Alias Smith and Jones: Lampshaded in "The Day They Hanged Kid Curry". After Heyes finishes explaining to another fugitive why his plan for escaping the law is absolutely going to work, the other man agrees that it's foolproof. Heyes gives him a very pained look and asks why he had to say that.
Lorne: A memory spell — provided by one of my clients — that is guaranteed to bring our Cordy back to the way she was. Angel: Guaranteed? Lorne: No pain, no side-effects. I'm telling you, swingers, there's no way this can fail. (scene cuts to Lorne narrating) Lorne: So, I'm an idiot. What are you — perfect?
Skip's death. Guns have been largely useless in combating the forces of evil throughout the Buffyverse's entire run, and Skip snarks at Wesley "Do those things ever work?" Wesley sees a spot where Angelus tore off a horn, and puts a shot right in his brain.
Skip: That's just not right.
Wesley's "I think we're winning!" Next scene, they're tied up.
Londo: Yes, your ships are very impressive in space, or in the air. But they are on the ground now. Morden: So? They can sense an approaching ship from miles away! So what are you going to do, Mollari? Blow up the island? Londo: Actually... (produces detonator from his jacket) Now that you mention it... Morden:NOOOO!!! * boom*
Played straight. Blackadder has been convicted of a crime at his court-martial and is going to be shot the next morning:
Blackadder: I wonder if anything in the world could depress me more. (Baldrick walks in, holding a bag) Blackadder:(tone hardly changing) Of course it could.
Earlier in the same episode:
Blackadder: Any impartial judge is bound to let me off. General Melchett:(from next room)BAH! Blackadder: I'm dead!
Boy Meets World: Cory Matthews always invokes this trope. He even lampshaded this in the episode where he joined the wrestling team, saying he wouldn't be asked to wrestle this season just so he can prove what he says won't happen, will happen. Next thing you know, he is asked to wrestle in his first match.
This show is pretty guilty of this, usually in combination with Gilligan Cut. Find me someone in the series who actually hasn't done this, and I'll be impressed. Xander seemed to tend to get the worse of it though.
Lampshaded in "School Hard", however:
Xander: As long as nothing really bad happens between now and then, you'll be fine. Buffy: Are you crazy? What did you say that for? Now something bad is going to happen! Xander: What do you mean? Nothing bad's going to happen. Willow: Not until some dummy says, "As long as nothing bad happens." Buffy: It's the ultimate jinx. Willow:What Were You Thinking?? Or were you even thinking at all? Xander: (nervously hugging his bag) Well, you guys don't know...maybe this time it'll be different... (cut to Spike arriving in town)
Also worthy of mention is "Wild at Heart":
Buffy:(after killing a vampire) That's it? That's all I get? One lame-ass vamp with no appreciation for my painstakingly thought-out puns. I don't think the forces of darkness are even trying. I mean, you could make a little effort here, you know? Give me something to work with. Spike:(watching her from a distance) Watch your mouth, little girl. You should know better than to tempt the fates that way. 'Cause the Big Bad is back. And this time, it's... (suddenly he's being tazered) Urrgh! Aaaahhh! (he is dragged away by commandos)
Dawn: ... But there's a bright side. Buffy: There is? Dawn:At least things can't get any crazier. Right? (an arrow flies through the window and hits the wall — right next to Buffy) Buffy: You know this is your fault for saying that.
And again in "Ted", only this time, they don't particularly care:
Xander: Yeah, with Spike and Drusilla out of the way we've really been riding the mellow and am I like jinxing the hell out of us by saying that? Buffy: Yeah, but we'll let you off this time.
Even the video game gets in on it.
Buffy: Maybe now we can start enjoying the evening. Xander: Geez, Buff. Jinx us, why don't you? That's a cue for something evil to crash in if I ever heard one. And he doesn't even get to finish speaking before vampires crash into the Bronze.
"But I will never kiss you, Spike. Never touch you. Ever! Ever again!" Needless to say Buffy is kissing Spike by the end of the episode and they're having passionate Destructo-Nookie in the episode following. One can't help thinking she was doing it deliberately.
Burn Notice: Almost rises to the level of Once an Episode. It goes like this: one of the main characters takes a seemingly innocuous job, probably something like tailing an embezzler, finding a missing daughter, or giving an abusive husband a firm talking to. It turns out they need the help of another main character (or all of them) to do it. The first character assures the other character(s) that the job is simple, easy, will probably take barely an hour, etc. At this point, the amount of time before things go completely to hell rarely tops 5 minutes.
In the season 3 episode, Emmett Milbarge is telling a man to go away or else he will hurt him... not knowing he is being rude to an assassin. Luckily for him, the assassin doesn't think killing him is worth and starts to walk away, causing Emmett to call him "Pussy". That made the assassin shoot him in the eye killing him. If Emmett didn't call him that, well, he would still be alive...
From the penultimate episode of season four:
Sarah: Everything is perfect; nothing can go wrong.
The Closer: "Layover" had Provenza after discovering that a pair of hot flight attendants were using Flynn and him to protect them. wondering if there was any way that Flynn and he would look any stupider. A second later, the flight attendants stole Provenza's car.
Stephen Colbert: It's gonna take more than a four-star general to get me to cut! my! hair! (ominous thunder, and the White House logo appears on screen) Barack Obama: Excuse me, General?
CSI: Miami: When Horatio Caine remarks that you might want to someday own a vehicle with doors (as opposed to your motorcycle), do NOT reply "I have plenty of time for that." Tim Speedle does. Poor Speed.
The Dick Cavett Show: In one episode, 72-year-old publisher Jerome Irving Rodale, an advocate of organic farming, died of a heart attack on stage. Earlier, Rodale had made some boastful comments on his supposedly good health, and bragged, "I'm going to live to be 100, unless I'm run down by some sugar-crazed taxi driver."
In the Christmas special The Voyage of the Damned, the villain ''tries'' to tempt fate by naming the interstellar cruise liner he means to scuttle the Titanic. It doesn't work nearly as well as he'd hoped, mainly thanks to the Doctor.
Meanwhile, in "The Impossible Planet":
Ida: We've come this far. There's no turning back. Doctor: Oh, did you have to? No turning back? That's almost as bad as "nothing can possibly go wrong" or "this is gonna be the best Christmas Walford's ever had!"
And perhaps the most blatant and extreme example in "Midnight":
The Doctor: Stuck in a big space bus with a bunch of strangers on a diamond planet called Midnight? What could possibly go wrong?
From "Dalek", a soldier asks of the titular monster, whom he believes is disabled: "What, are you going to sucker me to death?". The Dalek promptly crushes his skull with its plunger arm.
Same episode: "I think I know how to fight one single tin robot."
From "Boom Town": "Cardiff, early twenty-first century, winds coming from the... east. Trust me, safest place in the universe." Then the Doctor finds out there's a Slitheen plotting to blow the place up with a faulty nuclear power plant.
He does like saying that... from the 2011 Christmas special, "This is one of the safest planets I know; there's never anything dangerous here..." (a loud crash is heard nearby) "There are sentences I should just keep away from."
Dorium: Time catches up with us all, Doctor! The Doctor: Well it has never laid a glove on me!
At the very end of the Time War, as the Doctor is finally regenerating, he comments to himself that he hopes his next incarnation's ears won't be too conspicuous. Before regenerating into Christopher Eccleston's Doctor.
The Drew Carey Show: Drew shares the elevator with Larry after he has been promised a promotion as long as he reaches the boardroom in thirty minutes. When Larry congratulates him, he says that he doesn't want to talk about it for fearing of jinxing things.
Larry: Hey, they're calling you up. There's no way you can lose now. Nothing but blue skies ahead! Not even the gods above with their so-called "powers" could... (elevator breaks down) Drew: You happy?
Family Fortunes: In one episode of this British adaptation of Family Feud, a contestant gave "Over a fire" as a response to "Name a way of toasting someone." As he often did on off-the-wall answers, host Les Dennis quipped, "I tell you what, if it's up there, I'll give you the money meself!" Cue "Grill" lighting up on the board for 12 points.
Farscape: Played straight and then instantly lampshaded:
Aeryn: You know we don't have a contingency. Crichton: Ah this'll work. Unless that plant can mutate in five minutes, what could go wrong? (beat) Crichton: Damn, I did not just say that.
Evidently Joss Whedon likes this trope (among many others). Any time someone thinks things are going smooth... they're not. Lampshade Hanging by Genre Savvy characters completely fails to avert the trouble — or the comments.
Mal: It never goes smooth. How come it never goes smooth.
One of the most striking examples is in the movie, when Wash says, after a particularly skillful and heroic bit of flying, "I am a leaf on the wind. Watch how I-" And is immediately skewered through the chest.
Moments earlier, the Operative had been waiting with his fleet of Alliance ships for Serenity to break through the ion cloud. She did... followed by a fleet of reaver ships that put a very "Oh Crap" expression on the Operative's face.
George: Do you have anything for us, anything good? Callie: Nope. It's slow. Alex: You don't say it's a slow day in the pit. George: You never say it's slow... you just jinxed us. Callie: It's a day and it's slow. Alex: When that phone starts ringing with traumas, you're gonna wish you hadn't said that. Callie: The phone's not gonna ring. It's a slow day. (the phone rings)
Referenced in one episode. Marshall and Lily agree to write each other "death letters" with a final goodbye and important information (bank accounts, passwords, etc.). Turns out that Marshall didn't write one, but he's planning on doing it soon. Ted and Barney assure him that there's no chance that he could suddenly drop dead before writing it. No chance at all. Marshall berates them for taking advantage of his superstitious nature, throws salt over his shoulder, knocks on wood, turns around three times and runs home to write the letter.
Used in "Perfect Week", where Barney was attempting to sleep with seven women in seven days. Lily utters the phrase "perfect week", thus jinxing it. The next day, Lily gleefully points out that Barney was getting along with "third martini girl," pointing out there was no such thing as a jinx...only for 2009 World Champion New York Yankee member Nick Swisher walked through the door and every lady in the bar oogling at him.
LOST: Often used, especially in tandem with the Answer Cut. For example, Juliet is worried that Ben will react badly to her affair with Goodwin. Goodwin replies, "What's Ben gonna do?" Cut to Ben sending Goodwin to his death infiltrating the tail section.
Malcolm in the Middle: Averted Trope. Malcolm and Reese both participate in an illegal race-betting scheme, with Malcolm even turning to the audience to ask, with no trace of sarcasm, "What Could Possibly Go Wrong?" One flip cut later, he's showing off the thousands of dollars he made in the scam, which apparently went off without a hitch.
There is hardly any episode where this trope isn't invoked by at least one character. The episode "Luck of the Bundy's" even establishes that a Bundy must never admit that he is lucky because an equal amount of bad luck is just waiting around the corner for him to be Tempting Fate. The result of that episode? The police "confiscates" all the money Al has been winning at poker so far, he gets arrested for grand theft auto (because all cars he also won were stolen), Bud's college dorm burns down forcing him to return back home, Kelly has a major stunt accident and is uninsured, and Al is getting hit by a lightning strike from the only cloud in miles, which is hovering above his house.
Frequently lampshaded as well, like when Bud needs to score 10 points in the last frame of a bowling game.
It was actually revealed in the two-part episode when the Bundy's go to England, that Al Bundy's ancestor pissed off a witch who put a curse on his entire bloodline, explaining the bad luck of temping fate.
An unscripted example occurs in the "Exploding Fire Extinguisher" myth on this show. It looks like their big bang will take a while, so the gang starts playing charades. Tory asks, "Sounds like?" Cue Stuff Blowing Up.
During the Hammer vs. Hammer myth: Tory was trying to drive in a nail with one swing. He missed the nail twice, hitting the same spot both times.
On the Mythbusters Revealed special, they reveal that when a member of the crew or cast is caught with a cell phone going off during a shoot, they're fined a case of beer. Adam is often caught with his phone on so he buys a few cases every couple of weeks. During the episode, Jamie smugly explains to the camera that he makes sure his phone is set to vibrate so he doesn't have to buy beer. Not a second after he finishes speaking, his phone audibly goes off on-camera and the crew laughs at him.
Narrator: "And that's a case of beer."
MythQuest: In "Minokichi", Mosaku tells to Alex the story of Yuki-Onna, a snow demon that feeds on body warmth and then freezes her victims to death. The last thing he says before going to sleep? "Wouldn't want this to be the last place I see." Yuki-Onna kills him in his sleep that night.
Not every case of Tempting Fate has to be life or death. Ask the late Peter Tomarken, host of this show. Naturally, you want a game show host to wish good will upon the contestants, but he had no idea what they were in for when he said "We're gonna have Big Bucks today, I can feel it." Two episodes' worth (To Be Continued and all) of taping and $110,237 worth in cash and prizes later, Michael Larson made Tomarken eat his words. Larson knew the fixed sequence to the game board so he knew which spaces never contained a Whammy and which ones would always offer extra spins.
But nonetheless, the tragedy gods would still have the last laugh. In the opening segment, Tomarken makes a jab at Larson, saying "Hopefully you won't OD on money, Michael." Larson lost a lot of his winnings in a scam, had even more of it robbed when he left bags of it laying around in his house, and then had to flee from the law due to illegal trading. Seems like the Whammies had gotten their revenge after all....
Primeval: In episode 8, a giant worm comes down from the ceiling and latches onto Connor's head immediately after he comments that they are now safe.
Queer as Folk: Averted Trope in the American version. A gay teenager is found dead in a dumpster, and everyone starts speculating that he was killed by a one-night stand. Brian deliberately tempts fate by picking up a random guy at the club that night, declaring that, "There's never been a hotter time to fuck a stranger." When Justin calls him on it, he even backs slowly away while wiggling his fingers dramatically and saying, "I'll be fine!" He's right, and nothing bad happens.
Revolution: The Wiry Stranger that steals the Mathesons' food in the flashback in "Chained Heat" is threatened by Ben with a gun. Double Subversion as it initially appears that Ben won't do it, but then the flashback resumes again just in time for Rachel to pull the trigger.
Robin Hood: Robin tells Much about his secret engagement to Marian and comments: "Let's hope we live to enjoy it." They don't.
Rome: There's a hilarious coda to the episode "Egeria", where the legionaries are shivering on the deck of a galley as it battles through a raging storm:
Titus Pullo: This is cac, this is! I'm wet through! Lucius Vorenus: We're perfectly safe — a very favorable offering was made to Triton [son of Poseidon, god of the Sea] before we left. Pullo: Well, if he can't keep me drier than this, he can suck my cock! (ship's mast breaks) Vorenus: When will you learn to keep your fat mouth shut?!
Stargate SG-1: Carter is playing around with an alien device and says she wants to try stabilizing the energy signature it's emitting. Cam's surprisingly Genre Blind response: "Sure, what have you got to lose?"
The teaser of the episode "Our Man Bashir" ends with Garak saying "What could possibly go wrong?" while in a Bond-esque holoprogram with Bashir, which is just funny. (And, yes, something does go very wrong. It's the holodeck; what do you expect?)
In the first episode of Season 5, Worf and Gowron have a Bath'leth duel, which is stopped. Gowron comments that Worf missed his chance to slay him and won't get another. Near the very end of the LAST season, Worf and Gowron duel again, and, you guess, Worf slays Gowron.
In the novelisation of the very first episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Odo remarks to Bashir, that: 1) he doesn't get ill, 2) should he fall ill, Bashir (or any UFP doctor) will never be able to help. Near the end of the show, Odo does get ill, and Bashir is his only hope.
Star Trek: Enterprise: "The Council": The crew have successfully infiltrated a Sphere and reached its redundant memory core, whereupon Reed says: "It's practically gift-wrapped." Cue shot of Glowing Mecha-Tentacle of Death...
Jeremy Clarkson traditionally introduces new Challenges by describing the task, then looking into the camera and saying "How hard can it be?" Hilarity Ensues.
In recent series they've had Richard Hammond routinely lampshade this. In the first show in which he returned from his near-fatal crash in the rocket car, Hammond said, "How I've missed the pang of dread whenever you say the words, 'How hard can it be?'" And in recent episodes, Hammond's standard reaction to Clarkson's asking "How hard can it be?" is to shout "Don't say that!" (or similar).
Speaking of the crash: Later in the episode they showed some of the footage from that day. It starts with Hammond explaining the rocket car with "This ignites the afterburner. And when that happens, I haven't got 5,000 horse powers. I've got 10,000 horse powers. And possibly the biggest accident you've ever seen in your life."
The only time Hammond tempted fate and got away with it was when he had a race between a Bugatti Veryon and military jet. He lived. His words before the challenge? (paraphrased) : "If I don't stop in time, I die a horrific death and YouTube has a field day."
Top Gear US had a "Dangerous Cars" episode featuring Tanner in the rollover-prone Samurai, Rutledge in the fishtailing Corvair, and Adam in the notoriously flammable Pinto. Each of them at the start make comments to the effect of "The problems are exaggerated, I'm sure we won't have any problems when we're driving." Within the first ten minutes, Rutlege spins out on the track, Tanner rolls completely off into the dirt, and Adam has an internal fire. The best bit is at the end, though, after a demolition derby where they put their modified deathtraps to the test, Adam gets stuck in a ditch and is unable to exit the arena, but declares that the Pinto is okay, especially after disparaging the condition of Tanner and Rutledge's cars. At which point, the Pinto explodes and is caught on camera, burning dramatically.
Adam: "Let me just say one thing, it went through the whole race, no fire, no explosions. So I may not have been able to drive out because I was in a rut, but the car is perfectly safe." *KABOOM*
The Two Ronnies: "The Bogle of Bog Fell" ends with the narrator saying: "One last thing I'll say to ye: The tale I've told ye may seem strange, and almost impossible to believe — but if it's not true, may I be blown to smithereens and the various parts of my body be distributed and scattered throughout the length and breadth of Scotland, including the Trossachs." A few seconds later....
Undercovers: A Russian is leading the Blooms through a minefield (with a mine-sniffing rat, no less). He invokes the trope:
Russian: I assure you, This is safe procedure. Follow me. *BOOM!*
In the episode "Election Night", Toby makes frequent neurotic attempts to prevent the other campaign staff from tempting fate by behaving as if they've won before the results come in:
Sam: You wrote a concession? Toby: Of course I wrote a concession. What, you want to tempt the wrath of the whatever from high atop the thing? Sam: No. Toby: Then go outside, turn around three times and spit. What the hell's the matter with you?
There's also actual Tempting Fate scene, where he interrupts a premature celebration of the (100% certain) confirmation of their Supreme Court nominee, going around the room plucking champagne glasses out of people's hands because
Toby: In the three months this man has been on my radar screen I have aged forty-eight years. This is MY Day of Jubilee and I will not have it screwed up by WHAT, Bonnie? Bonnie: By tempting fate. Toby: BY TEMPTING FATE.
In the season one episode "The Short List", Josh is a little too confident about the ease with which the President's (initial) nominee for the Supreme Court will be confirmed, and doesn't so much tempt fate as lasso fate and drag it towards him:
Josh: [The confirmation process is] gonna sail, Donna.
Donna: There's many a slip twixt the tongue and the wrist, Josh.
In one episode, a contestant was faced with _ _ _ _ _PS in the Bonus Round. Pat quipped, "If you solve this, I'm retiring." And after a few seconds, the contestant blurted out the right answer, HICCUPS.
And on another episode, a contestant had GLO_E showing. Pat said, "Well, I'm gonna be surprised if you don't get this." Obviously, the answer would be either GLOBE or GLOVE — and it should be easy to guess one, then if Pat says it's wrong, guess the other. The contestant did guess GLOVE before the timer started, and after being told that it was wrong, spent the entire 10 seconds in silence, failing to come up with GLOBE.
Wild And Crazy Kids: In the closer of an episode featuring Marc Summers as a guest, host Jessica Gaynes proudly proclaims, "I can't believe we just made it through an entire episode with Marc Summers and no one got slimed!" Cue all three hosts immediately getting the green treatment.
Young Dracula: In "Halloscream", Robin says "It's just an old biscuit tin. What's the worst that could happen?". As it turns out, opening the tin unleashes an ancient curse that will turn the Dracula family human.
Parodied. At the end of the first episode an airliner pilot cheerfully remarks, "Gosh, I really hope we don't have a crash."
And again, in the series 2 finale. Everything goes wrong for the titular characters, lose their house, school, to the degree they steal a bus, go over a cliff, end up up side down. They proclaim "Whew! That was close!" in unison. Cue big explosion.
Also in the series finale, the Landlord declared that his house was the wackiest house on television.
Mr Balowski: Why, if it isn't, may God strike me dead! (is promptly vapourised)
Rick was particularly prone to this trope, as his most sarcastic remarks routinely turned out to be accurate. "I suppose you've arranged for a bloody great articulated lorry, loaded with money and food and everything we need, to come smashing through the front windows!" (Points at windows. Crash!)