- Done twice, in quick succession, in Paperinik New Adventures' 24th issue.
Urk: Cheer up, Paperinik. Things could be worse.
Paperinik: Excuse me? Things could be worse? We're stranded in a wood deep in enemy territory, with no means of transport, no weapons, no food and it's at least fifty degrees below freezing point! How could it get any worse than this?
Urk: It could be snowing.
(snow starts falling)
Paperinik: Are you satisfied now?
Urk: Well, at least there aren't any wild animals around.
(wolves howl in the distance)
- Minor Captain America malcontent "Bull's Eye" was a villainous agent of HYDRA and an ace marksman who had a strong target motif in his costume. Yes, he was eventually killed when someone shot him directly through the bullseye on his chest.
- Now there's the merc/murderer/Psycho for Hire Bullseye. His cotume has a bullseye on his forehead. why? Becuase he also has one carved there. He has a target on his head out of costume (subverted when he spent a year and a half real-time dressed as Hawkeye).
- In the Supergirl books:
- In New Krypton, Supergirl's father Zor-El tempted fate several times:
- In "Superman: New Krypton Special", Zor says now they have powers "We'll never be in harm's way again". he got murdered shortly after. And New Krypton got blown up.
- In Supergirl vol.5 #34 Kara questions the wisdom of having a Brainiac's robot keeping Argo's shields up, and asks what would happen if it woke up. Her father reiterates over and again it can't and won't turn itself back on. Despite everything, the robot woke up and nearly killed them.
- In Supergirl vol.6 #19, several Luthor's henchmen are trying to seize Supergirl. Two of them comment that she's just a kid and they'd hate to see what she could do when she grows up. Cue Power Girl -an adult Supergirl from an alternate universe- showing up and trashing them.
- At the beginning of "Superman Supergirl: Maelstrom" #1, Supergirl notes that it's been a very quiet week and she thought she'd have more action when her cousin asked her keep an eye on Metropolis while he was away. Cue a Darkseid's minion arriving on town and flinging cars away.
Supergirl: Oh no... The second I think good thoughts...
- In DC Retro-Active Superman 1980's, Earth-One Superman has a nightmare where -among other things- he sees Supergirl dying. When he wakes up he barely remembers his dream, but he is very shaken and frightened, and he calls his cousin to ask her to be careful. Kara dismisses his fears, reminding him that "There's not much that can hurt [her]"... and then she mentions that the morning sky is red...◊ A little after she'd get killed in the Crisis on Infinite Earths.
- In New Krypton, Supergirl's father Zor-El tempted fate several times:
- In Ultimate X-Men series two, calling them "Nimrod" sentinels. Nimrod is Hebrew for rebel. Seriously, it's like Ult-Obama and minions (anybody who sends WM Ds after kids is NOT a hero) were just asking for a Sentinel rebellion. For the record, they're named after Biblical Nimrod (Genesis 10:8-9, described as a "mighty hunter before the Lord), who may be by some, including myself, conflated with the king who supervised the construction of the Tower of Babel. Nimrods are indeed "mighty hunters" of mutants, especially innocent children, but they are especially prone to rebel. Any use of Sentinels appears to be a bit of Tempting Fate, considering how often they rebel against their creators across the various X-Men media. The one exception that comes to mind would be at the end of X-Men Evolution, when Apocalypse was trying to turn the world into mutants by means of radiation from satellites. S.H.I.E.L.D. in that show using specially reprogrammed Sentinels to try to destroy the satellites before they could fully activate/charge/whatever was a good move, and justifiable considering that hundreds of millions of people all around the world (if not a billion or two) would have DIED, probably in torment, from Apocalypse's actions.
- Invoked in Gold Digger. Brianna really wanted to test out her new guns, but Gina told her not to jinx them. Be Careful What You Wish For comes and bites them in the butt. Hard!
- Anytime you hear a supervillain say anything along the lines of "Batman"? He doesn't even have any powers!" Expect a Curb-Stomp Battle.
- There's the similarly related "Batman? He's just an urban legend!" or the like, although this is generally more for mooks.
- The Jedi-killing bounty hunter Durge is practically begging to die with this line:
"You think that was going to stop me?!? I was once buried alive for sixty years! If that didn't kill me... if the Sith and the Mandalorians and the Bloodboilers of Kragis couldn't kill me — then you will not kill me!"
- In Marvel: The Lost Generation, the Black Fox tells his First Line teammate Yankee Clipper that he's going to propose to his girlfriend and retire immediately. Black Fox is all smiles and sunshine, extremely optimistic about the new life before him. Before he gets the chance to pop the question, a supervillain murders his girl.
- Garfield likes to play with this trope. If someone says things can't get worse, they will (usually with Garfield warning not to say it). However, if a character admits things could get worse, they get worse.
- In December, 15, 2011, Garfield told a spider that was under a mistletoe to forget it and that he'd rather kiss a dog. Odie then showed up.
- At the beach, Jon tried to get the attention of a girl by screaming "Shark!". He was trampled by everyone who ran away out of fear, was slapped by the girl and, when he said things couldn't get worse, a shark appeared.
- Exaggerated in this◊ strip.
- In The Order, college baseball and track star "Calamity" James Wa was described on the cover of Sports Illustrated as "The Boy Most Likely to Succeed." And his nickname is "Calamity". He got into a car accident on the way to a state finals meet... and lost his legs. James went into engineering instead of sports afterwards, and developed advanced prosthetic legs that made him a millionaire by the age of 22, so by all measures he has succeeded, but... it's not the same.
- In Issue 11 in the Transformers Ongoing comic, Vortex hoped that the Autobots would show up so he could scrap them. Cue Optimus Prime plowing through the wall ramming him.
- U.S. Acres played with this trope when it was a beautiful day and Orson said even Lanolin couldn't ruin it. To prove him wrong, she yelled she had just washed her car. It started raining soon after.
- In Death of the Family, Batman claims that Joker doesn't actually know the Batfamily's identities. Considering what's been happening so far, Batman is likely setting himself up for a rude surprise.
- At the end of Moon Knight's current run, the hero utters that he'd rather face a Robot Apocalypse than live in Los Angeles any longer. The blurb on the bottom of the page? "Moon Knight Will Return In The Age Of Ultron"
- Subverted, in that Tonk Stark straight-out told him that Ultron was trying to wipe out humanity and that it will happen soon. Moon Knight was just venting frustration at LA and Hollywood.
- Lampshaded in issue #2 of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW) when the ponies are going through an old mine.
Twilight: Well, hopefully that means no one is here and we can just walk on through with no issues!
Rainbow Dash: Pfft... saying things like that just means you're begging for something to happen.
- From the short in Issue #1: "Its not like I'm going to get in trouble in the three seconds she's gone." Says the pony best known for being easily distracted.
- Constantly with the Nightmares toward Spike as they don't see him as a threat in the second story-arc. Likewise Nightmare Rarity proclaims what could Spike hope to accomplish against her... yet why would she take the Fire Ruby he brought for her if she considers it "worthless"?
- During the Cobra Civil War in G.I. Joe (Marvel series), a groups of Joes sneak through a tunnel and get attacked by rats. One yells "At least it can't get worse!" Another adds "How could it?" Cue two of Destro's soldiers pouring soup down a grate.
- Kick-Ass: "He doesn't have the balls", says the gangster to a guy with a gun who just had his testicles hooked up to a car battery Needless to say, Hit-Girl probably did him a favor by killing him with that butcher knife.
- Shakara: The frog-alien commander who oversaw the convicts dumped on the sentient Death World by The Hierarchy crashes down on the planet along with his crew after Shakara intervenes. He just has to boast that surviving for a few hours after they transmit their Distress Signal should be a walk in the park. Obviously, they all die within seconds.