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Accidental Art

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Art Dealer: It's called "Outsider Art". It could be by a hillbilly, a mental patient, or a chimpanzee!
Homer: high school I was voted most likely to be a hillbilly, mental patient or chimpanzee!
The Simpsons, "Mom and Pop Art"

Sometimes, accidents happen. However, there are times where a coincidence is just enough to create some paint splatter or sculpture or other art form by accident. People see it, and even if it's not even meant to be art, they'll still think it's brilliant.

Congratulations. Your new masterpiece is the result of Accidental Art.

Often a Take That! aimed at True Art Is Incomprehensible. See also Mistaken for Exhibit.

When an accident creates a scientific invention it's Accidental Discovery. When an accident creates a new dance sensation, it's Accidental Dance Craze.


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  • One commercial shows someone getting caught in the rain while carrying a painting. The paint starts running, and so the painting is later mistaken for an abstract piece.

    Anime & Manga 
  • In one episode of Space☆Dandy, Dandy doodles a pair of boobs on a paper written in an extinct alien language out of boredom. Later in the episode, Dr. Gel sees this scribble and it helps him crack a code he spent all episode trying to solve.

    Comic Books 
  • Archie Comics:
    • One story has Archie's pants run over by a bunch of cars on the way to a party at Veronica's place (long story). All the rich nobbies there adore the fashion statement. Cut to a week later when everyone's having their trousers roadkilled.
    • Another had the pile of junk resultant from Veronica's spring cleaning ending up in an art gallery.
    • Still another story has Archie, Jughead and Betty making fun of this entire trope, particularly the cliché of the artwork winning first prize in an art gallery... only to be stunned when exactly this happens with Veronica. (What they don't know is that Veronica's father has bribed the gallery to give her a prize no matter what she brings in.)
  • A stock cliché in Disney Mouse and Duck Comics. Mickey is trying to paint a picture, it gets ruined, but wins an award as such. Goofy wins a poem contest with a grocery list that coincidentally rhymes. Donald has mutilated Gladstone's fashion designs, but he decides to trust his luck and have them displayed anyway, and an expert declares that they're brilliant. (Also how Gladstone designed anything in the first place, in his case, invoking luck as his his wont: He'd just make crude doodles and let his assistants make the brilliant designs they saw in them.) And so on.
  • In "Speck of Trouble" in Mad House Comics Digest #5 the father of two of the teenage main characters accidentally gets ink splatters on a music sheet while trying to come up with a variation on a Beethoven piece. His children, thinking it's an original composition, try playing it on their instruments and eventually take it to their recording studio which declares that it's the "absolute funkiest."
  • In The Powerpuff Girls story "Powerpuff Picasso" (issue #15), the picture Bubbles drew at school is noticed and hailed by an art critic and put on exhibit at the museum. At the end, after numerous attempts to do so, Bubbles explains to everyone that the picture was upside down. Upon turning it right way up, the picture is passed off as bland and uninteresting.
  • In a one-page story in The Smurfs, Painter Smurf's canvas is taken away by the wind and it hits the ground several times, getting all kind of stains. Papa Smurf arrives and thinks his painting is brilliant, asking him how he did it. Painter Smurf replies it was "a little inspiration, a lot of perspiration".

    Comic Strips 
  • In Beetle Bailey, Cosmo notices the paint splatters Beetle has left on the floor look kind of interesting, and the sawed-off piece of floor ends up winning a prize as a painting. (Thankfully, this isn't the punchline, which instead involves Sarge falling down the hole.)

    Film — Animation 
  • In The Iron Giant, Dean's hobby is constructing art sculptures from junk in his own scrapyard. At one point, he yells at the eponymous giant who has been indiscriminately eating the junk and happened to swallow some of the art pieces. At this the giant pulls a half-eaten sculpture from his mouth, adjusts a few parts, and then sets it down. Even though the giant only understands art as "what Dean doesn't want to be eaten", Dean decides that the result is as impressive as the other artistic displays, and in a later scene he is directing the giant in the construction of larger sculptures.
  • In Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Dopey plays an impressive drum solo in "The Silly Song" just by trying to swat a fly with his drumsticks.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation has Dizzy Devil upset because he is shedding, which means his hair will come out if he spins. Shirley trolls him by convincing him to do it anyway, and he winds up "naked". He dons a box to cover himself, and some passing skaters mistake it for a fashion statement, get their own boxes, and declare "The Box Look is in!"

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Roger Corman's A Bucket of Blood: The main character accidentally kills his landlady's pet and covers it in plaster to hide the evidence. His 'sculpture' is hailed as a masterpiece.
  • This is the subject of the satirical essay film The Subconscious Art of Graffiti Removal
  • In Tapeheads, the main characters run an unsuccessful music video company. When a Death Metal band that they taped is crushed by a piece of falling satellite, they're asked for a copy of the unpremiered video. Being low on funds, they put it on a video that previously held a videotaped funeral, accidentally copying only the audio. Fortunately, the song just happened to fit the funeral visuals very well, and it is lauded as a masterful work of art, even winning an award.

  • In one of the Chanur Novels the main characters must carry an important stsho dignitary on their starship as a passenger. Knowing that the stsho love the color white, they get their hands on whatever white furniture and decorations they can and hastily shove them into the stsho's room. It turns out that stsho art consists of abstract designs in infinite shades of white, and they'd created for their passenger a masterpiece of stsho interior design.
  • In a Disney Fairies book, Bess, an art talent fairy, feels that her latest painting is missing something. Apparently that something was a whole mess of paint splattered on it by a passing frog.
  • "The Year the Glop-Monster Won the Golden Lion at Cannes" by Ray Bradbury: A B-Movie is transformed into an acclaimed work of art when the projectionist gets drunk and shows the reels in the wrong order (and some of them upside-down and/or backwards).
  • Cathy Cassidy has an instance in Daizy Star, Ooh La La where Daizy's painting is ruined, but an art dealer declares it a masterpiece, describing the intentional painting underneath as looking as if it was done by a "lunatic". Later on, a cat ruins paintings belonging to a real artist and these are also considered masterpieces.
  • In the Elephant & Piggie book "Elephants Cannot Dance", Gerald's frustrated tantrum at his failure to learn how to dance is interpreted by a pair of passing squirrels as a hot new dance move, "The Elephant."
  • In Doug McLeod's humorous poem 'Fashion Victim', a fashion student trips onto the runway for his final presentation, which yanks off his trousers in the process. An influential designer in the audience lauds the student's bare legs as a bold new trend, launching his design career
  • In Fudge-a-Mania by Judy Blume, baby Tootsie accidentally walks through spilled paint and makes little footprints across one of Jimmy's father's canvases. He decides to make a series of "Baby Feet" paintings with her as a result. It's even referenced in Double Fudge, where Peter's family gets invited to a showing of Mr. Fargo's work, including the now wildly popular Baby Feet paintings.
  • In one of the Jeeves and Wooster stories, a pal of Bertie's is having trouble. He wants to paint portraits, but can't get a commission to paint one because he hasn't painted any. He finally gets a commission to paint a portrait of his uncle and benefactor's first baby. It's so horrible that the uncle calls it a fugitive from the funny papers, and cuts the painter off. Jeeves gets the idea that the character in the portrait could be the root of a series on the funny papers entitled, "The Adventures of Baby Blobb". It's a hit and the painter becomes rich.
  • Done in one The Knowledge book, dealing with art, in which one artist strikes it rich when the buyer hangs all of his work upside-down.
  • In Schismatrix, an entire artificial asteroid with a long stream of extruded plastic and stone head stuck to it (long story) is considered a piece of art by the alien Investors. They even compliment the use of explosions to produce a nice shading technique.
  • Thud!:
    • It mentions a piece of modern art consisting of a pile of rags called "Don't Ask Me About Mondays". This art was intentional, but when Lord Vetinari viewed it, he displayed his opinions on modern art by having the artist nailed to a post by her ear. This installation (titled "Freedom") was an even bigger hit, and it's said she's planning on having herself nailed to several other things.
    • Invoked when Nobby suggests that they should display the frame of a stolen painting under the name "Art Theft", but the curator declares that would be stupid.
  • In The Waste Lands, Jake realises his school essay is a bunch of nonsense he wrote because he was going nuts for supernatural reasons. He's afraid he's going to be exposed as being crazy, but fortunately, his teacher thinks it's really clever and artistic.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In one episode of Bones, a murdered artist's body is dumped into a crusher full of scrap metal by his killer, and compacted into a large block. The team's efforts to investigate the crime are initially held up because the artist's colleagues claim he must've chosen to commit suicide-by-crusher and become a part of his own artwork: take apart the block, and Brennen's team would supposedly be destroying his final masterpiece.
  • On Bosom Buddies, Kip complains that Henry doesn't understand his art, and makes his point by asking Henry's opinion on a piece of abstract art. When Henry claims to like it, Kip points out that it was actually the board he used to wipe his brushes. However, as the conversation continues, Kip begins to notice that it really does look kind of nice. Eventually, it shows up in his exhibit alongside his other works.
  • In the Dark Angel Season 2 episode "Medium is the Message", Joshua created an accidental painting with a tube of paint labelled 'chocolate mousse' which he mistook for candy and put in his mouth. After spitting the paint onto a nearby painting, he tried to wipe it off with some paper and created an even bigger mess, sticking the paper to the painting. He later sneezed into an ashtray and the ashes got stuck in the wet paint, etc. Alec later saw the antique frame and expressed appreciation for it, and Joshua, thinking he liked the painting, gave it to him. Alec tried to sell the frame, but the art dealer hated the old frame and LOVED the inspired and original artwork, offering him big money for it. Alec then convinced Joshua to make more paintings, but she didn't like the later ones.
  • In an episode of Designing Women one of the women set her purse down on a pedestal at an art gallery before she went to the bathroom. By the time she returned, the curator sold her purse to someone for $5000.
  • Doctor Who: The TARDIS has gotten this impression on more than one occasion.
    • "City of Death": John Cleese and Eleanor Bron cameo as art appreciators who mistake the TARDIS for a sculpture — understandably, as it's sitting in an art gallery. They're particularly impressed when the Fourth Doctor & Romana run inside, and it dematerialises.
    • "The Fires of Pompeii": The Doctor and Donna return to where the TARDIS was parked to find it gone, sold to a marble merchant who's mistaken it for "MODERN ART!" His wife thinks it's a "blooming great waste of space".
  • In one episode of Murphy Brown, Murphy tries to make a statement about modern art by entering her (toddler) son's fingerpainting mess in an art show. One critic calls the painting infantile, and she's about to reveal her ploy. But then another critic lauds the art, noting how expressive it is (and proving her point). Then an art fan buys the painting for a ridiculous amount of money, because it got two renowned critics arguing over it.
  • Invoked by the MythBusters (especially Adam) on occasion, after one of their experiments has yielded a visually interesting result (like the results of the Dynamite Paint test).
  • In Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide, this occurred when Cookie strung some cans together in order to keep them from getting taken. It happened in a different way the second time.
    • One episode has Ned paint an orange naked lady by mistake ("It's just squiggles!"), and is so successful that he pays off the school's debt at an auction. He tries to invoke this again by attempting to paint a red naked lady, but it doesn't workand he gets slapped again... because he actually made a firetruck (a bad one at that).
  • Red Dwarf:
    • Inverted. Rimmer mistakes a light-switch for an artistic masterpiece.
    • Played straight when Lister recounts the first time he got drunk and threw up from the top of the Eiffel tower "The story I got told was some pavement artist sold it to a Texan tourist. Told 'im it was a genuine Jackson Pollock".
  • In one episode of Spaced Brian is setting up an installation in an art gallery when he falls off a ladder and is knocked out. In a later scene, the gallery is open and visitors are admiring Brian's installation, which now includes the unconscious artist himself.
  • In an episode of The Suite Life on Deck, London spends an entire episode tricking Zach into making art for her to sell. Said "art" was created when Zach was in the middle of snacking on something and sneezed on the canvas.

  • Outsider Music is basically this trope.
  • In "If I Had Posession of Pancake Day" by Half Man Half Biscuit, a dying coal miner is taken as a provocative modern art statement.
    Outside Goldsmith's coughing up blood,
    Turner Prize judge gasps "Christ, that's good.
    Leave it as it is, it'll get first place,
    We'll call it "A Full Shift at the Coal Face'."
  • David Wilcox's "Leave It Like It Is" is about the stain caused when a jar of blue paint gets knocked over and splatters on the kitchen wall. The owners of the house decide that the pattern of the splattered paint is so interesting that, rather than cleaning it up, they leave it like is and eventually give it a title, a frame, and gallery lighting.

  • In The Men from the Ministry Mr. Lamb's bicycle apparently was run over by a truck, and after leaving it on the Ministry's lobby it had been displayed the next day as modern art.

  • The opening number of Wonderful Town has a slapstick interlude where a janitor wins first prize in a Greenwich Village art contest for a well-filled garbage can.

    Video Games 
  • A quest in Baldur's Gate II has you commissioning, on behalf of one of the temples, a sculpture from a haughty artist. If you do the quest right, you'll end up pissing off the artist and have a heavy lump of useless Illithium ore on your hands. But never mind: the temple still accepts that shapeless ore as a great work of art. In fact, the senior priest will regard it as far more symbolic and meaningful than anything the haughty artist could have produced.
  • In Startopia, one alien "sculpture" is an antimatter containment unit they've taken a shine to and declared a national treasure.
  • In Zak Mckracken And The Alien Mind Benders, if you bend the butterknife out of shape (by using it for some heavy labor) and try to sell it to the pawn shop, the owner will believe it to be a beautiful silver sculpture, pay you a grand for it, and add it to his personal collection (meaning you can't buy it back, but it's not essential).

    Web Animation 
  • The GMod video Pyro Paints features Pyro attempting to paint several landscape paintings, only to be thwarted each time by unfortunate accidents that damage the finished product. Eventually, after one too many failures, Pyro trashes his latest work, only for Spy to walk in and immediately offer to buy it. This leads to Pyro fantasizing about all of his trashed artwork being put on display in an art exhibit, while the Spy steals the distracted Pyro's "sculpture".

  • In a Checkerboard Nightmare strip, Chex decides he needs a theme song, so he kidnaps Electric Light Orchestra's Jeff Lynne to force him to write said theme. Jeff Lynne escapes, but leaves behind a letter denouncing Chex as a "sick bastard". Chex reads the letter and thinks it's the song he asked for.
  • In College Roomies from Hell!!! the frozen remains of a monster from the kitchen are assumed to be a work of art and purchased for $10,000.
  • In one arc of Darwin Carmichael Is Going to Hell, Skittles and Ella steal a bunch of musical instruments and random objects from buskers and leave them in a huge pile in Darwin's living room. Pretentious artist Matt claims this as his own sculpture and starts inviting people in to see his latest art piece.

    Western Animation 
  • 101 Dalmatians: The Series: The episode "The Artist Formerly Known As Spot" has Spot the chicken mistaken for an art genius by a friend of Cruella's after seeing Spot try to get paint off of herself on a canvas, causing Cruella to kidnap Spot and force her to make paintings for an art show.
  • Arthur: In "Binky's Music Madness", Binky doesn't like the Bang on a Can All-Stars for their odd methods of making music. He takes a bunch of random noises and plays it in school as a random band he heard about, and to his surprise, they all like it. The Bang on a Can All-Stars explain to Binky that he actually did put effort into it to make it sound good, and he realizes that experimental music can be cool.
  • In The Backyardigans episode "Who Goes There?", Security Guard Tyrone accidentally splatters paint all over a brand new canvas. However, Curator Tasha likes it, and displays it in the museum.
  • In The Beatles episode "Twist And Shout," the boys meet a girl at a weirdo art exhibition who wants to unleash her creativity in a modern way. She throws paints at a canvas and the image that comes up is the Mona Lisa.
    Girl: No, no! Not that!
  • Beavis and Butt-Head:
    • In the episode "Butt is it Art?", the duo climb on a piece of public art behind Van Driessen's back - destroying it in the process. He then turns around and tells his class that the pile of rubble wouldn't be effective art if it wasn't "just so."
    • There's also the episode in which they take random, sometimes disgusting pictures of themselves with someone else's camera — only for the camera's owner to be hailed as a genius when the photos are exhibited.
  • In the Big Hero 6: The Series episode "Failure Mode", during Big Hero 6's first attempt to stop Globby, Fred accidentally incinerates a water fountain, melting it. The next morning, the museum patrons mistake it for a new artwork, which Fred claims credit for.
  • In an episode of Birdz, baby Abby rolls around on a canvas while covered in paint, and Betty is proud of the results.
  • Dennis the Menace (UK) (cartoon adaptation): Dennis wins an art contest on Blue Peter when Gnasher accidentally gets paint on the other side of the paper he sends off.
  • In the Dennis the Menace (US) episode, "Ruff's Masterpiece", Mr. Wilson paints a bouquet of flowers, when Ruff runs across his painting while playing fetch with Dennis, ruining it. When Mr. Wilson tosses the painting out, an art professor thinks it's a masterpiece worthy of being entered in a contest, much to his shock. Mr. Wilson later has another painting made with help from another dog so he can enter the contest as well. His strategy works as he wins the contest, but Ruff causes it to be damaged, which leads his painting to be the winner after all.
  • In an episode of Doug, the back of Doug's real painting was marked up by Porkchop chasing a raccoon through Doug's paints and then over the back of the canvas. Initially people think it's abstract; matters aren't helped when he attempts to explain, and they assume "Porkchop" is the name of the painting.
    • Later in the same episode, Doug is asked to paint something. After putting his brush to the canvas for maybe one second, his art teacher snatches it out of his hands and declares that the resulting squiggle is pure brilliance.
  • 1970s Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids cartoon: Fat Albert enters a cooking contest (he's the only male entrant, which was the point of the episode). His attempt at a cake is a disaster: He uses the wrong ingredients in the wrong proportions, and so on. Of course, he wins anyway.
  • Played for laughs in Hero: 108 where Lin Chung has no inspiration for his art, yet still manages to produce masterpieces so good that the Villain of the Week does a Heel–Face Turn. When he tries to explain, Commander Ape Truly calls him modest.
  • The first act of the Mr. Bogus episode "A Day At The Office" also featured an example of this trope, after an incident involving Bogus accidentally eating some paints, which prompts him to drink from the water cup, before spitting it out onto the canvas, resulting in a picture of a rainbow. This inspires Mr. Anybody to paint a picture of a beachside setting under a rainbow.
  • Pinky and the Brain: Brain's plan is to become a famous artist (which he intends to do by predicting the next artistic fad: Donutism). This fails, but when Pinky attempts to drink the contents of Brain's brush jar (a milk carton) and promptly spits it out onto a canvas, he accidentally creates a masterpiece.
  • Rugrats: Angelica is mistaken to be an artist by the mess the babies make in her room and ends up being tasked to paint Charles' den and entered in an art contest by her mother, requiring her to get the babies to go crazy with the paint again.
  • The Simpsons:
    • The episode "Mom and Pop Art" has Homer becomes an artist after his failed attempt at building a grill (and subsequently attacking it in a rage) is seen by an art dealer:
      Art Dealer: It's called "Outsider Art". It could be by a hillbilly, a mental patient, or a chimpanzee.
      Homer: Wow... in high school I was voted most likely to be a hillbilly, mental patient or chimpanzee!
    • An affectedly enthusiastic art teacher sees a janitor painting a handrail and exclaims: "Another triumph!"
    • Another episode mixes this with "Eureka!" Moment. A cartoon version of Real Life architect Frank Gehry casually crumples up a letter and throws it onto the ground, gives it a look, and says to himself “Frank, you genius! You did it again!” He then scales up this "design" and makes it a concert hall.
  • South Park episode "The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs" was a deliberate Take That! at this along with True Art Is Incomprehensible.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: Squidward goes on a rampage, destroying his art studio. It turns out that in this rampage he created a replica of Michelangelo's David, the same statue SpongeBob had created earlier in the episode.
  • One of the live-action bookends of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! had Vincent van Gogh declare Mario's dropped plate of spaghetti as "pure genius!" and then promises Mario a lucrative career as an artist. Luigi eventually discovers that the guy is a scam artist posing as van Gogh, though they really should have been tipped off that he was a fake much earlier on.
  • Totally Spies! has photos rendered incomprehensible through a darkroom accident win a contest.

    Real Life 
  • There's a (possibly apocryphal) story about a museum that hung a piece of art on the wall, which received a lot of attention and adulation. Said piece of "art" turned out to be an architectural layout of the men's bathroom that somebody had mistaken for an artwork.
    • A related story involves a sculpture submitted to a museum. The museum threw out the sculpture, and instead put the stand it was on on display, mistaking it for actual art.
    • There's also a similar story of two teenagers who placed a pair of glasses on the floor of the Sam Francisco Museum of Modern Arts as a prank. The people in the museum started admiring it as it was some of the art pieces in exhibition.
  • The photographic technique of solarization came about when Man Ray's assistant Lee Miller carelessly switched on the light in a darkroom. Ray liked the resulting effect, and (a minor piece of) history was born.
  • Marcel Duchamp was never satisfied with his Large Glass until it was accidentally broken on the way to an exhibition.
  • In Don't Try This at Home: Culinary Catastrophes from the World's Greatest Chefs, Michelle Bernstein tells of accidentally dropping a terrine (i.e., pretentious meatloaf) in a bowl of chocolate sauce. The resulting mess was delicious, and she went on to use the same combination intentionally.
    • This is one of the supposed origins of the chimichanga, and the French Dip sandwich.
    • Chocolate chip cookies, the most popular variety of cookie in the world, were supposedly created by accident. Ruth Graves Wakefield, owner and cook of the Toll House Inn, was attempting to make a batch of chocolate cookies for her guests when she discovered she was short on baker's chocolate. She decided to substitute it with chunks of Nestle semi-sweet chocolate, thinking the chocolate would melt and absorb into the dough. They didn't, but she served them anyway, and they became wildly popular. So popular in fact that she signed a deal with Nestle to print her recipe on every pack of their semi-sweet chocolate bars, in exchange for a lifetime supply of chocolate. In reality, she was deliberately trying to invent a new kind of cookie.
    • Gunpowder was first discovered by a Taoist philosopher/chemist searching for the formula for immortality... Irony much?
  • Found art. True found art is the deliberate designation of a non-art object as art by an artist (sometimes with alteration but this is not necessary), but this trend in art is the inspiration for many examples of this trope in fiction and has increased the likelihood of real-life occurrences.
    • In France and Germany, municipal garbage workers had to be specially trained to distinguish between found art installations and piles of garbage.
  • A rather amusing one from the 19th century was the case of Emmanuel Domenech and the 'pictographs' he had found in the Bibliotheque de l'Arsenal. He thought he'd found native American artwork showing various things from their culture/history, but had actually discovered the misfiled notebook doodlings of a German school kid, complete with crude drawings of school life and sexual themes. It was also potentially an example of Mistaken for Exhibit since within the library itself someone had thought this random set of drawings was a historic cultural piece and filed it away in the archives. You can see the full story in this Museum of Hoaxes article.
  • There are a lot of songs with unintentional mistakes in them which turned out to make them sound even better.
    • "Blue Monday" by New Order begins with a distinctive semiquaver kick drum intro, programmed on an Oberheim DMX drum machine. Gillian Gilbert eventually fades in a sequencer melody. According to band interviews in New Order Story, she did so at the wrong time, so the melody is out of sync with the beat; however, the band considered it to be a happy accident that contributed to the track's charm.
    • The Beatles had a problem with the recording of "A Day in the Life". The transition between John Lennon and Paul McCartney's parts of the song was initially left blank because they couldn't think of a way to change from one to the other, consisting mainly of a bar count and Mal Evans triggering an alarm clock to mark the beginning of Paul's section. Eventually they settled on the now-iconic noisy orchestral glissando, but they were unable to remove the alarm clock from the song, and ultimately decided to leave it in. Considering that Paul's section begins with "Woke up, fell out of bed", that ringing alarm clock fits in perfectly.
      • The end of Abbey Road where "Her Majesty" suddenly bursts loose was also a mistake by the sound engineer who forgot to leave that little take off the album. Paul McCartney liked the effect and kept it in.
    • "Bob Dylan's 115th Dream" starts, then stops abruptly while Bob and the producer laugh hysterically for a while, then starts up again like nothing happened.
    • Faulty equipment created the distinctive guitar "fuzz" effect on Marty Robbins's "Don't Worry." This inspired many subsequent artists to tinker with their own amplifiers to try to reproduce it, which in turn eventually led to the invention of fuzzbox pedals.
    • The iconic theme to The Terminator has a very strange time signature that continues to fox listeners - apparently due to the artist not quite timing the loop properly, but having the effect of giving the song a strange, inhuman lurch that fits the theme perfectly.
      • It was finally determined to have the ultra-weird signature of 13/16 time in this article.
  • German omnidisciplinary artist Joseph Beuys suffered from an inversion of this trope: On at least two occasions, people destroyed his art accidentally.
    • In 1973, an art object called unbetitelt (Badewanne) (a bathtub for newborns filled with adhesive plaster, gauze bandages, grease, and copper wire) was destroyed by two women who decided to clean it and use it for washing dishes after a party.
    • Another piece of art called Fettecke (literally 'fat corner', it was made of 5 kilograms of butter) was destroyed nine months after Beuys' death by a janitor who cleaned it up.
  • A tale once submitted to Reader's Digest tells of a collegiate art student who knocked over a jar of rubber cement, resulting in a terrible mess. Thinking that it would be easier to clean up after the cement had dried, the student left it and returned a few hours later only to find that it was gone. Upon questioning the teacher, the student learned that someone else had taken the pile of cement and turned it in as a project.
  • In 2012, an old Spanish woman without training was trying to restore a 19th-century fresco at a local church and accidentally made a portrait of Jesus look like a smiling monkey. It seemed like a case of accidental destruction of valuable art, but instead, it drew worldwide interest to the church and the painting that made it far more famous and recognizable than the original, which was not considered especially extraordinary.
  • Hunter S. Thompson accidentally created Gonzo Journalism. Thompson was a Ridiculous Procrastinator who was up against his deadline and, lacking anything to submit for his story on the Kentucky Derby other than his bare-bones, sozzled notes on the event, simply started ripping pages out of his notebook and sending them in. The magazine published his first-person notes from the Derby as-is, and thus Gonzo Journalism was born.
  • In 2020, Anjan (a young elephant at Britain's Chester Zoo) left a perfect impression of his profile in the sand where he was sleeping. His eye and the outline of his trunk could clearly be seen. Of course, elephants being elephants, it wasn't long before this piece of Accidental Art was obliterated by what a spokesperson for the zoo described as "some rather heavy footprints." Fortunately, the zoo's elephant keepers managed to photograph it before that happened.


Video Example(s):


Artist Unknown

Squidward goes on an artistic rampage that he unintentionally makes an even bigger rendition of the statue SpongeBob made before bailing the rec center.

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