Quotes / Contrived Coincidence

Largo: "I knew it! You are our enemy from 'Endgames!'"
Miho: "Don't be ridiculous, Largo. What are the chances of that being true? You'd be more likely to get hired by the brother of your girlfriend's ex, whose daughter happens to have a crush on your best friend."
MegaTokyo Cliff Notes

Marty: That's right, Doc. November 12, 1955.
Doc: Unbelievable, that old Biff could have chosen that particular date. It could mean that that point in time inherently contains some sort of cosmic significance. Almost as if it were the junction point for the entire space-time continuum! On the other hand, it could just be an amazing coincidence.

"Every story gets to have a really big coincidence and here's ours..."
Narrator, George of the Jungle

"Think of the odds... Once I tried to calculate them but they're astronomical. I mean think of the odds of me, going in, sitting down, that night, in that bar, next to that man."
Walter, Breaking Bad

What could I do? The feelings of Sophia were at that time so exquisite, and the tenderness she felt for Augustus so poignant that I had not power to start any other topic, justly fearing that it might in some unforseen manner again awaken all her sensibility by directing her thoughts to her Husband. Yet to be silent would be cruel; she had intreated me to talk.

From this Dilemma I was most fortunately releived by an accident truly apropos; it was the lucky overturning of a Gentleman's Phaeton, on the road which ran murmuring behind us. It was a most fortunate accident as it diverted the attention of Sophia from the melancholy reflections which she had been before indulging.

"Watch Brad Pitt survive an un-survivable apocalypse thanks to a constant stream of lifesaving coincidences like: never hitting traffic in the middle of mass hysteria; finding an RV with the keys and a loaded gun inside; this friendly mugger showing him where to find medicine; this friendly Mexican family taking him in, no questions asked; these fast zombies who slow down as soon as they are about to catch him; this small child headshotting a zombie on top of him; this plane dropping a ladder down to save him at takeoff; this Israeli soldier killing a zombie about to eat him; surviving this car crash; surviving this plane crash; surviving a spike through his stomach; and shooting up with a randomly picked virus that happens to be curable while also serving as zombie camouflage."

"Events have the mark of bad storytelling in that they rely almost entirely on coincidence and behavior that would take considerable solvent-sniffing to seem rational.''
Zero Punctuation on Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days

V: It means that I, like God, do not play with dice and do not believe in coincidence.
Cinema Sins: Writers almost always write something like this when it comes to coincidences like this.

Angel: How is it a sword from the Third Century is conveniently located here in Los Angeles?
Cordelia: I don't think it is. I mean, I get the impression that somehow it's accessible from like a hundred points all over the world.
Connor: How's that work?
Cordelia: I don't know. I just get the visions, not the Cliff's Notes.
Angel, "Awakening"

In Wolverine #69, Jubilee read and badmouthed Charles Dickens' masterpiece David Copperfield, thereby confirming what we all suspected about her taste and brain power. "Does this kid live in the Alternate Universe of Amazing Coincidences, or what?" she asked. Uh, Jube, people who live in Marvel Universes shouldn't throw stones.
Marvel Year in Review 1993

Coincidence can be, if used sparingly, an acceptable writing tool. If a character suddenly runs into an ex lover, years after last having any contact, and right after breaking up with someone, that can be acceptable coincidence. If it's subtle, realistic in the context of things that just happen in real life, and used very conservatively, coincidence can be a fair plot device to get things in your story moving.

If you're using it 4 seconds into an episode and then you don't really stop until the end credits roll, then you probably shouldn't be getting paid to write for a living. No literary agency in the world is going to represent you, Dan Brown is probably snickering at you, and I know I will dread seeing your names on any future episodes.

Yes, I'm talking to you, Andrew Landis and Julia Swift. I know you blackmailed your way into this gig, and I will find a way to expose you.
Julian Finn on Smallville, "Abandoned"

"Now let's explore the improbable chain of events that led to this amusing yet tragic farce."
Ray Magini, The Simpsons, "Don't Fear the Roofer"

"...since when is Little Richard Denise’s uncle? Seriously, that never came up before? She never mentioned him before ten seconds ago, immediately preceding when he just happened to be picking her up at the full house, which also happens to coincide with them needing a celebrity guest for an event, plus also Jesse just having lost the tickets to his concert? It’s not like he’s even supposed to be in from out of town or anything, he’s just Denise’s uncle who she apparently sees all the time."
—Blogger Billy Superstar summing up how this trope works in a review of an episode of Full House

Navin: But how did you guys find me?
Dad: I dunno. This is the first place we looked.

Yugi, wait. Wouldn't you say this is all a bit strange? We just happen to win a trip, our plane happens to crash, then we happen to meet the last man to see your grandfather before he disappeared? It's all too convenient.

"What are the odds? Seriously, what are the fucking odds?!?"

"Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating."
— One of Pixar's 22 rules of writing.