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Yay! The Hero is coming to town!
Hey, where'd the town go? Why is there just this smoking crater covered in corpses?
Like Weirdness Magnet, except for disasters, death, widespread unpleasantness, explosions, alien invasions, zombies, crazy terrorists and jaywalkers. Wherever they go, cities crumble, villains show up, and weeping is heard. Not because they themselves cause it, but the worst of the worst are constantly drawn to them.
Unlike Walking Wasteland or Destructive Saviour, the person is not causing any of this. It just always happens where they are. Semi-related to Busman's Holiday, but it's not related to the person's job. Stuff just always happens wherever they are.
Doom Magnet is for when this directly affects the supporting cast of the main character and they start dropping like flies. See Person of Mass Destruction, with whom there may be significant overlap. Compare The Jinx, who attracts bad luck on a smaller scale. If plants and animals literally die in proximity, it's a Walking Wasteland. If there's anything of the city/country/planet left, expect the hero to be Persona Non Grata. See also Hero Insurance.
Seina Yamada in Tenchi Muyo GXP is a comic example. Accident and misfortune dog his every step, even causing him to be accidentally recruited into the Galaxy Police. Once he's there, though, his bad luck becomes an asset because it attracts pirate ships which the GP can then arrest. At the end of the series he somehow ends up with eight wives - whether that's good or bad luck is anybody's guess.
Trigun: Vash the Stampede, also known as the "Humanoid Typhoon", is so potent an example of this trope that the planetary government legally declared him an "Act of God" and a "Natural Human Disaster". The plot of the anime involves him being followed from town to village by a pair of Insurance Agents who investigate insurance claims taken out against the damage caused by Vash simply being in the area.
Kei and Yuri of the anime/Amerimanga/Light Novel series Dirty Pair practically define this trope: Two sexy government operatives who just happen to attract apocalyptic disaster wherever they go. Their typically ham-fisted and violent style in handling such situations doesn't help matters, but Finagle's Law is a way of life with them, and calamity seems to strike wherever they go, even when they're on vacation. In one miniseries, a villain performs an "experiment" to see what would happen when a clone of Yuri is thrown into the mix, injecting three "Lovely Angels" into the situation. The result: a supernova that threatens to set off more supernovae by its shockwave. Clearly two women you should be inclined to avoid. "It's not our fault!"
In Detective Conan, wherever the main character goes, he finds himself knee-deep in another murder, theft, or other serious crime. Good thing he's a private eye, huh? Several of the recurring characters, especially the police, lampshade the fact that the Mouri family always seem to stumble upon a case, suspecting that perhaps Kogoro or Conan are cursed.
Gildartz, of Fairy Tail has this as his superpower. The most powerful member of the Guild, his magic "crash" literally destroys everything he touches. The only problem is that unless he's pissed off, he has an attention span of about 5 seconds and due to his nature prefers to walk everywhere; in a straight line. The town he lives in even has a restructured Gildartz mode where he has nothing in his path, to save on repair bills.
Most superheroes. One example is when Batman first dealt with a large plague, then a city-destroying earthquake, then (in the aftermath of the quake) a winter that was far colder than normal. Mentioned in Batman Begins, as Gordon talks about escalation: "We start carrying semi-automatics; They start carrying automatics. We start wearing kevlar; They start using armor piercing rounds. And you're wearing a mask and jumping off rooftops; Take this guy, armed robbery, double homicide, taste for the theatrical, and leaves a calling card." [Card is flipped over, showing the Joker]
Being anywhere near the two main characters of Mortadelo y Filemón is very hazardous to your health. Lampshaded in one of the later albums: When Mortadelo and Filemon boarded a plane, all the other passengers refused to board.
Don Depresor from the spanish comic book Fanhunter. Put him in an enemy ship/plane, tell him to act naturally, enjoy seeing the ship sinking/plane crashing.
Zipi y Zape: The twins, in many stories, but especially the "Around the world" story.
Meet Disaster Des. This British comic character was like a god of destruction. Buildings would collapse, machines would malfunction and ships would sink whenever Des innocently and obliviously passed by.
John Spartan in Demolition Man earned the titular nickname due to his tendency towards leaving any building he performs an operation in as a smouldering ruin.
The videocamera-toting cast of Cloverfield probably fit nicely into this trope - wherever they go, whatever they do, the monster is there as well.
Fackler in the Police Academy films. He can't walk through an office without getting a dozen people hurt and the office burnt down. And no, he has no idea he is the cause.
Get Over It has a lady named Dora Lynn, whom bad luck seemed to follow. In wood shop, she took out half off a classroom with a nailgun (so much that one character cannot even sit down), caused a vending machine to spew tampons like missiles, lights a guy on fire, gets hit by a car, and loses her bikini top. When she goes on a date with Berke to a sushi restaurants, a chain of events causes the restaurant to be burned down.
On Pure Luck, Heiress Valerie Highsmith is this-so unlucky and clumsy that her entire life has been plagued with accidents that have almost killed her (and have killed other things, like pets) and making her capable of setting an entire town on fire by trying to prepare breakfast. When she disappears in Mexico, Private Detective Raymond Campanella is asked to drag along accountant Eugene Proctor-the only living being who is just as bad, if not worse, on the luck department, on the hope that he manages to literally stumble his way into a solution. Between barely surviving Proctor's own disgraces and following the trail of destruction that Valerie leaves behind (such as the aforementioned town burning) they manage to find her.
In Good Omens, War is working under an alias as a news correspondent, and it's noted by her colleagues that when war breaks out, she's there amazingly quickly - almost before it happens. Eventually the smart ones just start booking flight tickets based on her destinations.
Bobbie Faye Sumrall of the Bobbie Faye books is infamous for this. Words cannot describe.
Caine is this for multiple reasons. For one, because he was an actor by training and for the longest time either sought out or created violent situations to provide material for his adventures. Also, because the way he forces himself on reality actually causes the fabric of magic and chance to send hell his way (according to his more metaphysically-minded companions). But mostly, it's because the crazy bastard can almost never resist the urge to escalate a fight.
Jame in P.C. Hodgell's Chronicles of the Kencyrath. She's a walking disaster magnet, as one might expect for someone marked to become Nemesis, the avatar of destruction. Her brother is warned by a friend of hers that he'd probably find their land "reduced to rubble and [Jame] in the midst of it, looking apologetic." As she says, though, "Some things need to be broken."
Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings has been accused of this, hence his nickname of 'Gandalf Storm-Crow'. He defends himself by saying that there's two kinds of people who show up in disaster-zones: The ones who cause them or take advantage of them, and the ones who go there to help.
The Wheel of Time: Rand Al Thor, The Dragon Reborn, of the Wheel of Time is one of these, a fact that rather gets to him as things progress, not to mention damages his chances of winning people over even if he is the Chosen One. It varies a lot in terms of how much destruction and chaos turns up around him, but it always does, on account of him being ta'veren. Ta'veren are people who bend the Pattern (the Universe) around them for a brief amount of time, affecting the laws of probability in their vicinity, and someone who is chosen to be ta'veren will always be central to important events of the era, as ta'veren are chosen by the Wheel (the metaphysical concept of time) to correct history's intended flow.
Honor Harrington is nicknamed "The Salamander" by the Manticoran media, for her tendency to be where the fire is hottest.
The Dresden Files: Harry Dresden. Ever since he started working in Chicago, there's pretty much three gigantic magical disasters per year. Also it is also due to living in a Disaster Area - the Chicago area is strongly magical, drawing in all kinds of things. A mobster, who is so badass that he joins a magical legal organization containing entities like demigods and wizard councils purely based on being a badass muggle, complains that Harry threatening to show up is more blackmail than he ever does. It turns out that being a Person of Mass Destruction and hanging out with a surprisingly large number of beings who are at least as powerful does wonders for the insurance collection rates. Later it was revealed most major forces in the Supernatural World knew who Dresden was, by reputation, and stayed out of Chicago for their own safety.
Jackie Rodowsky of The Baby-Sitters Club is known as "The Walking Disaster" thanks to his seeming talent for self-injury.
In Redshirts, entire planets catch deadly diseases and go to war just to give the officers of the Intrepid dramatic plotlines.
The Incredible Worlds Of Wally Mc Doogle: The title character is described by this, and it's completely true, largely due to his extreme klutziness. Anywhere he goes, massive property damage and possible police intervention are sure to follow.
Certain Doctors exemplify the trope far more than others, however. The Fifth Doctor instantly comes to mind, with one of his companions dying on him, and most adventures ending with many (if not all) non-mains dead. With the Fifth, it got so bad that one of his companions actually chose to leave for home rather than deal with the death and devastation.
Possibly topped in the revived series, when the Tenth Doctor discovered that London on one near-future Christmas Day was abandoned, as the residents had come to realize that every Christmas, aliens attacked their city. They returned a few days later.
To be fair to the Doctor, his TARDIS (combination of Cool Ship / Living Ship) actually takes him "where you need to be", which is mostly where people are about to start dying / monsters are about to attack. He is actually more of an inversion of the trope, as we saw in the episode "Turn Left", things tend to get a lot worse when he isn't there.
Ronon Dex of Stargate Atlantis during his time as a Runner. In his case however, it was due to having been implanted with a Wraith tracking device, meaning he dared not stay in any one place too long lest he bring forth the Wraith down upon their heads.
Eric Idle's character in one Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch (with the random title of "Prawn Salad") seems to cause accidents just by being there. Pictures fall off walls, furniture collapses, and a maid has a very unfortunate accident when showing him a dagger. And then it gets funnier.
And apparently only happen to people in the same grade as her.
That has to do with the school being directly on top of the Hellmouth.
One of the prequel comics indicates that it's actually the other way round - Buffy is drawn to weirdness, not vice versa.
This claim has some weight. Remember when she left Sunnydale? She couldn't spend a few months without tripping over demons again.
In the alternate wish-verse the Master's plan from the pilot worked, and while Sunnydale was overrun she was busy in desperate battles in Chicago.
Jessica Fletcher from Murder, She Wrote, and many other characters from detective fiction. Wherever they go, people drop dead at a rate that makes you wonder why the police don't either lock them up or put them under 24/7 surveillance.
Carly's brother Spencer is a mild example. Possibly due to te Rule of Funny, anything he does has a small chance of spontaneously combusting. Particularly glaring examples involve ringing a small desk bell...and having it burst into flame, and hitting a cymbal with a drumstick, which then began burning. Reaches its apex when, fed up with constant calls, the local fire department just gives Spencer some fire extinguishers for use around the house. Spencer pulls the pin on one, expecting a spray of foam...and gets a spray of fire!
In Metal Hurlant Chronicles the titular framing device is a fragment of a living planet destroyed by its inhabitants cursed to streak through time and space. In more than one episode it is implied if not outright stated to cause the events of the episode on whatever random planet it passes.
In the video for Green Day's "Walking Contradiction", destruction and chaos follow the members of the band everywhere they go (which they completely fail to notice).
Ciaphas Cain, Hero of the Imperium, creates one of those. He tries to be posted on the least dangerous-looking commands only to find out they're not quite as safe as he assumed them to be. His favorite artillery regiment (watching the war from several dozen miles behind the front lines) was in the way of a tyranid flanking attack, his checking up on a few insurgents apart from the main host turns up the remnants of an inquisitorial warband fighting a nest of genestealers and having a cozy little war against seemingly poorly-organized orks reintroduces him to his best friends, the Necrons.
And if you're an Abyssal (a corrupted Celestial, basically), this is right there in your job description. If you try to run away from this designation, you'll only make it worse.
And if you're a Green Sun Prince, every mote of your very being is a Walking (Running, Flying) Disaster Area.
Can happen in Scion, due to the nature of Legend and Fate. As the Scions level up from heroes to demigods to gods, they inevitably either get drawn towards conflicts or cause conflicts to come to them. It gets stronger the higher a Scion's level, until it becomes so strong they have to either take on a godly avatar of lesser power or depart from the mortal world to prevent collateral damage.
Zidane of Final Fantasy IX is such an example that the Console RPG Cliche List named this trope after him. Surprisingly, it all happens for plot reasons (at least in theory) and none of the characters in the game (Zidane included) seem to notice the pattern.
Zidane's Curse: An unlucky condition in which every location in the game will coincidentally wind up being destroyed just after the hero arrives.
Gordon Freeman of Half-Life 2. Any sensible rebels would run for their lives instead of cheering when they see the good doctor approach. Of course, he is actively hunted by the Combine for being the unifying force of said resistance, so...
The Pariah Dog from Fallout 2. You find him standing in the middle of a pile of corpses, and having him in your party drops your Luck Stat to 1, and give you the Jinxed trait, causing you and everyone around to critically fail almost every move. If the failure involves guns, explosives or energy weapons, the wielder can bid their limbs farewell.
The player character in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion; when they turn up the monsters aren't far behind. In fact, it's the easiest way to get some wandering NPC killed. Just wait for them to walk in the wilderness and follow them until something spawns and eats them.
Fallout 3 tends to spawn enemies around the player character. At higher levels, approaching civilization can be dangerous - odds are the enemies will far outclass any inhabitants of a given settlement.
Fallout: New Vegas ditches the random encounters for the most part, but does have high-level monster spawn points near a few settlements, as well as scripted encounters with Elite Mook hit squads once the player has a negative reputation with either of the main factions. These will quickly lay waste to civilian NPC's when they follow the Courier into a settlement.
The Courier also exhibited this in the backstory of the Lonesome Road DLC, where they wiped out civilization in the Divide by delivering an Old World device that triggered the detonation of the nuclear warheads there.
Where Samus Aran of Metroid goes, it will probably be destroyed. Unless it is a space station, in which case it will definitely be destroyed.
Commander Shepard in Mass Effect 1 and Mass Effect 2. In his/her search for Saren in the first, and his/her battle against the Collectors in the sequel, almost no location has managed to avoid being wrecked. Some examples:
When you reach Eden Prime, it's under siege. The colony is wrecked and its inhabitants are mostly dead. The artifact you went to retrieve is still there, but after it's triggered by one of your teammates, Shepard interacts with it and it overloads and explodes.
After recovering Liara, the Prothean ruins (that had survived fifty thousand years in a seismically active area) get destroyed by a quake Shepard triggered accidentally.
In Noveria, s/he triggers the Peak 15 failsafe (a neutron bomb) to deal with a rachni infestation.
In Feros, s/he removes the nerve bundles anchoring the Thorian, causing it to fall down a shaft to its death. The colony, at least, stays intact.
In Virmire, s/he detonates a nuclear device to deal with the Krogan cloning facility. Although then, the salarians had already rigged up the bomb out of their ship's drive core before Shepard arrived. S/he just deployed it.
The Citadel then gets trashed by Sovereign as Shepard is attempting to stop it from ending all sapient life in the galaxy.
In the sequel, then, two colonies are abducted by Collectors just before or as Shepard arrives (at the second you're in time to save one third of the population).
A dead Reaper (humongous ship Shepard explores in search of technology) is crushed by the atmosphere of the dead star it falls into after holding orbit for thirty-seven million years.
You get to decide whether the Collector base survives or not, but it is to be expected that about half the time it's going to go boom.
"Things explode around you, Shepard. You can't blame Aria for being careful."
And by Wrex upon meeting Grunt.
Grunt: [Okeer] is dead.
Wrex: Of course. You're with Shepard. How could he be alive?
As well as Rana Thanoptis' reaction to seeing Shepard again.
Rana: Now if you don't mind, I'm going to run like hell before you blow the place or something. I know how you work.
Easily the biggest one comes at the end of The Arrival DLC where, whether Paragon or Renegade, Shepard hurls an asteroid into a mass relay, which releases enough energy to destroy an entire solar system and kill just over three hundred thousand batarians. Unlike the others, that one really bit Shepard in the ass, leaving him/her grounded by the brass for six months to sort out the mass murder and terrorism charges.
Despite Spectres being the most elite soldiers in the galaxy, they have a strange habit of getting killed around Shepard. In the first game, Nihlus is murdered shortly after meeting Shepard and Saren dies at Shepard's hands. In Lair of the Shadow Broker, after being revealed as a traitor, Tela Vasir is killed during a confrontation with Shepard. The Virmire Survivor can potentially be killed during a stand-off in the third game if certain speech checks aren't met, and Jondum Bau can potentially die, depending on whether or not Shepard recruited Kasumi in the second game.
In the Citadel DLC for the third game, Shepard is responsible for the destruction of a posh sushi restaurant after being ambushed by a group of mercenaries. No-one lets Shepard forget it - mostly because Shepard's exit from the restaurant involved falling through the aquarium-floor.
Shepard almost seems relieved to be visiting Tuchanka in the second game, possibly because until the Reapers get involved it's hard to imagine anything that would mess up Tuchanka worse than the genophage and krogan clan warfare already has.
Nathan Drake of Uncharted would honestly prefer it if stuff didn't blow up everywhere he goes, but it just... seems to happen. Accidentally. This is lampshaded a lot and even played for subtle tragedy late in Among Thieves, when an innocent Tibetan village that happened to be sheltering Nate is invaded and shot to pieces with many casualties. In the third game, Nate manages to accidentally turn a plane in stable flight into a streak of flaming shrapnel from the cargo bay, shortly after boarding it, in an astonishing sequence of events that borders on Disaster Dominoes.
Goes Up to Eleven at the end of the third game when Nate causes the entire city of Ubar to collapse into a giant sinkhole.
Sully: Three goddamned bullets. How the Hell did you do this with three goddamned bullets?!
Hawke in Dragon Age II is both a Fight Magnet and this. Varric lampshades it in the Legacy DLC when Hawke comments that he/she wants to have a quiet vacation somewhere peaceful — maybe a beach?
Varric: Hawke, the day you go to the beach would be the day an armada of angry demon pirates shows up.
The Postal Dude from Postal 2 seems to attract trouble no matter how mundane his task. Go to work on Monday? Protesters break in and shoot up the place. Return a library book on Tuesday? Arsonists torch the library while he's in it. Go to church on Wednesday? Terrorists decide this is the perfect time to bomb the church in the name of Allah. With this kind of luck it would take the patience of Gandhi to beat the game without killing anyone.
In the first two series, Lara Croft tended to be more of a Person of Mass Destruction. In the 2013 reboot, however, she tends to fall more into this trope. Things tend to blow up spectacularly wherever she goes as the game progresses, but Lara herself is (usually) not the direct cause of it.
While all of the Resident Evil protagonists have a dose of this, Jill Valentine's is larger than most. She's already in a disaster area when Resident Evil 3: Nemesis starts and it gets worse as she goes; shortly after she arrives, almost every location in the game tends to get overrun by zombies, catch on fire, explode, or have large vehicles crashed into it, with the whole thing capped off by a bombing run against the city.
The C.O.G. in the Gears of War series are well-known for this, every place they show up seems to get overrun by Locusts and/or Lambent. Which is the reason why they're so hated other human groups like the Stranded. Their leader Griffin hates them more then anybody else, because his town "Char" was devastated by Hammer Of Dawn strikes which turned many people into statues of ash. Padduk also mentions this in "Aftermath" when the COG come to his home to get aboat, and they get attacked by Lambent and Locusts alike, Padduk blames them for this, claiming that it never happens to him when he's alone.
Lampshaded hilariously in Tales of Vesperia (Multiple times). Many cutscenes and skits center around the other characters accusing Yuri of this. Eventually, even he starts to believe it.
The so-called "Light Warriors" of 8-Bit Theater are walking agents of destruction, but they usually do most of the dirty work themselves. The character who does qualify for this trope is White Mage, who can't seem to complete a good deed before a godlike act of destruction annihilates everything she's worked for. The vast majority of those are caused by the aforementioned Light Warriors, particularly Black Mage.
In fact, some have given them the appropriate nickname of "Blight Warriors."
Happens in WTF Comics with Anna to the point of being lampshaded several times.
[Anna is exploring a cave under a castle. A crack appears in the wall of the cave]
Straha: ...Anna... remember what I asked you not to do...
Anna: What... about causing terrible things to happen?
[Dragon bursts into cave]
Straha: ...you're doing it again...
And later upon returning to Anna's home town and finding it in bad shape.
Straha: ...this usually doesn't happen until after Anna gets somewhere...
Ruby Gloom: Misery and everyone related to her. Apparently, they have been involved in every major disaster throughout history.
Invader ZIM, who once accidentally shut down the power for half a military training planet, for a snack, is this trope. At two minutes old, he blew the power for most of a planet. His leaders put him in military science to try and turn his capacity for horrible oblivious destruction in a useful direction, but it didn't really work out. For instance, Zim caused another power outage when he decided to visit the surface of Irk, killed the two previous Tallests by creating a Lovecraftian horror that nearly wiped out all space, and caused a planet to explode just by standing on it. To keep him contained during an invasion, his commanders confined him to a circle drawn on the ground. Zim promptly decided was too simple a task for his GENIUS and hijacked a Humongous Mecha invasion machine, whereupon he commenced with the invading and the exploding and the uncontrolled fires blissfully unaware he had not yet left Planet Irk and bringing the entire invasion down single-handed. For their next invasion, Zim's commanders exiled him to Earth - as far away from them as possible. From there, he still managed to destroy a large part of the invading fleet with an out-of-control rapidly moving planet Mars. In one unused script, there was to be a montage of everything Zim had ever destroyed. ...It would have gone on for a while.
In Codename: Kids Next Door, "Operation: M.A.C.A.R.RO.N.I.", there's Numbuh 13, the biggest jinx and clutz in the organization, causing accidents everywhere he goes. Sector V is told by central command to give the Toilenator to the Mr. Boss villains in a Prisoner Exchange, and are horrified to find out that the prisoner they're getting back is him. They can't tell the villains You Can Keep Him (because he has information they need) and the team of operatives he belongs to refuse to take him back, so they're stuck with the disasters he causes until the end of the episode, when Mr. Boss accidentally kidnaps him again, much to his horror.
The Bakshi Mighty Mouse reboot had "Catastrophe Cat," about an oblivious big and fat cat who leaves destruction in his wake.
Jimmy Burns, V-Blogger and foreign correspondent in Shooting War, though he also gets misquoted on this. Then again, he's in a freaking war zone.
The adventuring group in Something Awful: Dungeons & Dragons tabletop sessions has noted, with some despair, that places they're in have an uncanny tendency to unmake themselves. This has included a mansion, a magical tower-mountain (twice!), a dream dimension, and some islands.
SCP Foundation: SCP-1440 is an old man who wanders eternally and brings ruin and destruction if he stops in any one place for too long. The interview he gave with an SCP doctor before the on-site nuclear warhead exploded reveals it's what happens when you play Chess with Death... and win.
Canadian metal band The Agonist seem to have this trouble — an alarming number of their gigs have coincided with various natural disasters, and their singer has commented that she sometimes feels like they are "sync'd with nature in the worst way possible". This is especially ironic considering that several of their songs touch upon the theme of Gaia's Vengeance.