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Contrived Coincidence / Webcomics

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Contrived Coincidences in webcomics.

  • In chapter 4 of Apricot Cookie(s)!, the last of the "transformation" trap cards just happens to be in a raffle 5 weeks away. Apricot and Starlet even point out how stupid it is.
  • Lampshaded and subverted in Digger, when the title character is told she's a descendant of Helix, one of the wombats who worked on the chains binding the dead god:
    Digger: What? Me? Isn't that a little... improbable?
    Helix: I had eight sons a thousand years ago. You do the math.
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  • In Doodze, the monster is stopped by one of their quick growing bamboo shoots in just the right place.
  • El Goonish Shive has an interesting subversion. During the party, a lightbulb explodes, interrupting Susan and Justin's ill-advised hook-up. They see this as a fortunate coincidence. It's actually the Demonic Duck saving their friendship. He owed Justin a favor after a joke went very wrong.
    • While still unresolved, what we know of Susan and Diane seems to be this. They look nearly identical and would look even moreso has Susan not awakened and magically changed her hair color and height. They were born within 20 minutes of each other on New Years's Eve/Day. They both have a natural affinity to summon weapons and fight Vampires (Diane is not awakened). Diane is adopted However, it's been confirmed by someone with the sources to know that they are not twins who were Separated at Birth. Even if the theory that Susan's cheating father impregnated a mistress as well as his wife, the likelihood of their identical appearance and birth dates is still a huge longshot. Said expert has clearly stated that such coincidences can and do happen far more than people think. It's eventually revealed that they're related but several generations removed. Diana is Raven's daughter, while Susan is his great-great many times removed granddaughter. No one suspected this because it was thought even by immortals that elves (the children of immortals) were infertile.
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    • However, in universe it's stated that magic is somewhat sentient and has a flare for the dramatic so it may also be creating such coincidences.
  • Girl Genius: Klaus Wulfenbach theorizes that Agatha's presence on his airship was part of some grand scheme for her to control Gil Wulfenbach, using the slaver wasp he had already been infected with. Gil points out that she didn't plan to be on the ship, and they were the ones who brought her—unconscious, no less. Klaus claims that it's too much of a coincidence to be a coincidence. However, he is in fact lying because he has been infected and is being forced to, and behind him his genius second in command can be seen working through the possibilities and clearly coming to the conclusion that there is no way that what Klaus is saying is right.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court: Chapter 3, "Reynardine". All the other parts of the comic's Generation Xerox have a reasonable in-universe explanation, but in this chapter Reynardine, attempting to escape from the Court, smashes through several roofs. And one of these roofs just happens to be the dorm of Antimony Carver, the daughter of Rey's old friend Surma. This then gets practically lampshaded shortly later: Annie tries to find Rey again, but has no idea where he is. Then she finds a train, clearly labelled "Secret Train To Large Animal Holding Cells (Very Hush Hush, You Know.)" which naturally takes her straight to Reynardine.
  • MegaTokyo has quite a few of these, most notably the significance of nearly every member of the Sonoda family (Yuki is Piro's student, Meimi has a hit on Largo, the Inspector knows half the cast and Erika was engaged to his brother). Oddly, the example quoted above is one of the few that can make any sense, if you're willing to believe that Largo actually CAN sense evil (given everything else in the comic, it isn't too far a stretch).
  • Nedroid's Harrison Story Arc is full of this: Harrison runs into what look like Beartato and Reginald underground. Surprised to see them, "Beartato" replies he is actually an Identical Stranger called Buttfranklin. Harrison asks "Reginald" his name... and he turns out to be the actual Reginald, who had fallen down a hole shortly before.
  • The Order of the Stick:
  • In Plume, Hunter just so happens to be asking for Vesper on the very same street Corrick and Dom are mounting their horses, letting Corrick know she's still out there.
  • Played for laughs in this Questionable Content. Faye and Bubbles have just finished setting up their new repair shop when a robot bursts in looking for repairs.
    Faye: You came to the right place. Somehow.
    Robot: This is the fifteenth establishment I've burst into.
  • In Rhapsodies Dielle Hardin finds herself dragged cross country in this manner courtesy of a Celestial Bureaucracy (In their defense, Contrived Coincidence is all they are budgeted for..)
  • Scott McCloud's The Right Number centers on this. The protagonist calls his girlfriend and arranges a date, but mistakenly dials one digit off and calls another woman also expecting a date. By pure coincidence, the new woman happens to look almost exactly like his girlfriend, so much that it takes him a while to realize it's not her. The improbability of this happening is funny to her but serious to him, and he starts to believe he's discovered some grand unifying equation for calculating a person's character. Soon he grows obsessed enough to test his theory, and starts stalking women while calculating their phone numbers to determine who will be the perfect woman for him.
  • Think of the odds of two people happening to travel via ship from America to England at the same time. Now what are the odds of three unrelated parties who have never met being on that ship and are all tied to the same plot? Fortunately in the world of Sire fate is a malevolent force called "The Binding" and it will move the Earth to make these circumstances happen.
  • Sluggy Freelance:
    • Torg accidentally stumbles upon Dr. Steve's laboratory and becomes the object of Oasis's affections. By sheer coincidence, one of his friends is secretly employed by Steve's old company, Hereti Corp, which is desperately searching for Oasis.
    • Lampshaded towards the end of "Love Potion": "That is a great story, Kenny! All kinds of good fortune! And I guess the final one is that Gwynn would happen to sit next to the only other demon-possessed person on the train, allowing us to exchange stories."
    • Also lampshaded in "28 Geeks Later", although it's not really plot-significant. "Aw man! Brain-bug right up the nose! How plain silly! What are the chances it'd be shooting out of the drain right when my nose was over it? What's the word I'm looking for? ARGH!!!" [gets made slightly nerdier by brain-bug] "...'Contrived'!"
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: The two events that cause the second half of Chapter 15 to be a Wham Episode have surprisingly good timing to each other. The first event is that the tank breaks down for good one morning, meaning that the crew will have to reach the dock where a boat is supposed to pick them up on foot. The second is that Tuuri starts developing symptoms of the Rash, leading her to killing herself rather that being killed by the disease, on the evening of the same day that was being used to prepare for the trek. The Rash has an incubation period ranging from a few days, which had passed since her potential infection at this point, to two weeks. Tuuri is both the crew's driver and mechanic, which means that symptoms showing earlier would have most likely affected her work in keeping the tank going. One of the roles the tank was fulfilling was acting a reverse quarantine for Reynir, the only other member of the crew who can catch the Rash, while the crew was waiting to see if Tuuri was having the asymptomatic incubation phase or was simply not infected. This means Tuuri's symptoms showing up any time later would have led to having to somehow maintain the quarantine conditions while on foot.
  • Trying Human relies heavily on this for parts of its story. The main character, Rose Marie, has been being abducted by aliens, and her boyfriend, Roger, ends up working for Majestic 12, a Men in Black organization that interacts with those same aliens. There's also the matter of Phillis, a woman from the 1950s who was shot and killed after interacting with the aliens' leader and how she ties in, which at the moment is unclear but implied to be significant.


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