: A verbal put-down Tempts Fate
- someone says that something will only happen if something else improbable happens. The improbable thing promptly happens.
- Straight: Charles says "Alice and Bob will get together...when pigs fly!" A winged piglet appears as Alice and Bob are walking down the street, holding hands. Charles is flabbergasted.
- Exaggerated: Every pig in the world sprouts wings and starts flying.
- Downplayed: A pig walks by with nonfunctioning wings glued to its back. This elicits chuckles from the other characters, but doesn't convince Charles of anything - at least, not until he hears that Alice and Bob have been with each other all night.
- Charles is Tempting Fate
- The same mysterious force that causes Alice and Bob to get together causes the pigs to fly, possibly in response to Charles' comment.
- The cause and effect are reversed; i.e. "Pigs will fly . . . when Alice and Bob get together!"
- Sign of the Apocalypse
- Subverted: Charles makes his comment, and nothing out of the ordinary happens.
- Double Subverted: But then a football ("pigskin") comes flying through the window.
- Parodied: A honey-glazed ham falls from the ceiling into Charles' hand.
- Zig Zagged: A flying pig appears. Later, it turns out it was a balloon. Except Alice and Bob really did get together, and the next morning Charlie SWEARS he sees a pig flying in a parabolic arc through the air. Then it turns out someone launched it from a catapult. Alice and Bob are still together though.
- Averted: No pigs or pig parts appear when Charles makes his comment.
- Enforced: The writers couldn't resist.
- Lampshaded: "So...about those pigs, Charles..."
- Invoked: Charles makes the comment because he wants to see flying pigs, and tempts fate in order to do so.
- Exploited: Charles makes his comment, then when the winged pig comes by he catches it and shows it off as a freak show attraction for profit.
- Defied: Charles cuts himself off the moment he's about to say the phrase, thinking he's going to be Tempting Fate.
- Discussed: "Don't say that! You know the moment you say that, a flying pig will turn up!"
- Conversed: "Yeah, yeah, and then the pigs start flying, Seen It a Million Times."
You'll go back to Cue the Flying Pigs
, when pigs fly!