of Power remains unidentified and presumably uninvolved.
* In ''VideoGame/PokemonMysteryDungeonExplorers'', it turns out that ''you'' aren't the one chosen to go to the Hidden Land and save time after all: your partner is. However, because of ThePowerOfFriendship, you're allowed to go too.
** You and [[spoiler: your original partner]] were this before you lost your memories. The two of you were born into a CrapsackWorld and just decided to fix it.
* ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'':
** Sora is one through chance. Riku, his best friend, was chosen to wield the Keyblade, but because he jumped at [[DealWithTheDevil the wrong call]], the Keyblade went to Sora, the closest candidate at the time, after which Sora goes off to save the worlds. He then earns his position as [[TheHero key bearer]] by winning the Keyblade back from Riku after understanding ThePowerOfFriendship.
** In ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep Birth by Sleep]]'', it's revealed that [[spoiler:of the original trio of Sora, Riku, and Kairi, Sora was the only one incapable of wielding the Keyblade. Although he would eventually awaken Ventus' Keyblade due to having his heart inside him, that is after the fact that he managed to become the wielder of the Keyblade through his own strength of heart.]]
** This has become a recurring theme throughout the series. Despite the many [[TheChosenOne Chosen Ones]] floating around, the three biggest heroes--Sora, Aqua, and Mickey--are all this trope. In ''Birth by Sleep'', Aqua was simply an extremely skilled Keyblade wielder who wanted to look after her friends, and yet she was ultimately responsible for [[SpannerInTheWorks derailing Xehanort's plans]] and leaving him incapacitated for 10 years. Likewise with Mickey, nothing so far has indicated any kind of prophecy or "choosing" surrounding him; he seems to have been just an ordinary (mouse) guy who formed an adventuring team, became a King and later a fully fledged Keyblade Master, simply because he wanted to help people.
** Xigbar calls attention to this in ''Dream Drop Distance'', claiming that Sora himself is nothing special if his strength comes from his connections to other people. Sora doesn't let this faze him, proclaiming that even if he wasn't the Keyblade's first choice, he is "proud to be a small part of something greater; the people it ''did'' choose." Master Xehanort himself describes Sora as a "dull, ordinary boy", yet also calling him a sort of Keyblade wielder he'd never seen before.
* The ''VideoGame/TalesSeries'' will frequently create some sort of hero, only to reveal how much ItSucksToBeTheChosenOne, with an Unchosen taking center stage.
** ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'' - Colette and Zelos are {{The Chosen One}}s of their respective lands. However, it is IdiotHero Lloyd Irving who rallies everyone to try and fix everything the BigBad has done. [[spoiler: And the whole [[TheChosenOne Chosen One]] system was all set up by the BigBad, anyway. Fulfilling their duties would've just played right into his hands.]]
** ''VideoGame/TalesOfLegendia'' - The bad guys have a DarkMessiah who will annihilate all of humanity if Senel Coolidge and his allies don't stop her.
** ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'' - [[spoiler:CloningBlues]] make it hard to determine who is and who is not TheChosenOne. The most simple answer (that no-one ever seems to come up with) is that [[spoiler:both Luke ''and'' Asch are TheChosenOne, making them TheChosenMany]].
** ''VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia'' - the hero, Yuri, is as unchosen as you get. Rather than being predestined, his involvement in almost all of the game's events is due to him suffering from severe ChronicHeroSyndrome. Which his comrades make sure to point out.
** ''VideoGame/TalesOfBerseria'' - Velvet Crowe ends up in the hero role, saving the world, mostly by accident. The BigBad Artorius is the one who fits most of the chosen one tropes and the one who actually aims to save the world [[WellIntentionedExtremist for a certain definition of "saved".]] This is a deliberate subversion of how straight the chosen one tropes were played in [[VideoGame/TalesOfZestiria the previous game]].
* In the "R:1" ''[[VideoGame/DotHackR1Games .hack//]]'' games, Aura originally chose Orca of the Azure Sea to be her champion. About 5 seconds after that, Skeith the Terror of Death put his player into a coma. Fortunately Orca was showing his friend Kite the game. Given she makes herself Kite's partner almost immediately after that, [=BlackRose=] could also qualify.
* Justin, the protagonist of the first ''VideoGame/{{Grandia}}'', was never TheChosenOne. The spirits who do the choosing are eventually forced to accept him.
* ''VideoGame/LaMulana'':
** It comes off at first that there's just a Chosen One based on all the tablets that Lemeza comes across in the ruins, but it turns out to be this trope instead when Lemeza finds a tablet basically stating "If you managed to make it this far, then we choose you". So it's both tropes at the same time.
** In the Shrine of the Mother, [[spoiler:Lemeza's father, Shorn/Shawn Kosugi]], leaves you a message, stating that he made it to the centre of the ruins of La-Mulana, but was unable to give the FinalBoss a true form, since he was never deemed worthy to hold the Medicine of Life by the Four Sages/Philosophers.
* In ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'' the player can unlock the ability to play as one of the generic Arachnos mooks by getting a Supervillain character to the max level. The mook character follows a special storyline apart from the normal missions in which they repeatedly try to become a Destined supervillain, only to realize by the end that they had already done so the second they hit level 2.
* In ''VideoGame/LastScenario'', Hilbert is initially portrayed as TheChosenOne thanks to HeroicLineage. However, [[spoiler:Zawu was lying, and he is in fact completely normal.]] This doesn't stop him from smashing the BigBad's schemes down ''hard'' and helping to end the infighting between the 3 or 4 countries that are the focus of the game. As Alexander put it, [[spoiler: his HeroicLineage is real not because Hilbert is Alexander's descendant (which he isn't), but because he chose to follow Alexander's footsteps]].
* After accidentally [[spoiler:time-traveling to the BadFuture]], the protagonists of ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'' decide that the EndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt is not in fact [[BystanderSyndrome someone else's problem]], even though they and their children would be long-dead when the apocalypse does occur. It's not until near the end of the game, long after committing themselves to the quest, that they even start to consider that there could be a higher power choosing them and guiding their actions.
* ''VideoGame/RondoOfSwords'' has [[spoiler:the main character, Serdic's double]]. He's pretty much dragged in the whole mess by the destruction of Bretwalde in the beginning, which also results in the death of the real Chosen One, Prince Serdic, who's the only one who can properly wield the holy sword. Eventually he has to choose whether to fulfill Prince Serdic's final wish of restoring Bretwalde ([[spoiler:which requires him to ascend as Emperor wielding the holy sword... which results in him having to kill Princess Marie to purify the sword]]) or fulfill the Prince's request to protect his sister ([[spoiler:which forces Marie to become the Queen, and causes the double to gain the name 'Altrius' after a legendary hero and become her bodyguard]]). Either way, he's pretty much just at the right (or wrong) place at the right (or wrong) time.
* Though she's certainly TheChosenOne for a lot of other legends in Arcadia, [[spoiler: April Ryan turns out to ''not'' be the next Guardian]] in ''VideoGame/TheLongestJourney''. [[spoiler: Her job turns out to just be finding the new one]], which is pretty important in itself.
* In ''VideoGame/SepterraCore'', the BigBad Doskias believes he's the Chosen One on account of being the direct descendant of the world's CrystalDragonJesus. Instead, the person who ends up saving the world is the heroine, Maya, who doesn't have any sort of special destiny or lineage, but manages to become Septerra's savior through sheer determination. Also, ''not'' being a homicidal douche, unlike Doskias.
* ''Franchise/MassEffect''
** Shepard was a completely ordinary soldier who basically tripped into knowledge of the oncoming danger to the galaxy, and chose to dedicate him/herself to preventing it. In the sequel, this leads into Shepard becoming an ''actual'' ChosenOne for a vast conspiracy group (still heroic, but working for some decidedly {{AntiHero}}ic people) and into him/her becoming [[MemeticBadass a galactic legend.]]
** And in ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', it turns out that ''humanity'' as a species is this. [[spoiler: Javik, the last living Prothean]] reveals that [[spoiler: the ''Asari'']] were chosen by the Protheans to lead the galaxy against the Reapers; to that end, they mildy tampered with their genome, influenced the development of their early civilisation and even [[spoiler: left behind a working Beacon]], all to give them a headstart in leading the next Cycle. However [[spoiler: the Asari]] ended up squandering their gifts, [[spoiler: with the Beacon making them such a HigherTechSpecies, they became technologically stagnant.]] Ultimately, they did the exact ''opposite'' of what the Protheans had expected, choosing to retreat to their homeworld rather than fight the Reapers, leaving humanity to lead the charge.
* ''Franchise/SpyroTheDragon'' is this, in [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfSpyro the reboot trilogy]]. BigBad Malefor insists that it's their destiny as purple dragons to bring about the end of the world; Spyro disagrees and fights to save it even though he fears Malefor may be right. In a manner of speaking, Spyro is one of the few characters who can manage to be ''both'' TheChosenOne and The Unchosen One at the same time. He's TheChosenOne because he's the legendary purple dragon predicted to guide the fate of the era they're born into. He's The Unchosen One because he's not really chosen to actually ''do'' something. He could leave everything well enough alone, go Malefor's way, or change the world for the better. So while he's the purple dragon of legend who is predestined to affect history, he gets to choose how he does it himself.
* Played with in ''VideoGame/{{Okami}}'' -- Amaterasu, goddess of the sun, is acknowledged by all the other gods and spirits as the one to restore the beauty of Nippon, but as far as the human world is concerned, the inept and lazy Susano (and Nagi, his ancestor) are the legendary heroes. Played with still further when Susano reveals that he ''knows'' he's the FakeUltimateHero -- and then, when the chips are altogether down, summons up some heroism and delivers the final blow without any help from Ammy.
* Zak in ''Videogame/EvilIslands'' in an odd case. He is originally hailed by the villagers as TheChosenOne by sheer coincidence, and most energetically by the village elder -- but then it turns out that [[spoiler:the prophecy is more or less a scam, the village elder is actually a spy for TheEmpire, sent there in search of a fallen meteorite]]. Naturally, he becomes a hero anyway.
* Adol Christin of ''VideoGame/{{Ys}}'' is an inversion: he became badass not because he was TheChosenOne, he became (or repeatedly gets picked as) TheChosenOne because he's badass. Because if your land needs a savior, it's an excellent idea to pick [[BadassNormal the guy]] who's already killed enough dark gods to fill a pantheon. In the sixth game's Trials of Alma sidequest, the daughter of the goddess running said trials isn't very impressed with this random guy who just showed up, but when Adol started passing the trials, apparently she went and asked around about you. She becomes ''much'' more impressed and respectful after that.
* {{Subverted}} in the ''Franchise/BaldursGate'' series as a whole. It is implied in the first game that your character, good or bad, is just saying ScrewDestiny, and that's true enough in regards to [[spoiler: their divine parent]]'s plans. But in the last installment, when it's time to finally put an end to the events foretold by the prophecy that's been haunting their lives, it's revealed that it [[spoiler: actually comes with a clause saying that the protagonist is [[TheChosenOne the one]] who can prevent it and save the world a lot of strife (again, even if they choose the evil option).]]
* A rather low-key example due to her [[EleventhHourRanger late arrival]] and [[TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodCharacter consequent lack of character development]], but Princess Himi of Yamatai in ''VideoGame/GoldenSunDarkDawn'' qualifies. Because of a prophecy, her adventurer brother Takeru is away from home [[spoiler: searching for the Warriors of Vale]] when the [[spoiler: Grave Eclipse happens]], and Himi takes it upon herself to join our heroes and save the day, over her father's protests.
* In ''VideoGame/KingdomsOfAmalurReckoning'', everything runs on YouCantFightFate. Except for The Fateless One, who is ImmuneToFate due to being resurrected by the Well of Souls. Which is good because there is no Chosen One destined to defeat the invading Tuatha Deohn.
* In ''VideoGame/DragonQuestV'', ''you'' are not the chosen one. [[spoiler: Your son is.]] When you eventually find TheChosenOne and the special equipment, you can bench him and go beat the BigBad yourself.
* In ''VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends'', Nami decided that when the prophesied Tidecaller didn't show up to fulfill their prophesied duties she would do it herself.
* Toyed with in ''VideoGame/{{Portal}}''. Chell is chosen because she is the unchosen one. Her evaluation indicates that she should not be used for testing, as she is incapable of quitting and accepting defeat. Rattman puts her into the testing for this very reason, hoping that she will be able to defeat [=GLaDOS=].
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls:''
** Played straight in ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIDaggerfall Daggerfall]]''. Once you pick up the Totem of Tiber Septim, it tells you that you aren't allowed to control it, and only the various nobles and other powers around the Iliac Bay would be allowed to control the Numidium. In a DummiedOut ending, if you try to [[TakeAThirdOption take the Totem to the Mantella yourself]], the golem goes berserk, wreaks havoc around the Iliac Bay, and is destroyed.
** You can ''claim'' to be this in ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Morrowind]]'' -- the BigBad begins the final battle by [[AffablyEvil having a polite conversation with you]], and at one point he asks you if you really are Nerevar reborn. One of the possible answers is to claim to be a self-willed hero making your own fate. Of course, that aside, you ''were'' undoubtedly Chosen by Azura, but [[MultipleChoiceChosen it's implied that's been true for several]] of the 'False Incarnates' over the years, and that you're only the "true" Nerevarine because you are the only one to actually ''succeed''. The BigBad will approve if you respond this way, claiming that the Nerevarine's tale will show the gods their limits.
** In ''[[TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]'', you aren't the chosen one; [[spoiler: Martin Septim is,]] though at the beginning it is slightly hinted that fate did want you to become wrapped up in the series of events. Dialogue in ''[[TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'' would seem to indicate that you are actually the HeroOfAnotherStory when it comes to Oblivion's main questline, and that your own story is actually the ''Shivering Isles'' expansion.
* In ''VideoGame/ArcanumOfSteamworksAndMagickObscura'', this trope gets...[[ZigZaggingTrope really complicated]]. See, you're TheChosenOne, the reincarnation of the local CrystalDragonJesus, and a prophecy foretold your emergence near Shrouded Hills and subsequent world-saving from the ancient evil, Arronax. [[spoiler: Except that the prophecy was a lie to begin with, created by Arronax-worshippers to keep everyone distracted from the ''actual'' work of keeping Arronax properly sealed. ''And'' Arronax isn't at all behind the ''actual'' world-threatening catastrophe that's about to return to Arcanum, and is using said Arronax-cult as a pawn. On top of all this you ''can't'' be a literal reincarnation of Nasrudin, since he isn't actually dead yet. Yet you end up fulfilling the role of the Living One anyway and dealing with the threat that's hijacked the role of Arronax, [[MultipleEndings should you choose to do so]]. One character even asks, if you play the role of TheChosenOne, whether it even makes a difference whether you're ''actually'' Nasrudin's reincarnation.]]
* Benjamin, the protagonist of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyMysticQuest'', gets this ''twice''. First, the wise old man who declares him to be the knight of TheProphecy later says "it was really more of a guess." And at the end, [[spoiler:the final boss reveals that the prophecy itself was just a story he made up for lulz. Doesn't deter Ben or Phoebe from taking him down.]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Diablo}}'':
** Applies to all of humanity, as explained in ''VideoGame/{{Diablo III}}''. Because of their odd origins, humans are the only ones whose destiny is not set out in the Scrolls of Fate - making them the only ones capable of [[ScrewDestiny Screwing Destiny]]. So when Destiny foretells [[HellInvadesHeaven the fall of the High Heavens]], it's a good thing that some humans are around to fix things...
** Taken a bit further, most of the protagonists are 'chosen' by something or someONE - the Wizard is outright driven by a prophecy, the Monk was selected by the Elders of Ivgorod, the Witch Doctor follows the voice of the Spirits, the Barbarian is a descendant of Bul-Kathos, the Crusader is a chosen of Akarat, etc... however, the only reason for any of this is that they are amongst the first to [[spoiler: develop full-on Nephilim powers]]. In other words, [[spoiler: they're nothing special - pretty soon, ALL humans will have similar powers.]]
** The Demon Hunter is a definite Unchosen One, especially in comparison to the other classes. They arrive in Tristram for the sole purpose of killing demons - there is no prophecy or divine mandate guiding them. Similarly, their order has no grand history or patron deity, but instead is bound by a shared hatred of the demonic. The difference between the protagonists shows up in ''Reaper of Souls'' when each class meets a ghost who aids them. For the other classes the ghost is a mentor, ancestor, and even a spirit guide. The Demon Hunter instead meets their sister, whose death as a child drove them to the order.
* ''VideoGame/StarCraft'' seems to have followed the ''Diablo'' franchise in this trope as of ''Legacy of the Void''. [[spoiler:As it turns out, the Xel'Naga Prophecy basically includes an AlienNonInterferenceClause, and that the two species (originally thought to be Protoss and Zerg) that are to merge must do so of their own volition. Amon essentially tried to subvert this prophecy by ''making'' those two races into TheChosenOne, and therefore unable to fulfill the prophecy: The Zerg Swarm is unable to assimilate the Protoss, while forcibly merging them creates Hybrid instead of a new generation of Xel'naga. In comes Kerrigan, a powerful Terran psionic (fulfills "Purity of Form"), who as of the end of ''Heart of the Swarm'' has had her Zerg essence rebuilt from the ground up with Primal essence untouched by Amon (fulfills "Purity of Essence"). A unique case to Kerrigan in the story of the franchise, as any other Terran psionic in the game would have been killed by the process which Kerrigan underwent (which is why her survival is vital in defeating Amon), however it is implied that Terrans are quickly evolving into psionic ability, and after a few centuries they would begin rivalling even the Protoss.]]
* The player character in ''Videogame/WhiteKnightChronicles'' is the only character in the game that has no obligation to help out whatsoever, but is still there the entire way. The newbie wine-seller to whom no one paid much attention can also end up [[spoiler:obtaining a brand new Incorruptus called the Ark Knight, which leaves the villains sputtering in disbelief.]]
* In ''[[VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsZ Third Super Robot Wars Z: Tengoku-hen]]'', Ambriel reveals that she was intended [[spoiler:to be the pilot of Genion]]. The black nucleus that Hibiki touched in the first stage of ''Jigoku'' was [[spoiler:the Genion's manual and pilot registration system]], and it was sent there by [[spoiler:DEM in order to scout ''Suzune'' as the pilot]] but Hibiki, being a teenage mecha protagonist, just had to go touching it.
* From Creator/FromSoftware: The player characters from ''VideoGame/DemonsSouls'', all three ''Franchise/DarkSouls'' games, and ''VideoGame/{{Bloodborne}}'' are all only special because [[{{Determinator}} they don't die]] when they realistically should. The running theme of the franchise comes down to the idea of even the smallest being being able to affect immense change through dogged determination. To wit:
** In ''VideoGame/DemonsSouls'' you come to Boletaria due to the promise of treasure and the power of the Soul Arts, only to get lashed to the Nexus for your troubles. [[spoiler: By the end you've killed every powerful Demon and Archdemon in the land and have either lulled the Old One back to sleep or usurped Allant's position as its emissary.]]
** In ''VideoGame/DarkSoulsI'' all you have to go on is the dying word of a fallen knight and the edict to ring a couple of bells. [[spoiler: By the end you've collected a massive bounty of souls, the four Lord Souls possessed by literal ''gods'', and have either sacrificed yourself to the First Flame for the betterment of the Age of Fire or have chosen to let it fade so you can rule the coming Age of Dark.]]
** In ''VideoGame/DarkSoulsII'', you don't even have the distinction of being a "Chosen Undead", you're just a nameless Hollowing schmuck who came to Drangleic because you heard there was a cure for the Undead Curse there. [[spoiler: By the end you've meted out peace to old King Vendrick; slain the four Great Ones who are reincarnations of the lords of old; acquired the crowns of the Sunken King, Old Iron King, Ivory King, and Vendrick himself; killed several Children of Dark (and potentially an [[BonusBoss Ancient Dragon]]); proved yourself to [[EldritchAbomination Vendrick's twisted brother Aldia]]; and either ''become the true monarch of Drangleic'', for good or ill, or abandoned the throne to search for another way to end the curse with no guarantee of reward just like Vendrick and Aldia before you.]]
** In ''VideoGame/{{Bloodborne}}'' you came to Yharnam searching for a cure for your illness and something called Paleblood, only to get thrown into the deep end of the Yharnam hunt and its horrors. [[spoiler: By the end you are the most powerful Hunter in the city that has slain countless beasts and [[EldritchAbomination Eldritch Abominations]], gone through ''at least'' three different dream worlds, and have either found an escape, become the new watcher of the Hunter's Dream, or have been transformed into an Old One yourself so you may preside over the Dream and the Nightmare.]]
** In ''VideoGame/DarkSoulsIII'' you are somehow even worse off than being an Undead; you're an Unkindled, a worthless thing unfit even to be cinders to the flame. You and the other numerous Unkindled represent not plan A, not plan B, but plan C. [[TheChosenOne The Chosen One]] who was supposed to link the fire, refused. The Lords of Cinder, beings who previously linked the fire and were resurrected to link it a second time, all abandoned their duty, either out of insanity or because they were simply content to let the world fade and die. The Unkindled are resurrected as a last, desperate attempt to stave off the darkness, even though there's little chance of them succeeding. Things are so bad, there's nothing left to lose in trying. [[spoiler: By the end you've returned the errant Lords to their thrones, dismantled an entire religion dedicated to spreading the Abyss, given final justice to the old gods of Anor Londo for what the Cathedral of the Deep did to them, and either Linked the Fire to prolong the world a tad longer, let the flames die out so that a new world may rise from its ashes naturally, or stolen away the last embers of the First Flame to rise as the unquestioned ruler of Humanity and the Age of Dark as the Lord of Londor.]]
** The TrueFinalBoss of the series, [[spoiler: Slave Knight Gael]] is also one of these, not unlike the countless undead that have come before them. They were a worthless thing only fit to be fodder for their betters, [[spoiler: but through sheer dogged determination and an unwillingness to give into despair he became a DeityOfHumanOrigin by becoming the Dark Soul's avatar in the way the Soul Of Cinder was for the First Flame. Everything was pointing to Gael being a footnote in your story, but he winds up becoming one of, if not ''the most'' important being in the entire series.]]
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'', Cloud absorbs the memories and skills of the more competent, [[IdealHero heroic]] and glamorous Zack, who got shot [[PosthumousCharacter before the game started]], and would have been a much better candidate for an {{Eastern RPG}} hero. By the time Cloud unpacks his memories, the angle of his rival Sephiroth being his EvilCounterpart is dispensed with, and Cloud continues on his quest 'without pretending' out of a genuine desire to save the world (from a mess [[NiceJobBreakingItHero he was partially responsible for]]).
* In the course of ''[[VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft World of Warcraft: Legion]]'', you retrieve and empower an artifact, Light's Heart, which channels the spirit of a Naaru, a being of light, called Xe'ra. Xe'ra insists that on Azeroth there is a "Child of Light and Shadow" who will be instrumental to defeating the Legion. This individual is none other than [[spoiler:Illidan Stormarage]]. When he meets Xe'ra in person, the Naaru tells her would-be Chosen One about his destiny. However, after he refuses Xe'ra's offer of power, having been in a position like this before, Xe'ra tries to empower him by force. He takes this poorly, fights back, and [[spoiler:Illidan completely destroys Xe'ra]]. He sums up his reasons to one of Xe'ra's enraged followers.
-->"Your faith has blinded you. There can be no chosen one. Only we can save ourselves."
* ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas''
** While in ''Videogame/Fallout3'' and ''[[Videogame/Fallout4 4]]'' your character had sort of a destiny, in ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'', your character, the Courier, is nobody special beyond being a skilled courier. Your entire story is mainly an accident [[spoiler:given Uysses was supposed to deliver that package, but backed out as he wanted you to do it as a sort of revenge against something [[ButForMeItWasTuesday you don't even know you did]]]]. By total happenstance this puts the Courier in the position to help various factions and give the Mojave to specific people or ultimately thrust it into total anarchy.
** When you talk to Major Dhatri, he asks for your help in taking on several fiend leaders. The only reason you're doing it is because the last mercenary (who is coincidentally still inside Camp [=McCarran=]) admits to being afraid being burned alive or raped.
** Motor-Runner is similar. You can be tasked with helping a ranger get Motor-Runner, and when you find the ranger he is too injured to keep fighting. You can help him back on his feet and both of you take Motor-Runner, or you can do it by yourself.
** the Star Sunset Sarsaparilla caps have a tragically ironic connection to this trope. Legend speaks of a cache of unknown riches and/or goods buried in the bottling plant, and people are brutally murdering one another for these caps all over the Mojave. [[spoiler:When you get access to this cache, you find a man who beat you there and shot himself when realized the prize was... plastic deputy badges. The Sunset Sarsaparilla company was so cheap, they never actually got a real prize, and the story of the reward was over-romanticized. Everyone who thought they would have a great reward as they, the finder of the bottle caps, arrived to the plant, would be horrified to find nothing more than toys.]]
** Old World Blues only happens by accident really. You were never meant to have conscious thought, you can only think because your robo-brain is connecting to your real brain.

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'' attempts to invoke this trope as a manner of trying to save the world in Volume 3. Prior to the series beginning, [[BigBad Cinder Fall]] ambushed Amber, the Fall Maiden, and began stealing her mystical and mysterious powers before Qrow Branwen rescues her. Headmaster Ozpin, not wanting someone like her to get the power when she ends up appearing in the Vytal Tournament, recruits Pyrrha Nikos to take the other half. However, the process would involve merging her soul with Amber's, and possibly erase her own personality in the process. Ozpin gives her some time to consider whether or not she's willing to do it, and she only agrees to take up the power after Cinder has already launched her plans and Vale and Beacon are under attack by Grimm and the White Fang. [[spoiler:It doesn't work as, when Pyrrha ultimately agrees, Cinder ambushes them again and takes the power for herself.]]

* From the ''Webcomic/CrossoverWars'', Scale. Her own comic starts with her creators (in story) talking of a planned story which was derailed when the [[EvilOverlord Editor]] & his forces invaded the comic & captured them. Scale's "birth" was a side effect of the Editor reaching into the metaphorical womb (a computer) and pulling out her bracer into "reality". Afterwards she had to figure out what had happened & what to do next, which involved stumbling across dimensions and assembling an army to oppose the Evil Overlords & rescuing her creators.
* The title character of ''Webcomic/{{Digger}}''. Digger is an anthropomorphic wombat, and her people usually have the good sense to steer clear of any gods or magic they may encounter. Unfortunately, Digger has gotten herself first good and lost (on account of underground hallucinogenic gas pockets), then entangled (on account of being too nice for her own good) in strange goings on in a faraway land, in which both gods and magic are involved. Prophesies of several groups speak extensively of the other characters in the story, the events that Digger participates in, and even the tunnel that Digger digs up to the surface in the beginning of the story once she decides that she is completely and utterly lost - but strangely none of the prophesies say anything about Digger herself, or mention wombats in any way. Indeed, hardly anyone in the land Digger has found herself in has even heard of them. [[spoiler:As it turns out, her ancestor specifically asked that his descendants be immune to divine prying and prophesying in exchange for helping to bind a mad god.]]
* Roy Greenhilt from ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' fits this pretty well. Originally he took on the quest to destroy [[BigBad Xykon]], his father's personal nemesis, out of a desire to [[WellDoneSonGuy prove himself]]. In the process, he discovered that Xykon represents a significant threat to the universe. After telling his father to shove it, Roy decides that he's going to take down Xykon regardless of his father's wishes, just because it needs to be done.
-->'''Roy:''' We're still the Order of the Stick, no matter how much stuff changes along the way. I'm sure there will be even more changes before the endgame -- things we can't even hope to predict now. And I'm just as sure that we'll get through them all. Not because we're destined or chosen or fated or any of that cliched heroic garbage. Nah. We'll get through because we're the ones who are too dumb to know when to quit.
* ''Webcomic/EightBitTheater'' is about four Unchosen who basically ''steal'' the destiny of the actual Chosen and then proceed to completely waste the opportunity. And the ones who actually end up saving the world [[spoiler: are White Mage, Priest, Shaman and Healer, ending up both as Unchosen Ones themselves and as sort-of Chosen Ones in that they're putting an end to [[http://www.nuklearpower.com/2001/03/20/episode-007-kamehameha-or-something/ the longest]] BrickJoke [[http://www.nuklearpower.com/2010/02/20/episode-1221-longest-set-up-in-webcomic-history/ in the series.]]]]
* Almond from ''Webcomic/CucumberQuest'' is truly hero material, while her brother Cucumber is rather bookish and has never held a sword in his life. However, it is Cucumber who becomes the [[TheChosenOne Legendary Hero]] and Almond is supposed to stay home and be the damsel in distress, like the many younger sisters of the Legendary Heroes before Cucumber. Instead, she follows her brother on his journey and is determined to beat [[BigBad The Nightmare Knight]] herself, even offering to handle the quest herself. While impulsive and [[BloodKnight eager to fight]], she is a capable fighter and has already decimated one of the eight Disaster Masters.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''Lamia Daughter Quest'', the Chosen Ones of Citadel kingdom are the Lightbringers, who will come together, face a Shaper of Darkness, and perform a HeroicSacrifice to defeat it. Ssen Patrick and her RagtagBunchOfMisfits are not Lightbringers, but they do manage to be in the right place at the right time to defeat threats the Lightbringers were supposed to thwart. [[spoiler: Though the Lightbringers are not actual chosen ones- they're actually victims of an elaborate form of human sacrifice designed to keep Citadel alive. The Dawnchasers being Unchosen Ones and distrupting the Lightbringers' story was a massive SpannerInTheWorks for them.]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The titular character of the ''Franchise/Ben10'' franchise. In [[WesternAnimation/Ben10 the original series]], Ben is surprised, and deeply disappointed, to learn that the [[ImportedAlienPhlebotinum Omnitrix]] had actually been sent to Earth for his [[TheMenInBlack ex-Plumber]] ''grandfather'' to use. It only attached itself to him only by mistake. Later, the device's creator, Azmuth, muses how [[BecauseDestinySaysSo destiny may have chosen Ben]]...[[ZigZaggingTrope though this same character doesn't fully accept Ben as the bearer himself]] until the end of ''WesternAnimation/Ben10UltimateAlien''. That said, most of the alternate timelines shown throughout the original continuity do have Ben as the welder of the Omnitrix, with a few alternate ones having his cousin Gwen receive the watch.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'', Raven is destined to be TheAntiChrist, and would serve as a portal for her OmnicidalManiac father, Trigon. At first she tries hard to fight destiny, eventually succumbs BecauseDestinySaysSo, but later rebels against her fate.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'' ''WesternAnimation/{{Wishology}}'' trilogy, Timmy is assumed to be the Chosen One who will defeat the Darkness, but ''after'' he (first) defeats it, it turns out another guy was chosen ''by a committee holding auditions'', so the mix-up wasn't Destiny's fault so much as poor judgement by the fairies. When the time comes for the Chosen One to pass "the Chosen Test" to prove he's worthy of wielding the second wand, Timmy is the one who passes, proving Turbo Thunder was actually the Unchosen One.
* Jamie in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/MegasXLR'' does this, and actually does the job surprisingly well... compared to Coop himself, anyway.
* While the later incarnations of the Avatar of ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' and ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' are all TheChosenOne, [[GuileHero Wan]], the first Avatar, went against the beliefs and lifestyles of the world at the time, refusing to accept that things could not be changed and would always stay the same. Through his efforts, he merged with the spirit [[BigGood Raava]] to stop [[BigBad Vaatu]], and the two began the Avatar Cycle, separated human and spirit world for their mutual protection, and allowed humanity to leave the Lion Turtles for the wider world.