- A Redtail's Dream: Guess if he did cause any disturbance.
- Textbook subversion in this Dinosaur Comics strip.
- This Cult leader in Exterminatus Now goes straight past Tempting Fate to just plain asking for it.
- Lampshaded here in Nukees.
- This strip from Real Life Comics is Tempting Fate in the most distilled form possible.
- Lampshaded in Get Medieval here: "I'd say that now things can't get worse, but I know what'd happen." (They happen anyway.)
- In Captain SNES: The Game Masta, whenever anyone says the words "I am invincible!" a treasure chest flies out of the sky and hits his or her head, causing no small amount of injury. Even if they were tricked into saying it. It Makes Sense in Context, sort of.
- Nedroid: Beartato contemplates his day and Reginald hangs up expired mistletoe.
- A Running Gag in 8-Bit Theater is the phrase "[situation] is X, X forever!" (e.g. "At last that Hell Door is vanquished, I'm safe. Safe forever!" — Black Mage, on getting past a door which was constantly opening and closing). Characters who have uttered these words always suffer in some way or other (for example in the last example, Black Mage was immediately attacked by the personification of Thief's greed.
- Lampshaded in Killroy and Tina: ""I thought you knew better than to utter such ominous clichés out loud."
- Thad in By the Saints jokingly says, "... for what we are about to receive..." while marching into battle. He isn't thankful for what he does receive a split-second later.
- In The Wotch, the team had an Unspoken Plan Guarantee, but then Miranda just had to say the words.
- Schlock Mercenary has made this into an inside joke. The entire cast refers to doing this as "taunting/invoking Murphy". Every time a character tries to say "What could go wrong?" or "It's a guaranteed success" or the like, he/she/it/they is violently interrupted. It's generally foreshadowing that something will go wrong, but that's a sucker bet anyway.
: Trouble, sir? What kind of trouble could they -
Captain Tagon: Do not finish that sentence.
Der Trihs: Oops! Sorry, sir.
Lieutenant: What are they going to do? Take a potshot through two layers of hullmetal?
Corporal: "Correction, two layers of hullmetal and one lieutenant.''
- Stand Still, Stay Silent:
- Goblins has a sub-comic called Tempts Fate after the lead character, Tempts Fate. Why is he called that? The writer decided to have people's donations actually do something tangible, so he set up Tempts Fate as a sort of arcade game: if donations reach a certain goal by a certain date, Tempts Fate will pass the obstacle in his way; the more the donations exceed the goal, the more awesome Tempts Fate's victory will be. If people fail to donate enough money by the deadline, then Tempts Fate will fail, and die, and live on only in our memories.
- And so far, Tempts Fate has lived through 8 challenges in spectacular fashion. So much so that the author has added extra properties to the donations, including a sort of "dice" modifier based on the cents digit that decides which cool item Tempts Fate gets if the biggest goal is met.
- When he offered T-shirts for donations during the "Tempts Vs. The Really, Really poorly Made Characters" challenge, the donations skyrocketed, collecting more than enough for the fourth and final goal before the first goal's deadline. The result? Tempts killed the poorly made characters so hard that it killed the people playing those characters (except Elfgirl, as she didn't want to kill him or, indeed, even play D&D, so he just let her go; he killed the DM instead).
- Irregular Webcomic!:
Mordekai: Oh c'mon! How many dinosaur models can one person have?
Dinosaurs: (fully surrounding party) RAAARRRHH!
- Combined with Historical In-Joke once, when an obstructive Ukrainian railway official mockingly asks Dr Smith "What will [Stalin] do? Purge entire country?"
- Yet another Historical In-Joke version here.
- In The Order of the Stick, any such event will probably be lampshaded by one of the many Genre Savvy characters. Too many examples to count, so let's just start with this one:
HA! I knew I made the right call staying in prison. That Tsukiko chick is getting her ass kicked by an elemental! It's so much safer up here! Tsukiko: SHOUT! (cell crumbles, a slab of stone falls and crushes the old man to death) Nale:
Well, now, really, what did you expect after a line like that?
- Sequential Art had this jinx:
: If I had to run away from something right now, I'd be so screwed. (...cue Flying Trashcans
who came all the way from Mars just to get him)
- Lampshaded in Narbonic: the characters are stranded in a raft at sea, with no food, no water, and no cigarettes, and Dave starts to say it couldn't be worse. Mell tries to stop him, but as the huge wave looms over the raft, Helen points out that it's too late. Dave's last words are "Well, MY face is red."
- This strip of Dominic Deegan. Lack of scrying alerts aside, you would think a seer who has been through as much crap as Dominic has would know better than to even think the words "Nothing bad will happen."...
- To be fair, we find out later that "the bad thing" actually blocked his second sight so that he — nor any other seer — would spot him coming.
- Fate launches all salvos in this strip. Also combines a "Things can't get any worse." statement with a response in the next panel midsentence. Either Dominic needs his crystal balls polished or he has a really twisted definition of "Nothing bad will happen."
- And Dominic does it again here.
- Stunt does it twice in the space of a few strips; here and here.
- Lampshaded in this page of The Adventures of Dr. McNinja.
- Invoked here in Unshelved ("It was a boring week...").
- Either invoked or averted in Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures when Dan escapes the burlap sack in his first adventure.
Dan: Ha! Shows what you know, universe! Trying to bury me with girls only makes everything better!
- Also in this comic, where Mab actually isn't sure if the next event to happen makes anything better or worse.
- Homestuck likes this one. Due to the high number of playable characters, the narrative is prone to sudden shifts in perspective, often at key dramatic moments. The fate-tempting is mostly hanging a lampshade on the whole affair.
- One astronaut in Mountain Time seems to be ordering his fate off a menu.
- Played with in Hellbound; mostly used straight, occasionally subverted, the best one occurring fairly early on:
At least things can't get any worse.... (silence) Baxter:
Hey, nothing happened! I guess your life can't get any worse than this! You've hit Rock Bottom
, but at least nothing else can go wrong! Guy:
Oh good, my suicide shall go flawlessly. Baxter:
That's the spirit!
- This Questionable Content applies it to vaginas.
- Sluggy Freelance:
- In the universe of Footloose, the Theory of Narrative Causality is real and extremely undesirable (e.g. the lead suffers from "Primary Protagonist Syndrome"), so it is only right and proper to stop any fool before they finish saying "What Could Possibly Go Wrong??"
- Finders Keepers used this in an interesting way. Cailyn and Card are in a magical market, looking for Fate. Cailyn suggests they split up in the middle of a market full of powerful and dangerous supernatural creatures. She figures if Fate doesn't want to be found, she can make it want to find her.
- Gunnerkrigg Court, Chapter 23 has an interesting variation on this. During the camping trip, students start mysteriously disappearing, and the remaining students deduce that it must be a prank the teachers are pulling. They come up with a plan to find the missing students and expose the prank, but it requires one more student to deliberately get kidnapped. Kat volunteers, because she's cool with being kidnapped by Mr. Eglamore. Cue Kat, sitting by herself, announcing to no-one in particular, "Oh boy! I sure hope nothing happens to me now that I'm here all alone!" As expected, she immediately gets kidnapped... but not by Mr. Eglamore.
- In Tweep, Milton barely escapes following the trope.
- Yahtzee Takes on the World adds a bit of spin by showing a flying saucer crashing into the characters' lair before it cuts to a very annoyed Yahtzee, who announces "As I was saying, it's nice to get back to normal."
- In Something*Positive, one of Davan's friends says that he won't have a costume unless they have one in a can waiting for him. They do.
- In Pokémon-X, they do it three times in just one storyline.
- In Kevin & Kell, Danielle believes that Rabbit's Revenge won't go through Kell's house to get to her. They don't; they burrow directly into her room. Similarly, during the 2000 election Arc, Lindesfarne is confident that Kevin "has the election in the bag," until his opponent claims that Kell ate his campaign manager, which causes Kevin to lose the election, but Lindesfarne finds the wife and interspecies child, causing Sheldon to admit Coney into the youth league.
- In a recent strip, Sheila asks "how hard can it be to catch dumb plant-eaters" while planning on hunting in Kell's place to help her meet quota. Suddenly, an icy cold blast out of nowhere freezes all the vegetation.
- Subverted in Antihero for Hire:
Dechs: (while waiting on a rooftop for something interesting to happen) I'm bored.
Dechs: It seems like a quiet night.
Dechs: I said, it seems like a quiet night.
Dechs: Well damn, that usually works.
- GastroPhobia: "— And nothing short of a barrage of arrows could make me move from this spot!" Now, Phobia, that's beyond merely Tempting Fate and simply asking for it.
- Erfworld: Prince Tramennis asks King Slately about parleying with Parson: "Come! What's the worst that could happen?" The King's response: "The worst? The Titans could hear you ask such a question."
- During the battle with King's invincible army in Two Evil Scientists, one of King's robots points out how a battle against weak enemies is no fun when you can't get hurt. In the very next panel, the severed head of another supposedly invincible robot bounces by him. Cue Oh, Crap! face.
- In El Goonish Shive Mr. Raven approves being careful in this regard. Abe adds this trope to his long list of mistakes and stupid decisions here.
- This is a Running Gag on Bob and George.
Ran: The way I see it, we've broken every law of physics except the third law of thermodynamics.
Dr. Light: Aha! Negative two Kelvin!
- In Wapsi Square, Shelly discovers that taunting mother nature is a bad idea.
- Girl Genius has savvy characters who realize what was just said.
- Which makes it all but certain that uncle Barry will show up in the Castle arc.
- Oggie's great-great-grandson. Also, Oggie himself:
Maxim: Oh, now hyu iz just asking for it.
- The commander of the heliolux airfleet (communication systems/roasting) after being informed that contact with several units was lost mid-sentence and then the contact with a bay of their own ship is lost right now. She couldn't finish the next sentence with anything better than "We'll miss the fighting!". Cue a Jägermonster walking in right behind her and happily screaming "Wrong!" (Jorgi likes to be contrary).
- The commander of Armorpants was asking for it, too.
- Xerxsephnia makes a very foolish assumption that she has Agatha helplessly grounded, far away from her town or any potential allies. When her brother tries to persuade her that "the Heterodyne Girl" is a thread after all, she brushes his concerns off, assuring him they are not in a Heterodyne Play and asking "What can she do?" Cue Agatha flying past the tower's window in a swan-shaped sleigh.
- In Demon Eater, the main character provides us a very naïve line after this strip
- This Shortpacked! strip takes it to new heights.
Faz: But I will never tell you where they have the others, unless you do something that hurts me a lot, like punch me in the face repeatedly.
- Abbie from Weregeek should have know better than this. And Dustin:
: You worry too much. I think it's a safe bet there's no monsters... AAAUGH!!! (jumps on Mark's hands
- In Impure Blood, Dara says they've been lucky.
- Exiern: After narrowly escaping with his life, Neils says he thinks his luck is getting better. That was a mistake.
- Bobwhite: Marlene observes that, given enough time, things revert back to their natural order. At which point her roommate Ivy calls to say that they can't be roommates next semester.
Marlene: What? Why— Ivy, how is it that you always pick the most ironic moments to ruin my life?
Ivy: Oh no, did you just get done saying that everything was back to normal again?
Ivy: Yes you did. I know that tone of voice. Why do you keep doing this to yourself?
- Lampshaded in the Anti-Heroes webcomic.
Lana: We can see the tower from here, it's not like something totally unexpected is going to suddenly jump out and stop us from getting there.
Aldran: Let's get out of here
Lana: Okay we must have been lucky that time
Aldran: Go ahead. Tempt fate some more why don't ya?
Lana: At least it couldn't possibly get any wor-
Aldran: SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP!
- Sinfest had this happening to Author Avatar, who really should know better.
- In A Miracle of Science Caprice says "We're perfectly fine" right before her ship is attacked by the weapon from which it got no protection. And repeats just before it explodes. Benjamin shuts her up before she says this the third time. Though it was after he taunted killer bots himself.
- Spacetrawler. This page. Yuri ends her A God Am I speech with...
Yuri: I can move large objects, be willful, and am now the perfect killing machine. Nothing can stop me.
[Yuri collapses and loses consciousness.]
Emily: Martina loaned me Yuri's power-off button.
- In Kaspall, Sam, reassuring Alex. Lampshaded in the Alt Text.
- Far from Home: "Yeah, I bet there's not a pirate within fifty light-years of this pile of rocks."
- In Spare Keys for Strange Doors, Andrew Cole describes a pair of lizards as "a bit small".
- In Bob and George, Protoman reflects that only one thing could make this day any crazier -- then it doesn't happen, to his annoyance.
- In The KAMics Gertrude kind of has a point.
- Skin Horse goes meta with it in this comic.
Guard: This station's a joke posting! Nothing ever happens in this sector. ... What, you think hubris invites ironic downfall? It is to laugh! ... My declaring how safe I am is perfectly safe.
- In Doc Rat, a tragic turn. Two rabbits discuss how lucky one is that she has kept all four of her litter alive. A fox got one, and shortly thereafter a second.
- The Whiteboard:
- In Commander Kitty, Nin Wah demonstrates a remarkable lack of savvy in light of later events. Doubly so with her declaration that she has "no detachable parts."
- Dragon Ball Multiverse:
- The Nameks at the beginning go out of their way to mention ”nothing bad can happen”. May double as a Suspiciously Specific Denial.
- Also, Vegetto during the lunch break. He's certain he won't need to face Broly, because the maniac'll break the rules and get sent back... guess who gets chosen as his first opponent?
- Cade and Sam in Modern Day Treasure Seekers talk about how rickety the mines look, and the possibility that any booby traps would have stopped working after being there for many years... immediately before triggering a trap.
- Happens twice in quick succession in Godslave:
- First Turner states that the jar he's carrying is stronger than it looks and won't break. A moment later, he collides with Edith.
- Edith performs a Desperate Object Catch and tells Turner that the jar is fine. Cue both of them being proven false as the jar breaks in her hands.
- Stated to be a general rule in Plume - if you do anything to tempt fate into being attacked, the power of the protective amulet weakens.
- Mario & Luigi: Cleanup Crew: Toadsworth, who accompanies the minister, tries to bring him down to earth by assuring him that no one is wearing body paint. At that exact moment....
- Happens unusually literally in Our Little Adventure when the main party finds a gift from the Goddess of Fate and Fortune. They know that she has a twisted sense of humour, and yet...
Rocky: I will now search this giant orange for traps.
Lenny: Why would a giant orange have a trap?