"Strange and bizarre things happen to you with alarming frequency. You are the one with whom demons will stop and chat. Magic items with disturbing properties will find their way to you. The only talking dog on 20th-century Earth will come to you with his problems. Dimensional gates sealed for centuries will crack open just so that you can be bathed in the energies released... or perhaps the entities on the other side will invite you to tea. Nothing lethal will happen to you, at least not immediately, and occasionally some weirdness will be beneficial. But most of the time it will be terribly, terribly inconvenient."
Kamijou Touma from To Aru Majutsu no Index. This does not only include his streak of misfortune that is a side-effect of his powers, but also he attracts weirdness in general because of other side-effects. When there's a girl holding the greatest secrets of magic hunted by her Coven, she will land on his balcony. When he takes vacation in Italy, the people keeping him will most definitely get attacked. When someone casts a spell that switches the body of every single human being, he is one of the select few unaffected. Considering how long the series and original novels went (not even counting the New Testament sequel where at one point, a giant flying fortress tracks him down because of the disturbance he causes in the earth's Ley Lines), this happens to him a lot. And then there are the moments when people are actively trying to recruit or use him into weird situation. It doesn't help that he lives in a city full of psychics and his roommate as well as his neighbor are mages.
The protagonist of Detective Conan is a Bizarre Murder Magnet, at least in the early seasons. Everywhere he goes, someone gets murdered, kinda makes you think, eh? Lampshaded by Inspector Megure upon arrival who always wonders why Conan and Kogoro always happened to be there whenever a murder takes place.
As a cultural note, the very first story has Ataru's mother reminiscing about all the bad omens that took place on the day that Ataru was born. It reads like a beginner's guide to superstitions with particular references to Japanese beliefs, starting with the fact that he was born on the anniversary of the Buddha's death. Also, his name can be translated to mean "Many stars will hit him on the head". And finally, the name of the series itself can be translated as "Those Annoying Aliens", suggesting that the galaxy and series' version of Earth is teeming with sentient species who are all irritating in their own ways. Ataru is therefore simply unlucky enough to catch the attention of all of them.
Played with in Xxx HO Li C, as Watanuki is fully aware that he is a weirdness magnet, and starts the story by making a Deal with the Devil (Yuuko, actually, but Watanuki seems to consider them one and the same) to get rid of his unwanted ability.
The cause of his weirdness magnetism is actually explained later on — suicidal thoughts and desires that have been magically amnesia'd away. He may not remember that he wants to die nor the reason for why he does, but he still smells like it to spirits and stuff.
A second reason, seemingly taken directly from Futurama, is that as a time travel duplicate, he's doomed, as reality itself tries to exorcise him. He just manages to hang on regardless.
Ranma from Ranma ½, to the point that most fans suspect that Ranma's curse isn't gender bending so much that it's his almost supernatural ability to attract weirdness wherever he goes.
Others have theorized that it might actually be Akane Tendo who's the real weirdness magnet; Ranma, and the trouble associated with him, could be considered the weirdness that she attracts. Or perhaps they're both weirdness magnets, and their mutual presence is strengthening the effect, hence why more and more whacked out stuff happens as the anime/manga goes on.
Though it's never outright stated that any character in Ranma 1/2 is a weirdness magnet, it is a fairly easy conclusion to leap to. While the world itself clearly is full of weirdness — the existence of the various Martial Arts and Crafts practitioners, plus the cursed, easy-to-fall-into Jusenkyo ponds, prove it — it does seem that Ranma, Akane and the other characters do have a particular knack for getting involved with the more bizarre parts of life. Kuno manages to be the 1 millionth customer to a "Pull the Wish-Granting Sword from the Stone" contest, which means he gets the three wishes. Shampoo brings back a supposedly haunted set of bells as a present for Ranma, and sure enough, out pops a ghost. In the first Non-Serial Movie, a young woman who is the third generation of her family to have possession of a relic that will supposedly bring a prince or princess to marry the one who holds it has gone her entire life waiting to be swept off her feet. When she tracks down Old MasterHapposai to express her disgruntlement at its failure to work, guess who shows up the second the relic falls into Akane Tendo's hands? Ryoga just happens to stumble upon a creepy merchant selling toy fishing rods that make the person you "catch" fall head-over-heels in love with you and, intending to use it on Akane, he winds up snagging Ranma instead. And these are just a few examples.
More or less the entire premise of Suzumiya Haruhi. It's not that weirdness gravitates toward Haruhi, though, so much as that she generates it. Relating to the Monk example below, at one point two characters in the series have a conversation to the effect that fictional detectives cause bad things to happen by virtue of their very presence, and that Haruhi, at that point on a "detective" kick, might subconsciously will such a disaster into being. Completely subverted when the expected murder actually happens — Kyon immediately knows it's a hoax precisely because he trusts that Haruhi wouldn't really wish for someone to die just so she could play detective.
The series doesn't portray this very well, but Kyon himself has some pretty weird acquaintances from middle school. There's Nakagawa, who falls in love with Nagato at first sight because he just happens to be a semi-esper who can see her link to the Integrated Thought Entity, and Sasaki, a very strange girl who's also the center of attention for a collection of aliens, time travelers and espers who are rivals to the SOS Brigade's members' factions.
Though there is some indication that the reason for this is that it is not Haruhi who is the weirdness magnet, but actually Kyon himself.
Whenever one of the goddesses gets Kyon to repeat their patterns (visual patterns for Haruhi, audio patterns for the other girl), strange things shall happen.
Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: In Season 4, Judai almost drops out of the Academy under the assumption that, as The Chosen One, he is the Weirdness Magnet attracting all the evil, psychotic villains to the place. Two former said psychos clarify that it's Duel Academia that is the Magnetic Plot Device (Sameshima actually revealed it was built for that specific purpose), and Judai can best protect it by staying, not leaving.
In the early chapters of Bleach, characters with spiritual affinity were weirdness magnets. Ghosts appeared to such characters, and hollows hunted them. Ichigo's spiritual attunement spilled over to his classmates making them weirdness magnets as well.
Due to its new status as a spiritually enriched area, the entirety of Karakura Town, the hometown of the human protagonists, can be considered as one giant Weirdness Magnet.
Akari of ARIA tends to stumble into all sorts of supernatural phenomena — many of them involving the king of cats, Cait Sith. These include, but are not limited to: traveling back in time, visiting The Little Shop That Wasn't There Yesterday, nearly taking a ride on the soul train, and an attempted abduction by a ghost.
Mizuki in Mokke has the talent to get haunted by lots of different kinds of ghosts. Her older sister Shizuru can see them, but is lucky not to be influenced by them directly.
Mai (and possibly the rest of Fuuka Academy) in Mai-HiME appears to be a magnet for the surreal. Nagi specifically mentions in one episode that the Orphans are drawn to girls like her. However, it later turns out there are more sinister forces at work...
Lina seems to be this in the first third of Slayers Next, as she inexplicably keeps tripping on one Mazoku plot after the other. As it turns out there's nothing accidental about this, as Xellos was leading her into these situations by order of the Hellmaster.
Being a magnet for mushi, the Meta Origin for weirdness in Mushi Shi is apparently a common affliction for members of the title profession, including main character Ginko.
The titular character of Natsume Yuujinchou has spirits (Youkai) coming at him from every direction. It's a genetic thing.
Sousuke from Full Metal Panic. Not that he isn't weird himself, but... good lord, even the "normal" people he interacts with are later revealed to be oddball psychos. Sure, he causes things to become weird, but a lot of situations that occurred were outlandish before he made it even weirder.
In Shakugan no Shana, it seems that almost all of the main characters in high school get pulled into something related to the Crimson Realm.
In Haunted Junction, Saito High School was built at the center of a triangle formed by a Shinto shrine, a Buddhist temple, and a Christian church. The resultant flow of energy makes it a weird place that seems to attract more weird.
This is not helped by the Chairman's habit of actively bringing more weird items and creatures onto school grounds. He's a deliberate weirdness magnet, to the chagrin of inadvertent magnet Haruto Houjo.
Naota from FLCL: A crazy woman riding a scooter hits him in the head with a guitar and then moves into his household as a live-in maid, and a horn grows out of his head that eventually turns out to be a robot with a TV for a head - which also moves in with his family. All that happens in the first episode, and it only gets weirder from there.
All the events of the first episode are underscored by Naota's constant comments about his town, how "everything is normal", "nothing amazing happens here", etc. Then at the end of the first episode, Kanti the robot and Haruko are making bread while Naota says, "and everything's back to normal .. nothing amazing."
Tsunayoshi Sawada from Katekyo Hitman Reborn!. For the first sixty or so chapters he meets: a baby in the mafia who shoots him in the head and causes him to come back to life in his underwear with a flame on his forehead, a high school student with a lot of dynamite, a five-year-old dressed as a cow who uses grenades trying to kill the mafia baby and can switch with his future self, a person who is a klutz without anyone from his family near him, oh and he wakes up to find a corpse in his room, etc.
The Straw Hat Pirates from One Piece always gets in trouble wherever they go and will surely continue do so in the future. Nami actually lampshades a much more literal version of this trope when the eccentric talking living musician fencing skeleton Brook joins the crew, by saying "Why do our crew always attract the weird ones? - other weird members being the perverted cyborg Franky and the reindeer human Chopper. Plus there's Robin who can make body parts appear all over the place. And then there's Luffy: a living rubber band.. We later get an explanation when we see other pirate crews competing with the Straw Hat Pirates: It turns out that all of the other crews carefully choose their paths to avoid as much trouble as possible, whereas the Straw Hats' captain, Monkey D. Luffy, deliberately seeks out the most dangerous options because he finds them the most amusing. That is, Luffy makes himself a Weirdness Magnet on purpose and is fully aware of it.
The system force in Ah! My Goddess tends to cause strange things to happen for no apparent reason whenever someone tries to pull Belldandy and Keiichi apart.
The title character of Tenchi Muyo! is a serious weirdness magnet.
Sena in the spinoff Tenchi Muyo GXP, who to begin bears an uncanny resemblance to the former, is even more so.
The title character of Puella Magi Madoka Magica has some of this going on. After she saves Kyubey from Homura, she starts coming across witch labyrinths on a regular basis, her friend Hitomi gets hypnotized by a witch and nearly commits suicide, and so on, and she isn't even a Magical Girl yet. Her insanely high potential magical power probably has something to do with it.
John Constantine has spent most of his life as a weirdness magnet, as have many of his ancestors. It seems to run in the blood...
Oh it's worse then that. Turns out John's unborn twin is using synchronicity (the ability to warp reality, making things work out for him that comes with being the "Laughing Magican") to screw with John's life. The twin uses the power to attract all the bad stuff that happens to John whilst using the power to stop him dying from it (neatly explaining all the bad stuff that happens to everyone around him but John manages to escape). Why may you ask? So John will give up, commit mental suicide and allow the twin to take over
Devi D. from I Feel Sick, from dating a zombie and a serial killer/psychopath, being attacked by a cat with acid for blood, having her painting come to life and try to drive her insane, Devi can never escape her insanely bizarre life. Her friend Tena even lampshades her status as a weirdness magnet.
Shade, the Changing Man lived in Hotel Shade, which the Angels told him would "draw madness to it like a magnet." John Constantine visited there, as a matter of fact.
The main character of the comic Major Bummer is a Weirdness Magnet by design — the implants that give him and various other characters in the series powers are programmed to attract one another as well as other weirdness, like demons.
Peter David played with the concept of a 'chaos river' for his Supergirl series. This partly explained why a superhero fought so much oddness while living in a small town.
The protagonist of Blue Devil, as noted above.
Aardvarks in Cerebus act as magical amplifiers; one consequence of this is that strange things tend to happen around them without their conscious control.
In universe, Atom foe Chronos and his temporal manipulations are partly to blame.
Astro City. It's mentioned that there are superheroes in other cities and countries, but most other places with heroes seem to only have one major one (Silversmith in Boston, Iron Cross in Stuttgart, etc), whereas Astro City seems to have ridiculous amounts. One character compares the city's abundance as the equivalent to LA's earthquakes.
In one Batman comic (I think maybe during Broken City) a cop remarks that the answer to the issue someone has posed to them of what would make for a good Gotham City "reality show" would be The Outer Limits.
Jeremy... well, the entire Feeple family in Ninja High School have all sorts of strange and odd thing happening to them throughout their lives. The town they live in, Quagmire, just seems to like these kinds of people.
Superman once had this to some degree, but the Silver AgeSuperboy was worse. He lived in a small town, yet was continually beset by space aliens and other strange things that found their way there by pure coincidence.
A few strips in 2000 AD have used this as a premise; namely Bec & Kawl and Caballistics, Inc.
Xombi. David Kim's status as an immortal, artificial zombie makes him the target of a lot of weird plots.
The Incredible Hulk is this, especially in the Silver and Bronze Ages. Even when he had successfully eluded the military and anyone else who might be chasing him, he would inevitably just blunder into a landing alien spaceship, or try to take a nap in a cave and discover it's a supervillain's hideout, or try to find privacy on a desert island only to find it's full of monsters, etc... when all the poor lug really wants is some peace and quiet.
Lois Lane was one of these Pre Crisis, but now she's mainly notable for actively chasing after weirdness with a frenzy. However, the city of Metropolis, where she does most of her investigative reporting, is a major weirdness magnet itself.
Rick Jones, longtime ally/sidekick/mascot of The Avengers, is such a big example that he's infamous for it in-universe and listing the number of utterly outlandish things that have happened to him almost purely by coincidence could fill up the entire page. Lampshaded and taken Up to Eleven in Avengers Forever.
Usagi from Usagi Yojimbo has an amazing tendency to attract all the weird and dangerous things in any area he is passing through. He will accidentally bump into an ancient, mystic sword and get himself in the middle of an anti-shogun conspiracy or become number one on a local psychopath’s “to kill” list. No matter how much he tries to avoid it, he always ends up in a fight. If it's not Youkai he has to kill, then a village needs to be saved from a Yakuza. Most of his friends are not ordinary people, either. This happy bunch includes: a bounty hunter, a powerful daimyo, said daimyo’s Action Girl bodyguard, the former head of a ninja clan who would love to get rid of Usagi, a Badass GrandpaOld Master, a Classy Cat Burglar, and a professional demon hunter.
Cal McDonald from Criminal Macabre has been attracted to weird things all his life since he encountered a decapitated corpse as a kid. As a grown up, he is a private detective that deals with vampires, werewolves, et cetera. Being a Weirdness Magnet has taken its toll though, since Cal also a drug addict.
The Fantastic Four they are either looking for something beyond normal, or attract some out of this world creature or being. Or they attract it by accident, or stubble upon it by coincidence.
Mainiac97 of the Runescape fanfiction The Adventure Through Runescape certainly qualifies. He is attacked by vampires and powerful monsters on a regular basis, and all of it happens whenever he tries to go mining, questing, completing tutorial island, or does anything mundane.
Harry in Harry Potter And The Methods Of Rationality, even more so than in canon (probably because he is much more curious in this version). Some of the girls at the school take the implications a bit too literally.
It said something, Hermione Granger thought, and it was something rather sad — as the eight of them strolled back through the maze of twisty little passages that was Hogwarts, their time before the next class having run out without finding any bullies — that she genuinely didn't know whether Harry Potter had been led around by the ghost of Salazar Slytherin or a phoenix or what. And whatever Harry had done, she hoped it didn't work for them. And most of all she hoped that the others didn't vote for Tracey's idea of stunning Harry Potter and carting his unconscious body around with them to attract Adventures. That couldn't possibly work in real life, or, if it did, she was giving up.
From the same author, Dirk Gently — in two and a fragment books, he encountered a ghost, a time machine, Thor, God of Thunder, had an eagle turn into a jet and fly out the front of his house, and narrowly avoided employment to track down the rear half of a cat named Gusty Winds. This isn't counting the minor difficulties with probability during his education.
Rincewind in the Discworld books was one of these, and it bothered him; he didn't just want to be normal, he wanted to be actively boring. It's no coincidence that one of the books with him is titled Interesting Times.
He's a favorite of the Lady, and Fate hates him personally. Death actually gave up on trying to collect him, as he can no longer tell when Rincewind's due to die (due to massive deformation of his life hourglass — that Death now keeps on his desk as a curio), and treats him rather like an amusing show he drops in on occasionally to see what's happening this episode.
Tiffany Aching could also be said to be one, and before Agnes Nitt was an official witch she could sing harmony with herself and had hair that would occasionally eat combs. This trope seems to come with the territory for Discworld witches.
Soul Music states that wizards, being naturally attuned to occult frequencies, are natural weirdness magnets, comparing them to mine canaries or lightning rods. 'If anything strange was happening, it would happen to the wizards first.' This is strengthened by that the senior faculty of Unseen University, minus Mustrum Ridcully, are the first ones sucked into the Music With Rocks In craze. In Reaper Man, before Ankh-Morpork is hit with a rash of poltergeist activity when Death Takes a Holiday, ancient wizard Windle Poons dies and comes back as a zombie. And in Hogfather, the excess belief caused by the Hogfather's disappearence allows the wizards to inadvertently call new personifications into existence, such as the Veruca Gnome and Oh God of Hangovers.
In Blood Debt, the last of Tanya Huff's Blood Books, Henry Fitzroy wants to know why he is being haunted by ghosts that he does not know, and his lover/regular snack, Tony Foster, points out that "like attracts like", and as a vampire, Henry should expect ghosts and things like that to show up on his doorstep.
In the second book, Henry swears that he used to live a quiet life; while this is not entirely true, his attraction to the supernatural does seem to have gotten much stronger once Vicki and Tony came along. Maybe it's their fault. Given the events in the subsequent Smoke And Shadows novels it seems pretty clear that Tony is, in fact, the actual weirdness magnet.
The Armitage children from the various Armitage stories in Joan Aiken's collections have this peculiarity, but it has its genesis in a wish their mother made with a genuine wishing stone, that she would have two children and they would have interesting magical things happen to them one day a week, usually but not always on the same day. She got her oddly specific wish...
The protagonist of Warren Ellis' Crooked Little Vein, described as a "shit magnet", is never more than a few pages away from coincidentally bumping into something extraordinarily weird or disturbing.
The title character of Terry Pratchett's Johnny Maxwell Trilogy; though that seems to be more Johnny being the only one who notices the weirdness (due to his chronic lack of imagination, he lacks the mental filters "normal" people have that tell them "This can't be real").
Callahan's Place in the Callahan's Crosstime Saloon series at least begins as a magnificent but otherwise ordinary bar that just happens to draw alien observers, talking animals and darts masters who cheat with telekinesis.
Gil's All Fright Diner by A. Lee Martinez:
"That happen a lot?"
"More often that it should. When you cross over into the weird stuff, there's no going back. Hector has a theory on it. Calls it the law of 'Anomalous Phenomena Attraction.' He explained it to me once. Didn't really pay attention, but it boils down to 'weird shit pulls in more weird shit.' Figure it's gotta be true. Ever since I killed that guy, I keep runnin' across cults and monsters and fallen gods."
There is a series of young adult books about a place called Eerie, Indiana. It involved these two kids named Marshall Teller and Simon Holmes who were in a small town in Indiana where lots of weird and crazy stuff happened (like running into kids from the future, or a TV cable salesman ripping holes in reality). It turns out the town was a weirdness magnet, for two reasons. One, a meteorite filled with a material called "eerieum" had landed, and it soaked into the local landscape. This material causes weirdness. Two, the Roswell aliens are being stored there, attracting even more weirdness. Guess you could call them space oddities.
Preceded, actually: after FOX rebroadcast the former NBC episodes for Saturday morning, the series became much more popular; the books were then written to take advantage of the resulting new demand for young adult Weird Fiction.
Kitty Norville. Arguably justified in that most of her problems are the result of being a werewolf and public celebrity. Some, though, really have no possible explanation other than the bad luck and/or destiny of being a Weirdness Magnet.
A great deal of Tom Holt's characters. For example, Paul Carpenter from the JW Wells And Co series. He gets a job with a major firm of unknown purpose, despite confusing Anton Chekhov with Pavel Chekov. The building seems to reshape itself more or less at random, the stapler will disappear across the building if you put it down for two seconds (even if you're the only one in the room and the door is locked), new employees are left to sort graph printouts that have been scrambled and draw circles around anything on an aerial photograph that looks like a bauxite deposit, and claw marks and sinister glowing eyes appear to pop up occasionally. Paul's misadventures last for three books, all of them introducing new elements of the Fantasy Kitchen Sink any of Holt's characters find themselves stuck in...and all of them seem to need Paul for some purpose in their great (ten-sided) game of Xanatos Speed Chess. It turns out he's been developed as a living weapon by a couple of blood relatives, one of whom is a) God and b) his real father, and as an additional bonus he's the reincarnation of a Norse warlord.
Harry Potter and his friends Ron and Hermione, as well as Hogwarts School in general, are a definite magnet for weirdness. Lampshaded in the sixth film, where Professor McGonagall wonders aloud why "you three" are always around whenever something bad happens. Ron responds that he's been wondering the same thing for six years.
Justified with Harry Dresden of The Dresden Files, since he's the only openly practicing wizard in the country. Name's in the phonebook. Conjure by it at your own risk.
Also, Chicago is Harry's area of operations, and it happens to be both a hub of leylines and a financial and travel hub in the United States. As a result, a lot of weirdness naturally converges on Chicago.
Thirdly, Johnny Marcone is a mob boss (and later member of the magical United Nations) who deals in magical artifacts, and whose enemies are more than willing to use black magic against him.
In the Earthsea Trilogy, even after Sparrowhawk loses his magic in the third book, he retains his ability to turn up precisely where and when he's needed. Tenar comments on this pointedly.
Bella Swan of Twilight fame. Her first love and boyfriend turns out to be a vampire, her best friend turns out to be a werewolf. A vicious vampire sets a whole army to kill her, and the leader of the vampire royalty Aro, places his eyes on her.
In the Mary Poppins books by P. L. Travers, Mary Poppins is clearly a weirdness magnet. Although by all measures she is a typical British nanny in appearance and behavior (commutation via wind and fireworks notwithstanding), eight books' worth of weirdness occurs around her (and, just as tellingly, stops whenever she leaves, a fact the Banks children notice and bemoan).
Saphira: Nothing out of the ordinary ever occurs to me when I'm by myself. But you attract duels, ambushes, immortal enemies, obscure creatures such as the Ra'zac, long-lost family members, and mysterious acts of magic as though they were starving weasels and you were a rabbit that wandered into their den.
This from his supposedly extinctdragon just to emphasise the point. When the fantastical beast is calling you out on being a Weirdness Magnet, you have no grounds to deny it.
Jakub Wedrowycz attracts all kinds of weird happenings, supernatural or otherwise. At one point, after he finds a nuclear warhead (and tries to break it open for scrap), the local police officergoes insane when trying to comprehend just how come that all the bizarre things in the world are happening to that one guy.
Clan Korval in Sharon Lee and Steve Miller's Liaden Universe series is either this or a Coincidence Magnet, depending on your point of view—the strange series of coincidences Clan Korval is susceptible to are not particularly supernatural to them, but to the mundanes who get caught up in events it could be a different story.
Jame, in P.C. Hodgell's Chronicles of the Kencyrath series, seems to attract weirdness and catastrophe, enough that it's lampshaded by other characters. This may be because she's pretty weird herself.
Three of the primary protagonists in the Wheel of Time series are known to be ta'veren, which means that the Wheel reshapes destiny around them. This causes very odd and improbable things to happen to them and to those around them. Lampshaded on at least one occasion by having characters track Rand, Mat or Perrin by following the trail of unlikely occurrences.
At the end of Another Fine Myth, Aahz tells Skeeve point-blank that neither of them will have to go looking for adventure;
Aahz: In our profession, it usually comes looking for us.
Narration!Skeeve: I had an ugly feeling he was right.
Live Action TV
Smallville takes this to ridiculous levels with the few main characters, especially Lana. During the earlier seasons, kryptonite infection helped created a lot of freaks of the week. These meteor freaks would then almost invariably gain a fixation on Lana or Chloe and end up trying to kill them, only for Clark to save the day. Ian in Dichotic tops this by trying to kill them both, at the same time.
Chloe is also shown to be meteor infected in season six.
Lampshaded once by the sheriff when the police find the Kent house surrounded by a forcefield.
Officer: What the hell is this, Sheriff?
Sheriff: (sighs) Another day in Smallville.
LOST: The Island has a habit of attracting strange and often insane people.
In the fifth season, Sawyer complains that he spent three years in peace, only for chaos to return along with some of his fellow survivors.
Partially explained in the sixth season when Jacob reveals he brought people to the island whose old lives were bad/tragic enough that they might not want to leave... given what they'd be going back to..
Friends: Phoebe was usually the source or the focus of surreal happenings.
Married... with Children: Even in the strange world that we see around the Bundys, Al always seemed to attract the oddest things to him.
Doctor Who: He may be a time-travelling alien from an old and powerful race, but even by those standards, the Doctor manages to get caught up in cosmic trouble with absurd frequency. Even if he just pops out for a bit of air on a street corner in Cardiff, you can bet an intergalactic conspiracy will be brewing within spitting distance. By extension, the entire planet Earth may be considered a Weirdness Magnet for the series; a disproportionally large number of Evil Alien Schemes happen to involve the blue marble and a disproportionally large number of alien craft happen to crashland here, and, for that matter, 20th to 21st-century London in specific.
A nice Lampshading was done on this in the story Battlefield, where the modern-day version of UNIT regarded the Doctor as a troublemaker, since wherever he turned up, all hell broke loose.
Somewhat averted in the new series, where a couple of times he mentions those visits to planets that did not involve crazy adventures. However, one short trip gives a good half a season of adventures.
The Tenth Doctor liked to describe himself as a "traveler", roaming the universe just for a bit of fun. On one occasion another character gave him an incredulous look, and he sheepishly added, "It never seems to quite work out that way."
Possibly Justified (maybe just handwaved) in the new series episode "The Beast Below", when The Doctor says "It's a big day every day. I've got a time machine. I just skip the little ones."
Possibly Averted in "The Doctor's Wife" when the TARDIS tells him it does not always take him where he wants to go, but instead has always taken him where he needs to be.
Played in Teen Wolf. Beacon Hills definitely draws some interesting people to it. And Stiles often laments his tendency to be a human form of this as well.
Lampshaded in The Sarah Jane Adventures story Goodbye Sarah Jane Smith. Ruby White refers to the area where Sarah Jane lives as "The Ealing Triangle", citing Truman the astrologer, the Bubbleshock factory, rhinos in police cars, and alien plant life as just some of the weird things which had taken place in the area.
The Canadian kids' series The Zack Files was about the titular Zack and his friends, who chronicled all the weirdness that would inexplicably happen to him.
Not only is the audience expected to accept that weird stuff just happens to Zack, he even has his own theory to explain it — "maybe it's life that's weird, and I'm just the first person to notice it".
It gets to the point where Zack just assumes that anything happening to him is due to the ambient weirdness of his life, rather than anything more sensible. Case in point: assuming that his bank account not decreasing when he takes money out is the first time general bizarritude is working in his favour, rather than being, say, a computer error.
Acting on this assumption, if I recall correctly, caused his conscience to go on strike.
After ticking off a Scottish god thingie, Harris Pembleton in the Canadian kids TV show Seriously Weird is cursed (in the god's own words, to "become a magnet for all that is weird") for strange things to happen to him. This is a show with episode titles like "When Gods Get Angry", "When Yoghurt Attacks", and "When Fairies Get Mad".
A Greek god thingie with a Scots accent. Yes, it's that kind of program. One in which the lead automatically goes straight to Deadpan Snarker without even two seconds of "hey, that was odd" (in the pilot episode, food is hurled out of the fridge at him; he makes a smart remark to his brother). One in which his first actual success in going out with the Alpha Bitch leads to one of his friends nearly being hurled around to the other side of the earth. What were they ON?
Used, then lampshaded, then subverted in Monk. In the episode "Mr. Monk Gets Cabin Fever", Natalie observes that everywhere Monk goes, people get murdered, supposing he's followed by some karmic cloud of disaster. By the end of the episode, she changes her mind about him: he's not a Weirdness Magnet for murder, he's cosmically drawn to where murders occur so he can solve them.
Natalie's one to talk here. Before her daughter Julie even gets her driver's license, she was involved one way or another in at least six homicide investigations and one museum heist. In at least two novels, Julie provides a crucial clue for Monk to solve a homicide.
There's a specific variant which happens in any series featuring a supernatural detective. For some reason every time they get a case, the case will be related to the supernatural—for instance, nobody walks in the door with a normal missing person's case, the missing person will have turned into a werewolf or have been sacrificed to a demon. This despite the fact that the person with the case doesn't know that their own case is supernatural, let alone that the detective is supernatural and is the only one who knows how to handle it. Series which do this include Angel, Blood Ties, Moonlight, and The Dresden Files; it's hard to think of a supernatural detective series which doesn't.
And the tradition continues with Grimm. Every case Nick has had since the pilot has had a Wesen involved. Lampshaded a few times: One episode has Nick's partner Hank remark that their cases are becoming weirder and weirder and the next has a coroner remark that Nick and Hank get all of the most interesting cases. Justified in that Nick's boss knows that Nick is a Grimm and is keeping an eye on him, although it's not always obvious at first that Wesen are involved. Also, more and more Wesen are finding out about there being a new Grimm in town and are curious about him.
Although you could claim that they do get normal cases, they just aren't the ones we see. After all, we only see them for a small part of their lives, a show might detail one or two days a week for six months out of the year, not every day of their lives.
And the series listed usually have the characters at least refer to more mundane cases, if not show them as tiny side-stories; Dresden, for examples, mentions at one point that he's usually just asked to find things. And, at least in the case of The Dresden Files, Harry openly identifies himself in the phone book as a wizard.
Harry specifically mentions in Storm Frontset before he effectively retires from the "wizard in the Yellow Pages" schtick by being drafted into the Wardens that he has referral-exchange deals with various other non-magical investigators in Chicago.
Angel is actually a more interesting one, at least early on. In the beginning Angel makes it clear to Cordy any time she brings up a non-paranormal client that they don't do that sort of thing. On the other, when Angel Investigations is contracted in season 2 to spy on a woman using alien abduction to hide cheating (and quite obviously so) the only reason Angel seems to have a problem with it is his Darla obsession.
Doyle's visions are a way of getting around this; one case they investigate appears to involve an ordinary police matter, but it's quickly pointed out the Powers That Be wouldn't have sent Doyle a vision unless the supernatural was involved.
Justified in Blood Ties, as Vicki's demon tattoos cause supernatural things to be unconsciously drawn to her.
The various crews of the Star Trek franchise seem to come across an inordinate number of rare phenomena. This was lampshaded in Q-Squared, with a scientist researching temporal phenomena explaining that she specifically requested transport by the Enterprise (even calling in favors) because it encounters more Negative Space Wedgies in a year than most ships encounter in their lifetimes. In that same book, most of the anomalies are explained as creations of Trelane, but why the Enterprise itself keeps running into them, no answers are forthcoming:
Trelane: It's a massive sort of kismet, I suppose.
In addition, Picard is in awe of the sheer volume of weirdness encountered by Kirk's Enterprise:
If there's one thing Kirk and his crew seemed incapable of doing, it's having a normal day...
Lt. Barclay. Period.
Regarding temporal anomalies this is lampshaded and partially justified in a book about the department of temporal investigations: once you run into one, it becomes more probable that others will form in your proximitynote or in places where you'll eventually be, temporal anomalies naturally involve time travel so verb tense is confusing here. Only the firstNegative Space Wedgie is unusual; after that, it'd be odd to not encounter more.
Xander Harris attracts the attention of demonic females. In one episode Willow accidentally curses him to attract vicious demons all the time.
Lampshaded in the season 7 episode "First Date" when Willow receives a text message from Xander. It's coded in such a way that it could mean either "I'm getting lucky don't call me for a while" or "Help, a demon's eating my head." Playing the odds, the Scooby Gang save Xander from being a sacrifice for the Hellmouth just in time.
I've always theorized that Xander is simply attracted to power — whether it's supernatural (Mrs. French being one of the first, also Buffy herself); social (Cordelia); or both (he wasn't attracted to Willow until she dated a guitarist / became a witch).
The hellmouth Sunnydale is built on is the main driver for the show's plot. Everything in the show happens because of the hellmouth or something that happened because of the hellmouth
Buffy herself, as the Slayer, is an explicit weirdness magnet, because of all the Big Bads that come to Sunnydale specifically to kill her — such as Dracula, whom it is explicitly stated came to challenge her.
The origin comic stated that Buffy, as the Slayer, is a "creature of destiny". Fate will ensure that she always ends up where she needs to be.
Cordelia became the magnet in Angel, getting impregnated twice. The third time was tragic.
Short-lived series Eerie Indiana — clearly related to the book series cited above — depicted a town that attracted Weird the way Sunnydale attracted Evil.
Anyone who has the misfortune to be a friend of the Power Rangers tends to get any and all excess weirdness dumped on them. Toby, from Power Rangers Mystic Force, was kidnapped by demons at least twice. They put him back promptly when they realized that, A. he didn't know anything important, and B. he was incredibly annoying.
The eponymous private school of Strange Happenings At Blake Holsey High aka "Black Hole High" because there is a black hole in the basement which is the source of all the weirdness.
Oliver Wendall Douglas in Green Acres. Everyone in Hooterville (or Hootersville, if you use Mrs. Douglas' pronunciation) was weird and seemed to understand each other. Oliver was the only one who was "normal."
The Winchester brothers from Supernatural, half due to them actively seeking out weird stuff to kill and half due to both of them being destined by birth to be major players in the apocalypse.
The Twist kids in Round the Twist, whose experiences range from regularly running into ghosts to having their remote-control blessed/cursed with the ability to effect the real world like a TV. Happens to be the precursor for similar shows such as The Zack Files. Possibly the Ur Example of this type of kids' program.
Short-lived mid-'90s Fox show Strange Luck was based around this trope. The main character goes fishing? A briefcase full of money and a dead body plunge from the sky. He worked as a freelance photographer, because all he had to do to make a living was get up and pick up a camera.
In Farscape, Leviathan starships, especially Moya and her son Talyn, attract alien predators, guests with malicious intent, social outcasts and criminals, Energy Beings, shapeshifters, Starfish Aliens and extradimensional entities. Less fantastically, they also attract trouble in general. One of the other Leviathans encountered in the series was being consumed by the Xarai, cloned minions of a dangerous escaped, insane criminal cyborg named Kaarvok who "twinned" his captives and fed on them until they degenerated into living zombies. Another Leviathan had gone insane after watching all her children be captured by the Peacekeepers, and began attacking other Leviathans to deny them the opportunity to bury their dead in the Leviathan Sacred Space. Finally, Talyn, Moya's son, was modified before birth by the Peacekeepers, making him a hybrid gunship, wwhereas all other Leviathans were unarmed and could only perform defensive maneuvers. Leviathans are a race of Weirdness MagnetbrokenWoobies.
John Crichton. Full stop.
Every season of True Blood introduces at least one new, hitherto unmentioned, species of mythological being. As of season 4, it is getting to the point where almost the entire population of the podunck town Bon Temps is supernatural in some respect.
Fi (and later, Annie) always seems to stumble onto something strange no matter where the family music tour takes her in the aptly named show, So Weird.
The protagonist/narrator of Ookla the Mok's song "Stranger In The Mirror" (about a fellow who discovers someone else looking out at him from the other side of his bathroom mirror one morning) appears to be one, or at least thinks he is; he complains "things like this are always happening to me", and says "after that Newcastle incident I thought I'd seen it all". In the bridge he lists some of the other things that's experienced:
Bloom County (and Outland and Opus and, well, anything by Berke Breathed).
Calvin from Calvin And Hobbes was this... at least in Calvin's imagination... we think.
It doesn't matter how peaceful, quiet, and isolated the place is. Once the Group comes in, the weirdness level skyrockets.
The J-Team attracts the wrath of most every villain, not to mention whatever other weird happenings occur on their adventures.
GURPS has a disadvantage that turns you into this. Named Weirdness Magnet, of course.
Illuminated also tends to cause this.
Depending on the setting, the weirdness can reach absolutely batshit levels of bizarre. Illuminati University, for example, is weird on its own. Taking Weirdness Magnet there means that you stand a good chance of having Shub-Niggurath invite you to tea, and then reveal that it (she?) is your character's great aunt.
In Scion, every single character has a "Fateful Aura" that turns them into this. No matter where they go or what they do, their own Legend draws things to them, forcing them to respond and thus increase their Legend. It is possible to tone down this aura and shed Legend dots, but characters can never be entirely free of it, and since Legend determines how powerful a character's Boons and Epic Attributes can get, shedding Legend may leave them ill-equipped to deal with the weirdness when (not if) it arrives.
Promethean The Created has a similar effect. Prometheans' own Azoth (part of the divine fire of creation which sustains their existence) can be felt by other Prometheans as a call, and will also awaken any Pandorans they go near.
The Anchors of the Nobles in Nobilis suffer from this. However, they also have immunity from the Reality Warping magical powers of Nobles themselves.
Nobles themselves tend to attract oddness, especially in the form of Actuals and Excrucians, but it's less emphasised, especially since the average Noble responds to a day without weirdness by going out and either finding some, or making some.
Changeling The Dreaming has a flaw you can take called Chimerical Magnet. Three guesses what this does. Given that your character can die of boredom in this game if not enough weird stuff happens to you, it's uncertain how much of a flaw this really is.
Geist: The Sin-Eaters gives this to one of the five character types. All of the types are sensitive to ghosts who died by particular means, but the "Forgotten" (victims of what might be considered death by Weirdness Magnet) find such ghosts are actually drawn to them.
Fallout New Vegas brings us the Wild Wasteland Perk, which replaces several random encounters with much weirder versions. For example, a group of mercenaries being replaced with crashed aliens, raiders being replaced with rolling-pin-wielding grannies, and a shaman summing up a spiritual journey by shouting "Take drugs! Kill a bear!".
Madison from Heavy Rain. Including the DLC, she is attacked by two serial killers and a rapist before she even meets the Origami Killer.
The Sith Inquisitor from Star Wars The Old Republic is heavily immersed in the more mystical elements of the Force and has a bizarre affinity for running into Force-Ghosts on a regular basis. Lampshaded by the ghost of their ancestor, who explains that this is actually a rare gift, allowing them to draw out restless spirits and draw forth their emotions. He even describes their mere presence as being akin to an overwhelming pull.
Noted in Tsukihime to affect Shiki quite drastically. His Mystic Eyes of Death Perception are a bizarre anomaly and tend to attract others. So far, he's run across the last remaining True Ancestor, the most powerful seat of the Burial Squad in the Church, his sister is a super powerful half demon, Nero Chaos incident, Roa, SHIKI, Sion, Walachia (who showed up precisely because Shiki has these kinds of incidents), Len and the Kagetsu Tohya events. Almost all of the above females are also in love with him for some reason. Aozaki Aoko is not, but she showed up simply because his eyes are so weird without even knowing that herself. This is clearly the real reason that Shiki will not live long, not the eyes themselves.
Though her weirdness magnet status may actually be because she herself is one of the most incredibly powerful supernatural beings in the world.
Dominic Deegan, from Dominic Deegan Oracle for Hire. Fortunately, he can usually see it coming.
Arguably a reversal; he sees that weird stuff will be happening, so he goes there. Weirdness is a Dominic Deegan magnet.
Many, many characters from Girly, but especially Otra and Winter; the effect is multiplied exponentially when they're together, to the point of occasionally being so strong it pulls in another' weirdness magnet from the supporting cast, such as Officer Policeguy, and so on until either the magnets are pulled apart by the plot or the weirdness reaches critical mass.
Shelley Winters certainly, and maybe just the whole cast of Scary Go Round in general. Shelley seems to get the worst of it though: recently she was unable to report on a summer fete without her and two others regressing to primal states through various forms of intoxication and having to fight a bee the size of a cow.
Antimony from Gunnerkrigg Court, partly because of curiosity, partly because she's a medium.
Headmaster: Tell me, do you find strange things seem to happen around you?
Antimony: ... On occasion.
Jenn from Casey And Andy. The author has said that when strange things happen, they happen to Jenn. Notably, when someone confronted her about it, she got Trapped in Another Worldmid-conversation, has a presumably lengthy adventure, arrives back a second or two after she left, and merely asks, "anyway, you were saying?"
Most of the weirdness in El Goonish Shive can be directly or indirectly linked to Tedd, and only half of that's stuff he created rather than attracted. Without him, neither Ellen nor the Goo would even have existed, Abraham wouldn't have woken, Damien might not have found Grace (or would at least have taken longer to find her) . . . The only thing he's completely unconnected to is Nanase and Susan's backstory.
Jamie Kingston from Kismetropolis has had the weirdness since day one, but its intensity is increasing.
Ash Upton from Misfile has, to date, been one of only two people on the whole damn planet to be "misfiled" by a stoned angel (who then moved in with him and is posing as her boyfriend), been forced to race against a woman possessed by a vengeful ghost, been stalked by Lucifer's niece, and raced against a guy who can hold conversations with cars and is haunted by his girlfriend's psychically manifested Id. Oh, and apparently his car growls at people.
Fox in Friendly Hostility is continually getting into bizarre situations, whether they're due to the demands of his job as newspaper reporter or some random person on the street who recognizes him from a long time ago and proceeds to greet/glomp/kidnap him. His boyfriend Collin lampshades this with the remark that he makes a great reporter as weird things keep on happening to him.
Detective Franklin Clarke from TRU Life Adventures has a reputation among his fellow police for getting stuck with unusual cases. Enough of them turn out to be related to Time Travel that the Time-Line Authority eventually recruit him as an agent.
Michelle Jocasta of Skin Deep seems to be this. She starts off the show by turning into a creature that was supposed to be extinct, and then is promptly chased down by a number of creatures that are either very rare, or are also supposed to be extinct. Every one of her newly-found friends aren't human, and they even think she's weird.
A Magical Roommate has established Children of Prophecy to be natural weirdness magnets. The main character rooms with one unknowingly at the beginning of the strip, and is now shacked up with TWO!
Hanna of Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name is a paranormal investigator, so this stands to reason, and has attracted a zombie looking for a job, and was the first person to be assaulted by the Lee!Ghost in the second job arc.
Lampshaded by Toni in Chapter 3 when she says, "There's something about you that draws out all the paranormal oddities. I am one, and I have never seen so many until you."
Sam is a weirdness magnet for everything from fridge possession to ninja mafias. Fuzzy even lampshades it.
The titular toy store in Shortpacked! seems to be one. The owner is an Evil Overlord wannabe who can't tell genders apart, a former government super-soldier shows up looking for a job only to randomly find another former government super-soldier already working there (one who is supposed to be dead), Ronald Reagan and Jesus Christ are likewise resurrected solely to work retail, one employee is obsessed with ninjas to the point of stabbing people and hallucinating the world around him as a manga, a sentient talking car now works in the stock room, a disgruntled former employee plots for years (even getting elected to congress and recruiting Walter Mondale and Sarah Palin in the process) to get revenge for being fired, a religion is founded around one employee, another briefly achieves world peace through the consumption of Cadbury Creme Eggs, and the whole place seems to have a "good twin" in the form of another store across the street with suspiciously similar workers where everything is perfect.
Not exactly weirdness, but Shortpacked! has also been described as a "Gay Nexus" by one employee. Totally straight people seem to be in the minority among the cast.
Adam Dodd of Survival of the Fittest. Doesn't only get put into the act, but after he wins, he gets put in one of the sequels too. At one point in V1 he was attacked by various lunatics, including a sex-crazed schizophrenic and a sadistic (and gay) serial killer. Even early in the game, before most of the truly bizarre events have come to pass, he wonders if he's a "psycho magnet."
Arguably, the members of the SCP Foundation. For instance, two of them try to go on a holiday, and wind up getting captured and having to rescue themselves and another agent who's been captured as well.
Gaia Online's Johnny K. Gambino. Seriously. No matter what's going on in the world of Gaia, he's got his foot in it somewhere. Vampires? He pissed them off twenty years ago. Zombies? Oh, yeah, they're part of his science corporation's latest failed experiment. Aliens? He is inexplicibly on a first-name basis with their leader. The Animated? Powered by a Negative Space Wedgie created when he came back to life, facilitated by a disillusioned clone... of him, natch.
Possibly the only competition he has in this department is his son, Gino, whose accomplishments include (but are in no way limited to) a Fusion Dance with dear old dad, creating a Negative Space Wedgie and bringing his dead father back to life by exploding (which didn't harm him but did leave him without pants), and getting possessed by a demigod in the form of a large clam, who does this by eating his head. Lately he is being hunted by murderous vampires, again, though this time they're carrying out a genocide plot by a dark-elf Mafia boss, rather than just being the Von Helsons again. And he also has girl problems.
Incidentally, there may be some justification due to the current plot revealing that the Gambino family is part-god.
The various reviewers on Channel Awesome seem to be this. They've been attacked by aliens, cursed by evil DVDs, haunted, interacted with their past and future selves to save the world, and many, many other things (some of this all is justified by the bizarre company they keep, including at least two mad scientists). The crossover anniversary events seem to be a result of so many magnets coming together:
The first resulted in Giant Robotic Donkey Kong Jesus fighting Super Mecha Death Christ.
The second had the appearance, death, and rebirth of Santa Christ.
The third involved the groups cased by murderous people in cloaks, a hippie summoned out of a book by magic, a bizarre witch, a dude with a living hand puppet, and magical artifacts . This all is justified in that the group was actively participating in a strange quest, but that doesn't explain how the map was sent to the Critic out of everyone in the world. Plus, there's the fact that the only reason he went for it was his greed.
The fourth event centered around them being pursued by two evil aliens, Ma-ti living in Spoony's head, and a huge hole in time and space causing random, unexplained events. In fact, the Plot Hole, as it was named, ended up becoming an in-universe explanation not only for the strange things that happened to everyone in that event, but in the entirety of Channel Awesome history.
Courage the Cowardly Dog has something strange happening each episode despite the show being set in the middle of Nowhere.
This kind of makes sense. If nothing weird happens here (somewhere), what's the only place left?
There is in fact one episode that explictly states the farm was built over a cemetary.
Another contender for the king of this trope would be the flash animated series O'Grady, which aired on The N network. This series, featuring quite a few of the same crew and cast members as the UPN/Adult Swim series Home Movies, was centered on the lives of four teenagers living in the town of O'Grady which was constantly plagued by "The Weirdness." The Weirdness was weird, unexplained occurrences that affected the citizenry in every single episode. The show was compared to the Twilight Zone for this aspect of its premise. Examples of the Weirdness include the "Old Cold," a disease which caused sneezing-induced age shifts (the young turned old, the old turned young, and main character Abby went from about 15, to 30, to 60 something) and a a bizarre force-cord which caused two people to be inseparable for the duration of the Weirdness.
Ben 10; be it the Big Apple or the Grand Canyon, no matter where Ben goes on his four-season summer vacation road trip, he seems to have a knack for attracting weirdness in the form of various aliensandmonsters. If the weirdness isn't immediately obvious, expect Ben to go looking for it. He'll find it within two minutes. This is lampshaded early on by Gwen, almost by name:
Gwen: You know, ever since you've had that watch, you're like a magnet for the weird.
Apparently this wasn't just for him — Azmuth lets him keep the Omnitrix partly because it's a "magnet for trouble". Apparently even though he is an alien, Azmuth had the same problem Ben does.
All the main characters of Kappa Mikey appear to be dogged by random events, though considering the stuff that goes on in a typical episode, they might just live in a world where that sort of mayhem is an everyday thing.
The Simpsons lampshaded this when Smithers once re-introduced Mr Burns to Homer by reminding him;
Smithers: That's Homer Simpson. All the recent events of your life have revolved around him in some way or another.
Dan from Dan Vs.. The targets of his vengeance include a werewolf jogger, a supervillain dentist, a ninja cookie-thief, and the ghost of George Washington.
Mordecai and Rigby. These guys can't escape an episode with facing such odd situations as a black hole spawned by too many rock paper scissors ties, a half deer, half man trying to kill them, fighting off zombies spawned by a malfunctioning movie projector, and so on.
Dipper and Mabel Pines seem to be drawn to the strange things in Gravity Falls. While this can be justified in that Dipper is trying to figure out the town's secrets, there are times when the oddities come to them. This is actually lampshaded by one side-character;
Robbie V: Why is it that whenever you're around, there's always monsters or ghosts or, whatever!?