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Doom Magnet

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"No matter what I do, no matter how hard I try, the ones I love will always be the ones who pay."
Spider-Man, Spider-Man

A Doom Magnet is a character, usually The Protagonist, followed by doom and despair. He himself won't feel the full sting of this cloud of doom. Instead, any character he knows, is friends with, is related to, or in some cases even makes eye contact with, is inevitably doomed to some wretched fate, be it death, or worse.

Why the character is stuck in this unfortunate situation varies. Maybe he's being punished for misdeeds done in either this life or a past life. Maybe he pissed off a witch or a god or some other powerful entity and got himself cursed. Maybe his enemies are vindictive or sadistic enough that they've made it their personal mission to make his life a living hell. Maybe the world or even the universe has it out for him. Or maybe It Sucks to Be the Chosen One. Whatever the cause, this character always indirectly has collateral damage all around him.

A character like this usually does one of two things: He either goes about his life, not caring that this is happening, or he goes about life lamenting about how he can't stop causing suffering.

Any Hitman with a Heart especially runs the risk of suffering this.

Related to Cartwright Curse, The Troublemaker, and Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds. The more savvy sufferers keep their It's Not You, It's My Enemies speech ready.

The Jinx is a lighter version, causing unlucky incidents but rarely deaths. If locations tend to suffer instead of people, then the hero is a Destructive Saviour. When the doom happens to a large number of redshirts around the main character, they're a Walking Disaster Area; this tends to leave major and supporting characters alone. A further exaggeration is Walking Wasteland, where a character literally causes plants to die and the environment to become dark and dreary. If the character takes this trope badly, then this can result in Survivor Guilt. Compare The Millstone, where the character is the one causing the misfortune for others, usually through their own incompetence.

Compare with Contrived Coincidence. Compare and contrast Deus Angst Machina and Trauma Conga Line, if the character in question also suffers from all this doom. See also Weirdness Magnet.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Trigun: Vash the Stampede fulfills this trope like it was written just for him. Wherever he goes, everyone (and their mother) dies horribly, including but not limited to the total destruction of two cities, the deaths of all the occupants of at least four others, and most anyone who says something nice to him. Throughout the story he laments about how "no matter what I do and where I go, I'm followed by blood and gun-smoke." There's a reason he's known as the Humanoid Typhoon. Insurance companies call him "A human Act of God". And if his ability to attract trouble by itself wasn't bad enough, his Arch-Enemy Knives sics a gang of lunatics on him to make his life hell and ensure there's always plenty of collateral damage and mayhem for innocent people to get caught up in.
  • Keita in Black God. Everyone he becomes close with dies, and Keita tries hard to have as little friends as possible. And it's not like it's his enemies, even. Just someone's screwing destiny done horribly wrong. Technically, all alter egos are one; as they are not supposed to exist any longer, the world will go out of their way to kill them. And if one of those alter egos manages to kill off their Root, he won't be unlucky anymore, but he'll bring that bad luck to everyone else around him.
  • Johann Liebert in Monster. Sure, he goes out of his way to ensure that doom follows him (and destroys his "loved ones"), but a surprising amount of it really isn't his fault, not that he would care anyway.
  • The main protagonists of Knight Hunters suffer from this phenomenon in spades. Between the four of them they total at least two sets of dead parents, four murdered love interests, nine colleagues killed in the line of duty, and no less than eleven friends/family members/love interests that the protagonists end up having to kill personally. The lucky ones — one sister, two would-be love interests, and one Damsel in Distress — survive to never see the protagonists again.
  • It's a part of the ×××HOLiC plot that Himawari is cursed with this. It later turns out that Watanuki is as well because, as Futurama taught us, all time-travel duplicates are doomed. Things are made worse by the duplicate in question's suicidal tendencies and depression drawing supernatural dangers to him like a lighthouse.
  • Guts of Berserk is a literal doom magnet; the Brand of Sacrifice he received during the Eclipse attracts demons to him. He's tough enough to fight them, but many of his friends (and any bystanders who happen to be in his general area when the sun sets) are not. Long before receiving the Brand, he was accused of being this by his adoptive father. It's unclear whether this is literally true in the supernatural sense, but it is true that bad stuff tends to go down around him.
    • Casca applies to a lesser extent, as her Brand of Sacrifice is usually covered up and she later gains a charm to lessen the effects.
  • Kenshiro of Fist of the North Star attracts trouble mostly due to his reputation as the World's Strongest Man. After all, "Where Hokuto Appears, Chaos Follows".
  • The protagonists of Project ARMS, so much. Because they were all born to be the big fighters to bring down the Egrigori, virtually every mutant, soldier, and experiment is tossed at the heroes. Ryo is forced to watch Katsumi die multiple times, Hayato has the terrible memory of watching his adopted dad being brutally murdered, Takeshi's adopted sister Maya is kidnapped and nearly killed, almost all Egrigori experiments who decide to ally themselves with the ARMS teens wind up brutally murdered, Yugo is killed while saving Ryo, and Al's twin brother is murdered in front of him. Not to mention the fact that all sorts of horrid stuff happens to the ARMS teens themselves, which makes each teammate a sort of a Doom Magnet for the others.
  • Wolf Guy - Wolfen Crest: It appears that all werewolves are doom magnets and Walking Disaster Areas no matter how far they run or how much they try to isolate themselves. An implied werewolf mentions that he'd like to meet anti-hero protagonist Inugami, but doesn't want to risk it because of how severe Inugami's magnetism is (the same psychic pronounced doom on both of them. After meeting the implied werewolf she was hit by a car and hospitalized; after meeting Inugami she nearly had a Heroic BSoD and died a few seconds later when a plane crashed into her house). As for Inugami himself, besides the psychic his parents are hunted down and killed/kidnapped by "commandos", his caring teacher is almost raped and eaten in the same night, and 85 of his adoring classmates and the principal are murdered by a thug on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge with uzis and hand grenades whose brother he insulted and beat into a coma. And that's just one flashback and a few months in school — there's still about 10 years in between we haven't seen yet. To be totally honest, about half the bad crap that happens around Inugami is because he is something of a jerk. Let's see, he takes the desk of the local gang leader as his own on the first day of class knowing full well in advance who it belongs to and what is likely to happen as a result of it. He deliberately antagonizes said gang members, whose leader is the sociopathic son of a mob boss, just to prove he is top dog around the campus. He deliberately pushes away any help people offer him which usually leads to a worse situation then if he had simply accepted their help to begin with. Then he has this smug smile of superiority almost constantly on his face, which coupled with his Superior-Than-Thou attitude towards almost everyone meets, which is almost guaranteed to attract the wrong sort of attention.
  • The Raregroove family of Rave Master seems to be this. Anyone who means squat to them or they meant squat to seems fated to die in some glorious way. Neither King nor Lucia seem to concerned with the later, but the former drives them crazy.
  • Invoked by a Yagyu clan assassin in a later chapter of Lone Wolf and Cub: his strategy was to makes his target believe that they had become one of these by trailing them unseen and unannounced, slaughtering anyone who showed them the slightest kindness and then putting the bodies on display, only moving in for the kill once the despair had eroded their will to defend themselves. Of course, such tactics mean little who those who already walk the Way of Demons...
  • Gundam:
    • Duo Maxwell, resident Broken Hero of Mobile Suit Gundam Wing took on the name "Shinigami" because he recognizes that he's a Doom Magnet. In the backstory, his best friend Solo and his pseudo-family at the Maxwell Church all died, leaving him to fend for himself. At the end of the anime, his mentor Professor G performs a Heroic Sacrifice to stop a Colony Drop. The sequel novel Frozen Teardrop continues the trend by having his wife Hilde divorce him and then die, leaving him to raise their son Duo Jr. by himself.
    • Terry Sanders, Jr. of Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team acquired the same nickname because of how, before the series starts, every squadron he's been a part of has been decimated on their third mission together, leaving him as the Sole Survivor. He tries to resign from the 08th team shortly before their third mission together because of this.
  • Eri in My Hero Academia has the ability to "rewind" people back to prior states, but has never learned to control it and accidentally rewound her father out of existence. Overhaul invokes this trope to keep her in line, convincing her she's a Doom Magnet and that it's better for everyone if she just stays put and submits to his plans. It doesn't help that, when an operation is launched to rescue her and defeat Overhaul, Sir Nighteye is fatally wounded, Lemillion is permanently de-powered and badly injured, and Deku also suffers severe injuries... all right in front of Eri.
  • Deconstructed in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX. Judai Yuki tends to be this, and by season 4 he starts to distance himself from his friends as he is afraid of all the danger he keeps attracting to himself and they usually end up suffering for it.
  • Wherever the Cat-Eyed Boy goes, something horrible is bound to happen in the home he settles, though it's not clear whether he's followed by supernatural disasters or if he follows them.
  • Nico Robin in One Piece is stated to be one of these by Admiral Aokiji, who claims that every crew she'd ever sailed with was destroyed down to the last man, with her as the sole survivor (though the fact that she'd garnered one of the largest bounties in the Grand Line at the age of nine after learning how to read Poneglyphs, which the World Government has deemed a capital offense certainly helps things along.) The same nearly happens to the Straw Hats once they reach Water 7.
  • Terry Bogard believes he's this in the Fatal Fury animated films. Because every woman he get in a relationship with, ends up getting killed by one of his enemies every time.
  • Vincent Law from Ergo Proxy has a moment in the eighth episode Light Beam with the killings of those he knew in the first seventh episodes. His thoughts where "I am like the Angel of Death, everyone I touch pays with blood, everyone around me dies... Re-l!"
  • In Kotoura-san, during the Darkest Hour of Haruka's decade-long chain of emotional trauma, she began to see herself as this, and decided to pretend to be a bitch and drive people away with her telepathic powers so that she wouldn't hurt people—and, by extension, herself.
  • The 104th Trainees Corps from Attack on Titan have had nothing but misfortune, weirdness, death, and Nightmare Fuel to deal with literally from the day they graduated. This is partially because protagonist Eren Yeager is among their number, but also because three of their number are Shifter spies, another is a Wild Card with knowledge of the Titans' secrets, and there's a second Living MacGuffin in the form of a Heroic Bastard that is the heir to a noble family involved in an Ancient Conspiracy. Little surprise so much doom centers around their group, with Jean expressing amazement that they've managed to survive so far. Those around them, though? Not so much.
  • Dragon Ball Z: Goku believed he was this due to the fact that he unwittingly instigated the events of the Saiyan Arc and the Cell Arc and thought that by staying dead the planet would be safer.
  • The BirdMen are all Doom Magnets, since the 'Black Outs' only appear where they are, and it doesn't matter if you only got your power a few days ago and have no idea how to use them...
  • Case Closed: Conan himself is a doom magnet, given everywhere he goes there is either a murder of a theft (mostly the former) going on. But since he's a kid and usually working under a freelance detective Kogoro Mouri, the adult instead gets nicknamed "God of Death" by some annoyed recurring police officers.
  • A Certain Magical Index: Touma Kamijou was this before moving to Academy City,to the point that any accident or disaster that occurred in his hometown was entirely blamed on him. Thankfully, Academy City doesn't suffer the same fate from the nature of his existence.
  • The Number Two Headband in Afro Samurai. The holder of the Number One Headband, for all intents and purposes, rules the world. The holder of the Number Two Headband is the only one who can challenge the Number One for their title. Anyone can challenge the Number Two, however, so whoever wears the Number Two Headband must face endless waves of challengers. Only the strongest can hold onto the Number Two Headband long enough to challenge the Number One.

    Comic Books 
  • Achille Talon: Achille Talon is both this and a Weirdness Magnet. By the time of the last long episodes of the series (which eventually switched back to 2-page gags instead of 44 pages adventures), all the other characters learn to scream whenever something bad happens that they should have known it and that they were wrong to have taken Talon with them. This is justified by the anthropomorphic personification of Destiny for some reason finding Talon amusing, and deciding to use him as his personal Cosmic Plaything. For instance, in "La Traversée du Disert", the cast is having a very banal picnic in a normal region. But you know what? They let Achille choose the place. "Naturally", two gangsters quickly pop out of nowhere and kidnap the heroes.
  • Daredevil: Every new storyline seems to be based around ruining Matt Murdock's life even more.
  • Hellblazer: Anyone who John Constantine calls "friend", other than Chas, inevitably winds up horribly dead, completely screwed over, or something worse. Not that Chas really gets off easy either. He's been screwed over because of his friendship with John tons of times.
  • Hellboy: Bad things tend to happen to everyone in the B.P.R.D. other than Hellboy. From Liz having the life literally sucked out of her (by Roger the Homunculus), to Johann's new body dying just after he gets it. There are also all the problems that befall Abe and Captain Daimio.
  • The Incredible Hulk: The Hulk. Oh poor, poor Hulk. Or rather, poor anyone he has ever cared about. It stands to reason that being friends with the Hulk would be dangerous, but it goes beyond that. Jarella died in the super-villain equivalent of a random mugging, by a baddie who didn't even know she was the Hulk's girl. His entire planet got laid waste in Planet Hulk, right after he'd won and gotten the girl. Let alone what a Weirdness Magnet Hulk is just on his own. Unlike most "heroes", all Hulk wanted in the Bronze Age was to hop around the desert and be left alone, but he couldn't go ten yards without stumbling across an alien invasion, lost land, or supervillain plot, and violent hijinks would ensue.
  • Lady Death. "To know her story is to know a woman cursed" is a very common and accurate way to describe her. Misery was her companion long before her crowning as Queen of all that is Dead and Dying when she was an innocent girl from Sweden raised by an abusive father and lost everyone precious to her such as her mother and her boyfriend. It's particularly bad in the Avatar comics when she is tormented by the souls of her fallen allies who blame her for their deaths.
  • Robin. Tim Drake started out as the angst-free Robin, without even any dead parents. This did not last. His mother was murdered before he started high school and later his girlfriend, father, "uncle", stepmother, best friend, and his other best friend were all killed within the space of at most three months, though Steph, Conner, and Bart later returned. Multiple classmates he was friends with or at least acquainted with have been murdered, with one coming back as an undead villain, and one being shanghaied by an evil cult before ultimately dying off-panel, and his best friend in civilian life has been assaulted and developed cancer.
  • S.H.I.E.L.D.: There is the helicarrier. More often than not, one of the first signs of trouble is it being under attack or dropping from the sky.
  • Spider-Man: Here's a fun drinking game — in any Spider-Man medium, read or watch from the beginning and take a shot whenever you see someone who's doomed to mutation, insanity, disfigurement, misery, death, or any mixture of the above. You won't be sober long. Extra points for remembering to point at the character and yell "DOOOOOMED" every time he/she's onscreen/on panel. Good starting points include Flash Thompson, Eddie Brock, Liz Allan, Betty Brant, Harry Osborn, John Jameson (J. Jonah Jameson's son), Gwen Stacy, Uncle Ben, Felicia Hardy... and the list goes on (and on, and on, and on...) In case you were wondering, that's basically Spidey's entire supporting cast. If you live in the Marvel Universe with a stated first and last name and have the tiniest connection to Peter Parker, you're screwed.
  • X-Men: Being a mutant in the Marvel Universe is being a target to one of the crappiest, bloodiest, most unrelenting cases of Fantastic Racism in the comic book medium. Being in any way associated with the X-Men makes it a whole lot worse, with them having sworn enemies all over the galaxy, alternate universes, planes of existence, in fellow (evil) mutants, and sometimes amongst themselves. Their home base (usually the Xavier Mansion) falling under siege and getting blown up on a constant basis by the latest crisis is the least of it.

    Fan Works 
  • All For Luz: Luz seems to have some kind of gravitational pull for terrible events even moreso than canon. Not only did her father die from a heart disease when she was young, but is made to go through with Reality Check Camp a day after the Mass Super-Empowering Event, only she's forced into a Deadly Game by an Antagonistic Governor with 33 other superhuman teens. She discovers that the Quirk she has is a Power Parasite ability that comes with All For One squatting in her Mental World with no way to evict him who has his own agenda for her. A week later she discovers her new camper friends were brutally killed, including her First Friend, thanks to the governor putting a hit on her, All For One convinces her to Pay Evil unto Evil and wipe out the enemy teams making her a social pariah. A month later, Tyler Wittebane also puts a hit on her that results in: a supermarket getting destroyed, a squad of cops getting wiped out by Luz when Blinded by Rage, her mother getting murdered by a Psycho for Hire, an all out fight that destroys a chunk of Gravesfield and kills countless people, before the town itself gets wiped off the map by the Golden Guard. The reason why she doesn't have big of a Guilt Complex than in the series is because her Evil Mentor is molding her mind to lean towards a Never My Fault attitude by (correctly) pointing out that her enemies played a greater role in the mentioned tragedies than her.
  • Michikyuu Kanae from Kyon: Big Damn Hero, who has caused hundreds of worlds to be invaded by aliens just by being present.
  • Emeris Fillson in Consequences of Unoriginality, whose curse, which he describes as the Gary-Stu-ness Effect, causes him to attract monsters to Equestria for him to fight every week, and even after he wins there is usually collateral damage. "I think we had been only a month away from Celestia impaling me on her horn… and I would’ve let her."
  • Light's Song: As in canon, being a Winchester means that you can barely go five feet without running into a dangerous monster and other bullshit, especially if there's more than one around for too long. Thankfully, the fact that most, if not all of the monsters from Earth are unable to exist on the Isles due to it being a realm not created by God/Chuck (for instance, angels and demons are immediately ejected from their vessels if they try to cross a portal due to the ambient magic interfering with their ability to suppress their vessel's soul) means that it's actually safer there for Luz Noceda than on Earth, despite the Demon Realm canonically being a Death World, because there's fewer threats that it can weaponize.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Pirates of the Caribbean crew, though in that it's a case of massive Redshirt Army usage. What's more surprising is how they seem to stop doing it as the story continues.
  • Taken to extremes in Perfume, in which everyone the central character associates with winds up dying horribly shortly after their relationship ends. For some of them, it's a Justified Trope, in that he's their murderer.
  • In Children of Men, every single character who helps Kee ends up dead before the end of the film — including the protagonist, Theo. The same is true of plenty of characters who didn't help Kee but were just in the vicinity of the wide swath of destruction. Except for the supportive Gypsy Lady in the camp who lived (although even that is her looking like she has better chances of avoiding the Uncertain Doom of the bombardment last we see her).
  • In Star Wars, Luke and Leia can probably be considered Doom Magnets since both sets of parents that adopt them are killed, because they adopted them. (Alderaan wouldn't have been blown up if Tarkin hadn't been making a point to Leia, and Owen and Beru Lars wouldn't have bitten it if they hadn't bought the droid that had the Death Star plans the Empire wanted back.) The EU makes it worse since characters like Luke, Leia, Han, and Wedge have Plot Armor (with the conspicuous exception of Chewbacca, and that's only after decades worth of stories in which he was previously just as plot-armored as the human movie characters) and therefore get to watch a hell of a lot of people die, usually in the course of trying to kill one of them.
  • The protagonist of The Cooler is a minor example: he's considered bad luck to be around, so a casino employs him to break peoples' winning streaks just by sitting with them.
  • In Harm's Way: Paul Eddington seems to wrap death around himself like a blanket. Any character within two degrees of separation of him via sexual relationships is killed (four total, five if you include Paul himself by the end.)
  • Peter Parker's "Parker Luck" gets pushed to its absolute zenith by the end of Spider-Man: No Way Home. To recap, his uncle is likely dead, his mistakes cause a ferry accident, he nearly dies stopping an arms dealer, he, his aunt and his friends die, along with half the universe for 5 years. His mentor dies sacrificing himself to prevent a second full-scale attempt of the above. Peter gets manipulated by a conman, which leads to the death of said conman). His secret identity gets broadcasted everywhere as he is framed as a murderer, which also tanks his friends' futures and throws the company of his mentor into serious legal jeopardy. Fixing this causes worse problems, as his aunt (who came back to life with him) dies again, and his wish nearly dooms his universe, for which he has to Un-person himself from the loved ones and friends who knew him. Ain't that depressing?
  • Starship Troopers. Rico, to almost Walking Disaster Area degrees. Anyone in his squad should have a counter ticking down on their head. By the end of the movie, he and Ace are the only surviving members of his main squad, his initial squad is whittled down to just himself, Ace and Dizzy by the initial attempt at invasion gone horrifically wrong, then his new squad is killed (including Diz, who had just completed a Relationship Upgrade with Rico) in their third outing as well his commanding officer (also his high school teacher). By the end of the movie, the only surviving named members of the initial group are himself, Carmen, Ace and Carl.
  • Ford Brody in Godzilla (2014). He gets everyone including his own father, an airport tram full of innocent civilians, and two separate units of soldiers killed by just by being in their vicinity due to being a Kaiju magnet.
    • Elsewhere in the MonsterVerse, this also applies to the members of the Russell (Emma, Mark, and Madison) and Randa (Keiko, Bill, Hiroshi, Kentaro, and Cate) families- wherever one of them goes, Kaiju-fueled chaos is soon to follow.
  • The title character of Forklift Driver Klaus has just passed his forklift driving exam, which would make one think he's competent at operating such a vehicle. Yet, during his first day on the job, he manages to kill almost everybody in the factory, including himself- some of it is his own fault, but some of it the fault of his idiotic coworkers.

  • Lone Wolf, from the eponymous series, is often said by fans to have a "death aura", in that anyone who sticks around him for more than a few pages is going to die. The pages don't even have to be consecutive. Justified, since he becomes such a powerful beacon of good that he naturally attracts evil (or is himself drawn to it). It also doesn't help that the God of Evil hates him and does everything in its power to kill him.

  • In Rieyalindis, the title Elf feels like and literally is this. As a baby she was cursed to be alone; anyone who stays with her will eventually die (painfully). The record for surviving around her is two years.
  • Gaia Moore of the Fearless books often laments the fact that everyone who gets close to seems to die. A Justified Trope in her case, since most of those deaths are caused by people who are out to get her.
  • Jean Baptiste Grenouille, in Perfume. Everyone who had so much as a passing relationship with him ended up doomed, be it a few years in the future or immediately after his departure. The nun who cared for him in his first days goes nuts. The perfumist who takes him as an apprentice ends up with his house thrown into the river a few minutes after Grenouille decides to leave him. There are at least five people who get their lives completely destroyed just by happening to know him, not to mention all the girls he kills at the end of the book, and the catastrophe he unleashes when he's about to be executed. However in a few cases, this was due to following the story of other people to its end. One woman dies close to 70 years later.
  • Sinbad the Sailor goes on seven voyages, mostly just to have a nice time at sea. Seven times he's the sole survivor of some sort of cataclysm. The best survival tip the stories give you is: If you're going on a cruise and another tourist happens to be named Sinbad, stay home. Ironically, Sinbad himself benefits through all these dangers, finding treasure and valuables each time, eventually retiring very wealthy and becoming something of a philanthropist in his later years.
  • Odysseus, of The Odyssey, loses members of his crew left and right until, finally, he is only person to survive the complete destruction of his ship in a storm. His being a Doom Magnet is justified in-story because Poseidon, god of the sea, is very, very angry at him, and his patron goddess has gone off in a huff. Not to mention how his crew are shown to be Too Dumb to Live on several occasions. Telling them not to eat something or open a particular bag is always a waste of time.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium:
    • Túrin, in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion and The Children of Húrin. Despite his best intents, Túrin's actions cause or catalyze the eventual death of everyone that gets involved with him or cares for him. The narrative leaves it ambiguous whether the reason for this is in Túrin's own character, or in the curse that the Dark Lord Morgoth laid on Túrin's father Húrin:
      Morgoth: Sit now there, and look out upon the lands where evil and despair shall come upon those whom thou lovest. Thou hast dared to mock me, and to question the power of Melkor, Master of the Fates of Arda. Therefore, with mine eyes thou shalt see; and with mine ears thou shalt hear; and never shalt thou leave from this place until all is fulfilled to its bitter end.
    • Fëanor from The Silmarillion is very much a doom magnet, although the Silmarils are even more so.
      The Doom of Mandos, to be precise: Tears unnumbered shall ye shed; and the Valar (will) shut you out, so that not even the echo of your lamentation shall pass over the mountains. On the House of Fëanor the wrath of the Valar lieth from the West unto the uttermost East, and upon all that will follow them... The Dispossessed shall they be for ever.
  • Harry Dresden of Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files is a Doom Magnet; terrible things tend to happen to those in his general orbit, whether they're acquaintances, friends or enemies of his. Being a professional wizard, Harry is also a Weirdness Magnet. It only got worse after Cassius apparently cursed Dresden to 'die alone'.
  • People who interact with Covenant in The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant have a disturbing tendency to end up dead or insane or at the very least get their life metaphorically shattered. Some of it is due to repercussions of Covenant's own actions, while the rest can be chalked up to the resident Evil Overlord who has an interest in Covenant. Stephen R. Donaldson is fond of Woobies, so this trope shows up a lot in his works.
  • Elric of Melnibone by Michael Moorcock. Elric sacrifices his sidekick to the Greater Good. And in the next book, Elric acquires a new sidekick and gets angsty.
    • It gets much worse. Elric denies the existence of any real Greater Good, to start with, merely wishing to not serve any particular evil. In the course of his efforts, his incestuous love gets put into an endless sleep so the bastard wishing the throne could claim her, he ends up bonding to the foulest artifact in his world, he personally sees to the sacking of his kingdom and feeds his love's soul to his blade in the doing, those travelling with him meet grisly fates as he tries to see just how badly he's screwed himself, he disturbs the peace of mind of his own later and earlier incarnations, he stands witness as what he's done to date leads to the dissolution of the world, his later effort at a love ends up a caterpillar with a human head and gets fed to his sword, and the sacrifice of his sidekick is so he can call forth the end of his world's era. Stormbringer (having fed on the sole mortal that knew the rules of the dance between Chaos and Law) promptly ate Elric and tried for his own plan at that moment of Armageddon.
      • The Champion Eternal is a Doom Magnet on the multiversal scale, as it usually turns out whatever madness is engulfing one was the result of a previous incarnation's efforts.
  • Arya in A Song of Ice and Fire can't seem to escape the tragic situations of her world. After watching her father lose his head, she gets caught up in the war which places her in several skirmishes and spending weeks fighting royal troops, starvation, exposure, and bandits. When she finally has a roof over her head, it's as a slave/servant to sadistic supervisors. Every few pages of her ordeal involves watching the commoners of the countryside killed, run over, raped, starved to death, or conscripted to fight a war nobody cares about. When that is finally over she gets scooped up by Sandor Clegane hoping to ransom her to family members who keep dying hours before the two of them show up. About the safest thing to happen to her so far is her taking up residence in a death-worshiping/assassin training temple.
  • Arithon S'Ffalenn from Janny Wurts' Wars of Light and Shadow leaves a trail of dead, maimed, orphaned and imprisoned people behind him. His insane half-brother can't get at him, so he instead murders everyone who might conceivably be helping him. Arithon is constantly torn by grief about this, so much so that the Sorcerers forced him to swear a magically binding oath not to commit suicide.
  • The Stormlight Archive: Kaladin spends a large amount of his screentime contemplating the fact that everyone around him seems to die, while he himself always survives. First was his brother, then his spear squad, then the groups of slaves he led into rebellion. It's to the point that at the start of the first book, he believes that if he helps people in doomed situations he will actually make things worse. He slowly improves, and eventually turns a group of slaves into a battalion of professional soldiers.
  • God, Harry Potter is a doom magnet. Especially later in the series. Many characters in the series say he tends to actively pursue trouble and dangerous situations, or at least behave recklessly, but while he tries to solve the mysteries that keep occurring around him, there's no doubt that often it's trouble that comes to him. Harry himself lampshades this whenever someone, usually one of the Weasleys or Hermione tells him to keep out of trouble, he reminds them that trouble usually finds him. Justified by the plot, since the Big Bad of the wizarding world is personally out to get him.
  • K. J. Parker's The Scavenger Trilogy. Poldarn is likened to a dog running through a cornfield with a torch tied to his tail. To ride with him synonymous with death. Anything and anyone he contacts will come to ruin.
  • In the Latin-American horror novel Ghost Radio, the radio host of the titular station, Joaquin, had survived near-fatal accidents that took the lives of his parents and friends, which motivated him to start the station in the first place. However, his dead friend Gabriel slowly gets back to Joaquin, saying that anyone who gets too involved with Joaquin always ends up dead. And then he adds that Joaquin's girlfriend Alondra will be next.
  • In the Parrish Plessis series, Parrish has the misfortune of being a doom magnet with Chronic Hero Syndrome. She tries so hard to help everyone she meets, and it so often turns out for the worse...
  • In Brent Weeks' The Night Angel Trilogy Kylar Stern's status as doom magnet is a major plot point, since many of the decisions he makes throughout the second and third books of the series, several of which get him killed, are made in ignorance of the fact that every time he dies and is brought back, someone he loves dies as a means to balance the divine economy. His immortality MAKES him a doom magnet.
  • Shirakawa Kaede in Tales of the Otori gets this reputation since men who tries to marry or sleep with her has a disturbing tendency to die rather quickly.
  • Heavily lampshaded in Redshirts, where the head officers can't go anywhere without their underlings dying. It's particularly bad with Lieutenant Kerensky.
  • The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel: It's lampshaded by a few characters that Flamel and his wife bring 'death and destruction with them'.
  • Journey to Chaos: Anyone that becomes Tasio's "bestest friend" is thought to become one of these because he is The Trickster that likes playing with/pranking them. Whether or not this is truly the case various between the friends.
  • Karyl of The Dinosaur Lords becomes convinced he is this, as his family, subordinates and friends all fall one by one while he himself carries on. This causes him to withdraw from his newest command until Melodía dares him to defy fate.
  • Nix from Kameron Hurley's Bel Dame Apocrypha trilogy is rivaled only by John Constantine and Jack Harkness for the sheer number and proportion of her associates who end up dead, disabled, or mentally broken.
  • X-Wing Series: It seems like every woman Wedge has gotten serious with had something horrible happen to them. Mala was killed by Imperials. Iella's husband was found not to be dead, but instead a Manchurian Agent whom she had to kill. Qwi was Mind Raped by Kyp Durron. He's known in universe as a survivor.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Dexter: By the end of the series, Dexter Morgan has killed over a hundred people and caused the deaths of many people around him, including completely innocent people like Rita, relatively innocent people like Doakes and LaGuerta, and ultimately is forced to mercy kill Debra.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Doctor has this reputation — not only are they an incorrigible thrill-seeker, but their TARDIS (a sapient time machine) is herself attracted to danger spots.
    • It's so bad that most people/aliens/organisations that know about the Doctor (but haven't met them in person) view them as some sort of avatar of destruction and harbinger of the apocalypse. It's even been said in the show that the Doctor's one true companion is death. Ouch. To underscore the point, the guy who says this dies in the same episode.
    • The Doctor is painfully aware of this, as seen in "The Doctor Dances," which ends with the Ninth Doctor overjoyed over the fact that no one died over the course of the adventure. It seems it is very rare for the Doctor to have a day where someone doesn't get killed. Notably, the episode has a NEGATIVE death toll, as at least one character who was already dead at the beginning is alive again at the end.
    • In "The Doctor's Wife", the Doctor complains to the TARDIS (temporarily in human form) that she didn't always take him where he wanted to go. "No, but I always took you where you needed to go."
    • It's hard to say if the Doctor is really a doom magnet. While there are several adventures where the Doctor is the cause of the problem of the week, usually they're just passing through when something terrible happens and without their intervention the death count would be much, much higher. Several characters have pointed out that without the Doctor, the Earth would have been wiped out ages ago.
      • This is made explicit in "The Name of the Doctor" when a villain enters the Doctor's timeline to turn all their victories into defeats and the universe starts dying.
    • It could be argued that rather being a character who is followed by doom, the Doctor is one who is following doom at the behest of the TARDIS. That said, New Who tends to have the Doctor as more of a doom magnet than a Doom Follower.
    • People who've known the Doctor long enough are certainly aware. From "The Five Doctors", on arrival in the Death Zone on Gallifrey:
      Brigadier: Charming spot, Doctor.
      Second Doctor: (crossly) My dear Brigadier, there's no use blaming me.
      Brigadier: You attract trouble, Doctor. You always did.
  • Captain Jack Harkness from Torchwood is very much this. Very much so. Exemplified by the fact that he is immortal and thus survives what no one else would, including a bomb in his stomach that destroys Torchwood 3, a building full of a virus that kills his boyfriend (and a bunch of other people), living beyond everyone he knows that doesn't end up dying a horrible premature death, ending up having to sacrifice his own grandson to save the world, and let's not forget the first death on Doctor Who, the lone survivor (other than the Doctor and Rose) of a space station massacre perpetrated by Daleks.
  • Game of Thrones: Somehow Sansa attracts a nightmare's gallery of suitors. First Joffrey the Psychopathic Manchild, then Robin the Manchild and just when you think it couldn't get worse, Littlefinger engaged her to Ramsay Bolton the Sadist, to say nothing of Littlefinger's own "interest" in her. About the only people who are nice to her are the scarred and ugly Sandor Clegane and the dwarf Tyrion Lannister, and even that situation is complicated with the latter two essentially serving the family that killed hers.
  • Hurley from Lost believes he's one of these, having used the series' Arc Words (4 8 15 16 23 42) to win the lottery and bringing a curse on himself. It's left vague whether the numbers actually cursed him, or whether the heart attacks, suicides, plane crashes, and meteor strikes affecting those around him is just coincidence.
  • John Connor in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Just watch the last half of season two and watch the supporting cast drop like flies. Possibly justified in this case, as everyone he loves knows just how important John is to the fate of humanity and is usually more than willing to sacrifice themselves rather than risk anything happening to him.
  • Smallville has gone this direction. They originally blamed it all on Green Rocks, but later seasons has anyone and anything trying to kill Clark's inner circle... without green rocks. In season seven, "Apocalypse", Clark angsts about "ruining Lana's life", and when he received a message that tells him Brainiac is going to the past to erase him from history, he decides to stay put. Chloe is understandably horrified... "Clark, this is not the time to be stubborn, okay? Don't do this. We need you! I need you!" She forces the key into his hand, and of course, he saves the day. She also reminded him on several occasions that he had saved her life countless times.
  • In 24, Jack has been indirectly [sometimes directly] involved in the death of several friends of his, and even part of his own family. In the Season 6 finale one character even said that there was a curse on him. Doom Magnet indeed.
  • Firefly's River Tam. It is not pleasant to be the big brother of an Ax-Crazy Super-Soldier who is wanted by The Government. Because of this, it is not pleasant to take on Simon as a passenger with a mysterious cargo even if one's ship is sufficiently disreputable. Because of this, it is not good to have business contacts with a tramp ship that carries such a hazardous cargo.
    • Arguably, River Tam is just one of the many dooms brought on by associating with Mal Reynolds. This is exemplified in the Serenity RPG where his stat block includes the dismerit "Things don't go smooth."
    • This is lampshaded by Jayne in Serenity
      Mal: I don't plan on any shooting taking place during this job.
      Jayne: Yeah, well, what you plan and what takes place ain't ever exactly been similar.
      Mal: [death glare]
    • Well, who knew that the Reavers would show up on the same day that they decide to rob the place.
  • Fujimaru Takagi in the J-Drama Bloody Monday, Everyone around him seems to ether get kidnapped at some point or die. Taken to new heights in Season two where in the first episode alone all but one his co-workers at his part time job as well as a few customer's are killed, and later when his unofficial girlfriend from season 1 is killed via euthanasia, though he was lied to and told she was still alive so he would continue hacking to stop a Nuke.
  • Lampshaded in The Peacekeeper Wars before John and Aeryn inevitably get involved in another dangerous situation:
    Aeryn: This is not our fight.
    Crichton: I agree. But as long as there's a war on, everyone's after me 'cause I'm the winner-take-all weapon guy.
    Aeryn: You know, every time we get involved...
    Crichton: I know. People die.
  • Babylon 5:
    • Sheridan is accused of this by a Minbari who claims that 'if there is a doom on this station, you brought it here'.
    • There was also a minor character nicknamed Jinxo, introduced in the episode "Grail", who worked at construction of all the Babylon project stations. And each one blew up shortly after he'd left it during construction (or, in the case of Babylon 4, mysteriously vanished after completion). This convinced him that he cannot leave Babylon 5 lest it suffer the same fate. The person he discusses this turns the viewpoint on its ear; perhaps Jinxo was simply lucky that he wasn't aboard when these things happened. Sure enough, when Jinxo leaves at the end of the episode... the station remains intact. And it continues operation for another 20+ years.
    • Later on, in the TV movie "River of Souls", Captain Lochley would make a similar claim in regards to Michael Garibaldi, claiming that the station has been peaceful since he and President Sheridan departed. Knowing that Garibaldi is coming to visit on business, Lochley is gearing up for some kind of crisis to strike.
  • There's an episode of Psych in which a young Indian man is convinced he is cursed because every girl he falls in love with almost dies in a freak accident. Shawn and Gus set out to prove to him it's not a curse. Eventually it turns out that the man's sister-in-law-to-be has fallen in love with him instead of her fiancé and decided to take matters into her own hands. Violently. Multiple times.
  • Eric Idle's character in the Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch "Prawn Salad". Things just keep happening around him — mirrors falling off the wall, people killing themselves by tripping and falling on antique Brazilian daggers, and so on. He doesn't have anything to do with it.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • While it's rather debatable that he actually is, Daniel Jackson seems to believe that he is. To the point where he nearly refused Oma Desala's ascension offer. He also seems to reference this belief when talking to Vala; suggesting she and he accept they were at fault for the whole 'Ori' thing.
    • Samantha Carter lampshades this about herself when she tells one guy she's dating, "I think it's only fair to warn you, all the men that I've dated recently have died."
  • Runners in Stargate Atlantis. The Wraith release strong captured humans with a tracking device and hunt them down for training purposes (and/or sport.) Ronon is plagued by guilt because he stopped in a village briefly to recover from injuries and the Wraith killed everyone when they arrived. A similar scenario kicks off the plot of a season 5 episode about a Runner.
  • On Supernatural, knowing Sam and Dean Winchester is extremely hazardous to one's general well-being. It would be shorter to list the characters who haven't suffered horribly due to their association with the Winchesters. Justified since the brothers have managed to piss off the forces of Hell and Heaven. This also applies to the Winchesters themselves and any other Hunter, albeit to a lesser extent. Crowley even makes a point of hunting down everyone whose lives were made better by the Winchesters and murdering them to strongarm the brothers into helping him. According to Death, anyone who doesn't die when they're supposed to disrupts the natural order causing "chaos and sadness" for the rest of their lives. He's especially tired of Sam and Dean.
  • Murder, She Wrote: No matter where Jessica Fletcher goes, fate will always conspire to bend the personal dramas and tragedies of the people in her vicinity to come to a head the moment she arrives, at which point she finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation working to clear the wrongly accused. It's only on very rare occasions that an individual will actually bring a murder case to Jessica that began before she was involved in any way.
  • In one episode of Monk, Natalie begins feeling this way about Monk when the two of them are put into the Witness Protection program when he stumbles across a murder, only for Monk to discover another murder while the two are in cover. However, by the end of the episode when both crimes are solved she comes to the opposite conclusion: he's really more of a Justice magnet, always coming across the murderers in question to make sure they don't get off scot-free.
  • Walter White of Breaking Bad, and by extension, his partner in crime Jesse Pinkman. By the end of the series, not only do none of the characters involved in their meth empire/ personal lives benefit at all, but they all suffer, including themselves. Mike, Lydia, Gus, Todd, Gale, Gomey, Hank, Jane, and Andrea all end up dead. Marie is a widow, Walt Jr. and Skyler are permanently traumatized, Saul had to abandon his entire life (and then later thrown in prison solely so that the government has someone to blame for his empire), Saul's money is all seized by the feds and his associates either hate him or disappeared with no help in sight, and Mike's granddaughter, Lydia's daughter, and Brock will probably never understand what happened to their (now dead) parents/parental figures. Walt in particular is such a doom magnet that even Jesse's life is directly ruined by him; by the end of it all, Jesse has no money left, two girlfriends dead, and his life headed in no direction whatsoever. Walt himself loses everything before he dies. To add insult to injury, all of the money they earned has essentially gone nowhere; Jack hid the 70 million in some place where nobody will probably ever find it, and despite an effective threat, there's still no guarantee that Elliot and Gretchen will give that last 10 million to Walt Jr.
  • Star Trek:
    • All of the starships Enterprise attract more than their share of doom, but the Enterprise-D seems to be some kind of doom superconductor. She can't go more than a few months at a time without stumbling into crisis that threatens the Federation's very existence. Over eight years, we've seen the Enterprise-D destroyed on-screen at least eleven times—sometimes several times in a single episode—only to be brought back by some combination of Reset Button and Timey-Wimey Ball. To top it off, Enterprise made first contact with the Borg Collective, the galaxy's leading supplier of doom, and would go on to have several other encounters with them over the years.
    • Star Trek: Voyager is even scarier. Voyager (a.k.a. HMS Doom), in addition to being destroyed on-screen and subsequently saved by the Reset Button, spelled doom for every single ship that decided to tag along for the ride. It doesn't matter if you're a Federation vessel, a Borg cube or a rebel ship: choose to travel with Voyager, and you are in for a Kaboom! for before the end of the episode.
  • In Seriously Weird, protagonist Harris Pembleton is a literal Doom Magnet, due to being cursed by a Physical God to be a magnet for everything that's weird. Weird events follow him around to cause havoc on his daily life.
  • Orphan Black: To comical degrees with Alison Hendrix. Anyone involved in her life is at an extreme danger of ending up dead or worse. In the first season, Aynsley chokes to death when the garbage disposal catches her scarf, all stemming from Alison's paranoia that she was her monitor. In the second season, Donnie...accidentally shoots Aldous Leekie in the face during an argument about being Alison's REAL monitor. In the third season, Pouchy and his gang are slaughtered by Helena when they threaten Donnie due to selling their drugs. In the fourth season, Frank is shot by Helena with an arrow after trying to bug Alison. And for bonus points, during the fourth season, Leekie's cadaver is exhumed and mutilated to retrieve a Neolution bug...from under the Hendrix's garage. Bloody Hilarious indeed.
  • On True Blood, people around Sookie Stackhouse tend to drop like flies. Part of the reason is her inability to keep her nose out of supernatural trouble, but a lot of time it's just bad luck. Over the course of the series her aunt, her best friend (twice, she was a vampire), a crazy stalker that broke into her house to kill her, her extended fairy family, her werewolf boyfriend, and eventually her vampire boyfriend are all killed violently. And that's just the people who are directly connected to her. By the end of the series she sinks into depression because she believes she is this trope.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Buffy gets a double helping of this. First she's the Slayer, which means all sorts of nasty things will seek her out and she's pretty much guaranteed a violent end at a young age. The show repeatedly points out that Buffy is unusual as a Slayer with family and friends, and the view of the Watchers seems to be that she will bring doom on those around her. Secondly, she lives on a Hellmouth, which attracts vampires, demons and the like and also seems to make both magic and science more dangerous than they would be elsewhere.
  • London's Burning: Jack Morgan supposedly had a reputation for this, not that it was easy to notice while he was posted to Blackwall, seemingly the most unlucky station in the London Fire Brigade.
  • The titular character of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries.
    Hugh: Oh, Miss Fisher's gone on holiday again, sir.
    Jack: Huh. Anyone dead yet?
    Hugh: Only one so far, sir.

  • Equestrian Legends' Wishing Star attracts strange and unusual events with such regularity that her wife seriously debated whether or not to leave her behind while going into the Everfree.

    Tabletop Games 
  • One GURPS supplement had a variant of this as a character flaw — Jinxed would give penalties to any roll someone close to the character (but not the character themselves) made unconsciously (for example, surviving a large single attack), and it could be taken multiple times. Characters with high levels of Jinxed tended to have few surviving friends.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Ravenloft setting:
      • Doctor Van Richten was affected by a Vistani curse that caused the death of almost everyone he cared about or hunted monsters with.
      • Ravenloft also has the Bussengeist, the undead spirit of someone who died in a great calamity resulting from their action or inaction. Literal Doom Magnets, Bussengeists almost always have a sad, worn feature from the countless disasters they have witnessed.
    • Forgotten Realms:
      • The Volo's Guide to Monsters sourcebook describes the titular Gentleman Adventurer in this way. "Do not trust Volo. Do not go on quests offered by Volo. Do not listen to Volo. Avoid being seen with him for risk of guilt by association. If Volo appears in your campaign, your DM is undoubtedly trying to kill your character in a manner that can be blamed on your own actions. The DM is probably trying to do that anyway, but with Volo's appearance, you know for sure."
      • The poor, poor bronze dragon Felgolos can't seem to go anywhere in Faerun without finding trouble in some fashion. This is even directly called out on his page on the Forgotten Realms Wiki. He's even collected the nickname "The Flying Misfortune".
  • Possibly the player characters in Scion. As the children of the gods, Fate sees to it that trouble finds them. Of course, they might be tough enough to deal with it, but if they aren't or if they don't bother to do anything but save themselves, then others are going to suffer. The game itself dubs this the "Fateful Aura", and admits that it's an in-universe excuse for the Storyteller to drop plot on them. The stronger you get, the worse it gets — there's even a power available to gods that temporarily ratchets the Character Level down to lessen the effect.
  • By the rules as written, this is the exact effect of the "Grim Harbinger o' Death" drawback in Deadlands. No matter where you go, bad things happen, and even when you're unscathed, others aren't so lucky. The Marshall is outright told to describe suffering resulting from any situation where you get involved: if the outlaw shoots you and misses, the bullet blows a hole through the head of a child watching the duel. If the monster doesn't find you hiding, it's because some poor NPC attracts its attention and gets eaten instead. Etcetera, etcetera.
  • In Paranoia, one of the Mutations available for characters is called Doom Magnet. Of course, knowledge of precisely how this affects gameplay is of Ultraviolet clearance, Citizen — though this is Paranoia. You're all doomed anyway. For the record, each time it's used by the player a roll of the die decides whether the player dies horribly or the whole team dies horribly in a manner up to the GM. Thus, it works very much in the way of the trope, but because it's Paranoia this can actually be beneficial to gameplay, or at least to personal amusement.
  • Madrak Ironhide of the Iron Kingdoms setting has gained this state after spending too long with his cursed axe, the Rathrok. Whenever he gets hit, nearby trolls die instead of him. Storms follow him around. And the axe is a Clingy MacGuffin so he can't even get rid of it.
  • The Abyssals in Exalted are this to a T. Any time they interact with a living thing in a non-murderous, non-terrifying way, they build up Resonance. When it gets high enough, it has effects ranging from killing those the Abyssal loves to sucking a whole town straight into the Underworld, which is not a very pleasant place for the living.

  • Evil Dead: The Musical portrayed Annie as this. She complains of a "trend" in her life where all the men she knows are killed by Candarian demons, mentioning her father and fiance. When Ash points out that's only two people, she goes on to clarify at length.
    Annie: Cause the men in my life, and I mean all the men in my life — every single man in my life, keeps getting killed, by Candarian demons.
  • Hamlet, the classic story of how everybody related to him dies, with one notable exception.

    Video Games 
  • A recurring element in several roguelike games such as NetHack is "Doomed" equipment, which besides being cursed (and thus impossible to unequip normally) gives a slew of nasty effects, such as encountering stronger monsters more often, receiving more critical hits and status effects, and even falling victim to the occasional One-Hit Kill.
  • In the Baldur's Gate games, a major plot point is made of the player character being a Doom Magnet. As a child of the deceased god of murder, it is your fate to bring death to everyone around you — your enemies, your friends, your family, even your loved ones. Lo and behold, you do end up being indirectly responsible for the deaths of many, many people... though depending on the ending you choose, you might be able to break free from the curse (maybe; the ending leaves room for much doubt).
  • Battletech: Dekker, one of your starting Mauve Shirt MechWarriors in the campaign, has garnered this reputation. It's because he starts out piloting the lightest BattleMech in your lance (which is also one of the lightest 'Mechs in the game) and its paper-thin armor and fragile structure make it a crunchy snack for even the earliest enemies. New players generally don't know how to use a light scouting 'Mech properly, leading to him being dogpiled and killed. It's to the point the final DLC added a hidden achievement awarded just for having him survive the campaign.
  • In the backstory for Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, the "Dark Curse" that the Alchemist Guild claimed would come was of their own making, infusing "pure" orphans with dark magics that would turn them into beacons that would draw demons to earth.
  • Dead Island and its sequel Dead Island: Riptide have two notable examples:
    • Yerema, from the first game, is a Typhoid Mary who is infected with the zombie plague and, in fact, is ultimately responsible for causing the initial outbreak.
    • In the sequel, the player characters are revealed to be much the same; as with the characters in Left 4 Dead, they're not "immune" to the disease, they're asymptotic carriers — in other words, they're perfectly healthy, but the virus is still inside them and they carry it. Due to exposure to various mutagens, it's heavily implied they end up succumbing to it and becoming newer, deadlier versions of zombies.
  • Lexine Murdoch from Dead Space: Extraction and the Dead Space 2 DLC "Severed", who is the only one in the series that can suppress the effects of the Artifact of Doom, has a bad tendency to attract love interests that end up killed, including her first boyfriend Sam Caldwell, Nathan McNeill, the detective she has some romantic subtext with, and her husband Gabriel Weller.
  • Dragon Age II: The protagonist Hawke starts the game running away from the blight and watches one of his/her younger siblings get killed by an ogre in the first ten minutes, though which sibling dies depends on the class. Then a year later, they get involved in an exploration of the Deep Roads and either Hawke's younger sister Bethany is captured by the Circle/younger brother Carver joins the Templars if they stay behind in the best case scenario, or the sibling is infected with the Taint. Without former Grey Warden Anders they will die. With Anders' help, they join the Wardens, living on borrowed time away from their family. Later on, Hawke's mother is abducted by a serial killer and killed. Not to mention everyone you kill and the other NPCS that die all around.
  • Dragon Quest VII has the aptly named doom magnet town of Loomin. Most towns, you need to save them from monsters once, twice if they have an elemental spirit living nearby. Loomin needs to be saved at least three times.
    • To elaborate, before the party even arrives, the town had already been attacked by a powerful plant monster that they were just barely able to seal away. When the party does arrive, Orgodemir's minions have already taken over the region and enslaved the town. And when you defeat the commander of the demons, the aforementioned plant monster wakes up. And after that, an army of Hellworms show up! This last one can actually permanently destroy the town depending on how you deal with Chibi.
    • The 3DS version keeps the Meaningful Name to Loomin: It is changed to "Nottagen", somewhat like what the player (And the characters) will think the third time they have to go back to rescue Nottagen.
      Sgt. Winters: You ever notice how when bad things happen — I mean the absolute worst things imaginable, horrible stuff — there's always a Mason around? Now I'm talking about shit you couldn't even dream of happening... y'know, it never fails!
  • The Pariah Dog from Fallout 2 is both an in-universe and gameplay example. He's one of the game's 'special encounters' on the world map if you're unlucky enough, and starts off standing in the middle of a bunch of dead bodies. If you fail a luck check, he'll run up and forcibly join your party (even if it means going over the Arbitrary Headcount Limit.) Upon doing so, your Luck score drops to one and you're given the Jinxed trait (everybody's critical miss rate increases drastically, including your's and your allies'.) On top of that, he's also completely useless in combat and runs at the first sign of danger, including you trying to kill him, since that's the only way to get rid of him and remove the ill effects.
  • Assassin EMIYA becomes this in Fate/Grand Order due to his Affections of the Grail skill. It grants him supernatural luck and the ability to survive anything... at the cost of dooming everyone around him, as it works by sucking luck and happiness from those around him.
  • Zidane Tribal from Final Fantasy IX has a strange Gameplay and Story Segregation example... specifically that all these bad things would have happened eventually, as there's a war going on, but the kingdoms in question only lose/explode once Zidane arrives. Doesn't this seem familiar?
    • Perhaps it's linked to the circumstances of his creation as Garland's 'Angel of Death,' to aid with the collection of souls needed for Terra to assimilate Gaia?
  • Bren Ten in Girls' Frontline considers herself this; in particular, she worries about whether her presence will cause you to go bankrupt, in reference to the real Bren Ten's history where several companies went bankrupt trying to produce and sell the gun (one going under before selling even a single gun).
  • A common joke about the IJN Destroyer Yukikaze in KanColle is that the reason why she survived so long and is so lucky is because she sucks the luck out of everyone else in every operation she participated in.
  • In Kingdom Hearts, Keyblades seem to have this function. Not even Mickey freaking Mouse is strong or light of heart enough to overcome the tragedy and doom that befalls and surrounds all Keyblade wielders eventually. Once The Heartless are unleashed, it turns from an implicit effect attracting misfortune into an explicit one attracting horrific monstrosities, since aforementioned abominations are attracted to Keyblade-holders like moths to a flame that they're trying to extinguish.
  • HK-47 from Knights of the Old Republic can have his memory core repaired, which both gives him permanent stat increases and causes him to repeat a bit of his history; he'll tell stories about his past owners (a businessman, a senator, a crime lord, and a Mandalorian soldier). In each of these stories, HK-47 inadvertently leads to the deaths of his owners.
    HK: Objection: That is so unfair, Master! Have I not brought you a great deal of satisfaction?
    PC: You don't want to hear the answer to that.
    HK: Statement: You are a very harsh master, Master! ...I like you.
  • If The Legend of Zelda's Link shows up, there's the very high chance that all of the surrounding lands are or will be ravaged by monsters, cursed, or otherwise in deep trouble. This is justified though, as it's implied that the goddesses just choose a new hero whenever there's a time of need, or deliberately send Link to a land in trouble. It's also justified in that in Skyward Sword, Demise places a curse on the bloodlines of Link and Zelda as he dies, dooming their descendants to be tormented forever by an incarnation of his hatred.
  • In Live A Live, everyone who was ever close to Oersted dies sooner or later over the course of his adventures, and he takes more than his share of blame for their deaths. When even the princess he tried to rescue commits suicide to spite him, he snaps, becomes a demon overlord and unleashes monsters that destroy the country and terrorize time and space.
  • Zaeed Massani from Mass Effect 2 tends to be the Sole Survivor of many of his war stories primarily due to a habit of getting others killed in his place. He's also a poor choice as a fireteam leader in the endgame and will get at least one of your teammates killed.
  • Mass Effect 3: Should Ash survive through to this game, Diana Allers will observe how bad luck seems to follow her around. The first time Shepard met her, she was the last man standing of her entire unit. In 2, the colony she's sent to examine has a massive chunk of its population abducted because she was there, and in 3 she's once again the last person standing when Cerberus stage a coup on the Citadel, being the only one of the Council's bodyguards left when Shepard catches up to her.
  • Max Payne has this problem even if you exclude the occasional Roaring Rampage of Revenge. It causes him profound psychological damage, and the second game suggests he's unable to get over it until literally everything he loved dies.
  • In the Metroid series:
    • Anywhere Samus goes, any level of destruction is destined to follow. Whether it be limited to orbital stations, nationwide destruction or even total planet killer-level, whatever environ Samus Aran sets foot on WILL go up in flames. It doesn't matter whether Samus engineered its destruction intentionally, like she did Phaaze to wipe out Phazon, Dark Aether fullstop or SR388 to destroy the X parasites, or completely accidental, e.g., Zebes, destruction seems to follow the poor girl to any corner of the galaxy. Being fair, though, Tallon IVnote , Normal Aethernote , Most of the Alimbic Cluster, Bryyonote , Elysianote  and even the Pirate Homeworldnote  survive her appearance, at least in terms of "not blowing up." Oh yeah and if Metroid Fusion is anything to go by, even space stations aren't safe.
    • She seems to have inherited this trope from her adoptive parents, the Chozo. While they're savvy enough about it to bail and head for another planet whenever things get really bad, there's a reason Samus keeps finding Chozo artifacts (but no Chozo) on such a variety of planets. Planets that are usually overrun by various monsters and pirates, with notes from the Chozo that boil down to "Here you go Samus, we left you some weapons; we saw you were coming and we're sure you can handle it. Bye!".
  • Philip LaFresque in Penumbra ends up this way, as any NPCs still alive often end up killed when he gets within five feet of them. Clarence tricks Philip into enforcing this trope in Black Plague, by making him hallucinate one of the Tuurngait zombies, only to reveal it as Amabel Swanson at the last minute. Philip is understandably distraught over this, and the last third of the game involves purging Clarence from his mind.
  • Anywhere that Hugo and Amicia go in A Plague Tale: Requiem, monstrous supernatural swarms of all-devouring rats follow and no matter how beautiful and peaceful a place is it's in ruins, at best, by the time they leave. Hugo is the carrier of the Macula, which can exploit the kid's emotional state to cause a lot of terrible things to happen, and since this is a dark medieval fantasy a lot of things happen to upset him. Finding some way to cure Hugo or somehow neutralize the Macula drives the plot of the game. Unfortunately, there isn't one and the situation is just too dark to allow them to just raise Hugo in peaceful seclusion somewhere. Eventually, for all her desperation in searching, Amicia is forced to either kill her little brother or allow him to be killed so the Macula's influence doesn't cause an Apocalypse How.
  • Very effectively played straight and justified in Planescape: Torment. The Nameless One attracts tormented souls to him, and their existence becomes even more miserable once they become associated with him.
  • With four The Forgotten Sands games being added to his canon, the Prince of Persia from the Sands of Time part of the franchise has become this. He's constantly bringing doom down on himself and everyone around him. He's had to kill the sand monster that had been his father, and the demonic entity that had been his brother. The ancient djinn queen who decided to help him died in the process. His mentor was killed by the Dahaka in Battles of Prince of Persia, and while looking for a way to escape the creature he started a war in which his mother was killed. When he came back from the Island of Time with Kaileena, she died, and soon after that his father, whose death had been undone, was killed for real.
  • Red Faction: Armageddon: Darius Mason, hard. Lampshaded by Frank Winters:
  • Chris Redfield from Resident Evil tends to get everyone, who is not a main protagonist themselves, killed with Chris routinely losing entire squads leaving him the sole survivor on far too many occasions.
  • This is exaggerated to ridiculous proportions with Jennifer, the protagonist of Rule of Rose. People start coming back from the dead, only to die again just because of her, among other insane things. It does not help her mental state, launching the game into pure insanity.
  • Subverted with Marduk from Sacrifice who was a doom magnet to such an extreme extent that his mere presence in a world cause it to corrode and, eventually, die... Only, he was an Omnicidal Maniac, and annihilating worlds in this manner was what he lived for, his very purpose.
  • Suikoden's Soul Eater Rune worked on this principle, destroying the people around the user while granting him/her power.
  • Nathan Drake from Uncharted. In his own words: "Everything I touch turns to shit."
  • Clementine of The Walking Dead potentially starts to feel this way come Season Two, and it's not hard to see why. Outside her control were the deaths of her parents, Shawn, Carley, Doug, Mark, Larry, Duck, and Katjaa, as well as Lilly's and Molly's departures. Her decisions in Savannah, however, carry consequences which lead to the later deaths of Ben and even her foster father, Lee. Come Season Two, briefly leaving her gun on a sink gets Omid killed, and she and Christa are forced to part ways during a bandit attack.
    • Shall we continue into season 2? Pete gets bitten the day after the new group takes her in, Then they meet up with Kenny and a new group but first Walkers come and if Clementine acted shady about Nick having killed Walt's boyfriend or is honest but says that Nick is just like everyone else when walkers are attacking Walt will either save Nick or leave him to die depending on Clementine's actions. Carver comes along and can kill Alvin if Clementine encourages Kenny to kill Carve and if she surrenders Alvin is beaten near to death and dies in a last stand protecting her as she tries to escape his office, Reggie gets killed because Clementine either failed to do her work or Sarah screwed up her own work. Then of course Carver eventually gets killed. But so does her new friend Sarah's dad. If she cut off Sarita's bitten arm Sarita panics and gets eaten if she kills the zombie Sarita is still infected either way Kenny blames her. If Nick wasn't dead during the Zombie attack interrupted by Carver he's dead on a fence now. She the either abandons Sarah to die or saves her through tough love but Sarah dies anyway later. Then Rebecca dies of exhaustion from giving birth an overexertion and either Clem or Kenny have to shoot her to protect baby A.J. Then Luke falls through the ice and drowns. And the final potential deaths on her conscious are either letting Kenny kill Jane because he thinks she murdered baby A.J. Killing Kenny to save Jane. Or Jane dying and then killing Kenny and no matter who dies she discovers A.J. is still alive because Jane thought provoking a violent man who lost everything he's held dear is a good idea leaving Clementine to potentially raise a newborn baby in a zombie apocalypse. A potential line in season two says it all.
      Clementine: Sometimes people die because of me.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Dies Irae, Marie is born with Guillotine curse, so anyone who comes in contact in her, ends up beheaded. Only Ren, protagonist of the novel, is immune due to him being Mercurius' Holy Relic.
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Maggey Byrde was nicknamed "Goddess of Misfortune" by her childhood friends; she's a perfectly nice woman, yet everything in her life seems to go horribly wrong to her and the people around her. A prime example: As a police officer, she went on a date with a fellow member of the force, only for him to be murdered and her to be framed for the crime.
    • Miles Edgeworth does not fare much better in his spin-off. The two games happen in the same month, right after Edgeworth returns from studying abroad. He's framed for murder while on the plane home, gets caught in a hostage situation that makes him need to solve another murder just after he gets home, has a murder happen in his office that night, and the next day there's two murders he needs to solve. Oh, and there's a flashback case involving a double murder occurring right across the hall from Edgeworth, just when he was about to take on his first trial. He gets a two-week breather before getting caught up in another deluge of murders (plus an attempted murder that prompts him to solve a cold-case murder). Though in this case, it's partially justified as Simon Keyes is specifically angling to use Edgeworth to get Blaise Debeste and Patricia Roland arrested, so he makes sure that Edgeworth has a reason to get involved when he goads them into killing others. If this is what happens when Edgeworth returns to Japanifornia, it's no wonder he spends so much time in Europe.
    • Barok van Zieks in The Great Ace Attorney takes this to extremes. Unlike previous (future?) prosecutors, who are The Dreaded because they never lose and get every defendant found guilty, van Zieks is The Dreaded because every time he does lose, the defendant mysteriously winds up dead, earning him the nickname "The Reaper of the Old Bailey". Barok himself has no idea why this keeps happening and the deaths weigh heavily on him. It turns out Chief Justice Stronghart cultivated this reputation deliberately through assassinations, hoping it would scare criminals straight, much to Barok's disgust when he finds out.
  • This is a nasty side effect of Nagito Komaeda's Ultimate Good Luck in Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair. His life is a constant seesaw of disaster that leads into good fortune, and Nagito himself has to survive the disasters to receive the benefits, so usually it's his loved ones who pay. For example, when Nagito was young he was on a plane... which was hijacked...and then struck by a meteor, killing the hijackers... and his parents... leaving him a large inheritance (which he was then kidnapped for, but that's another story). He tends to distance himself from his peers in fear of his luck cycle hitting them too.
  • Tsukihime: Shiki Tohno causes misfortune to those around him due to his proximity with death. However, only the ones who really notice said presence are affected strongly. Satsuki, who we all know to be misfortunate, and Arihiko are the two main ones. Arihiko is perfectly aware that as long as he hangs around Shiki, he's likely to die in some bizarre and violent way. His love interests all get a share of this when he gets involved with them as well, but that's not entirely his fault. Overlaps with Weirdness Magnet with which he is much more strongly identified in the story itself.
  • Yuuto calls himself one at the beginning of Aselia the Eternal - The Spirit of Eternity Sword, though it's unclear if it's really true or not.

    Web Animation 
  • Deconstructed with Danganronpa Re:Birth's Ayumu Fujimori: what happens when you are Born Unlucky, and spread it to everyone around you? So much damage that your own government orders your assassination.
  • Adrian Shephard in Shephard's Mind. Nobody he meets seem to stay alive for much longer.
  • Mario in SMG4. Basically wherever he goes, expect chaos and mass destruction to follow suit.

  • Sluggy Freelance: The Sluggy Gang tends to be around death and destruction wherever they go, and most characters who aren't major or important better say their prayers. Case in point (not even counting Wispydale).
  • Likewise, the Onion Kid (who becomes Sarda) in 8-Bit Theater. Horrible things, usually Black Mage's fault, tend to befall anyone who takes him in, but the child himself escapes with only severe psychological scars. Until Chaos takes over his body, that is. Then it's terminal.
  • In Looking for Group, no matter what Cale does or how good his intentions are, death, destruction and tragedy ultimately follow him wherever he goes. This ultimately costs him his friendship with Benny when his doom magnet tendencies end up making Kethenicia's war with Legara worse then ever just when it seemed like it would end.
  • My Deepest Secret: Emma has a tendency to attract the worst kind of people, from a senior who’s an attempted rapist to a perverted teacher. Also, bad things always happen to people who hurt her in any way, courtesy of Elios. Sadly has shades of Truth in Television for abuse survivors like Emma.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Sokka wrestles with feelings of this, as his girlfriends tend to suffer, and his master plan for invasion failed, causing dozens to be captured (or killed). He eventually gets over this partially when he rescues Suki and his father from prison, though that doesn't mean his horrific luck is over.
    • To a different extent, Avatar Aang. Justified, because, well... he's the Avatar. Weird stuff happens. And the Fire Nation is almost always in hot pursuit.
    • Similarly to Aang, there is Avatar Korra in The Legend of Korra. Both she and everybody she loves are prime targets for anybody who wants the Avatar out of the way, and they don't usually spare any collateral damage. Because of this, every season after the first have a casualty, destruction and trauma count that is high enough that they are a pretty painful example of the Bittersweet Ending.
  • Ben 10: The Omnitrix seems to attract trouble wherever it goes. Not only is Vilgax (and a ton of other villains) always after it, but after Ben gets it he and his family are constantly finding themselves getting involved in dangerous situations and dealing with supervillains. Azmuth, the creator of the Omnitrix, actually says that the Omnitrix is nothing but trouble and always has been, so he is fine with Ben keeping it.
  • BoJack Horseman is a gigantic Doom Magnet. Nearly everyone in his life suffers due to his self-destructive behavior and has caused the people he cares about to die (Sarah Lynn), suffer severe injury and PTSD (Gina), or endure psychological trauma (Penny). And he's all too aware of it.
  • Invader Zim is probably the king of this trope. Zim has managed to wreck Operation Impending Doom I, caused two planet wide blackouts (one when he was two minutes old), killed two previous leaders of his planet and blew up an entire planet by scratching himself.
  • Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous: The kids manage to trap themselves in a raptor pen and Carnotaurus paddock and are nearly trampled in a stampede even before Jurassic World falls apart. Once it does, they can't seem to go three feet without being attacked by dinosaurs.
  • Metalocalypse: Any Dethklok concert will have people die in bizarre and gruesome ways. Any band member, however, is likely to have horribly gory tragedies follow them-such as drunk rednecks crashing into their classroom and killing their friends.
  • South Park: The five main boys — Stan, Kyle, Cartman, Kenny, and Butters — are notorious Weirdness Magnets, but they're also doom magnets. There have been multiple violent deaths and apocalyptic events attributable to any one (or all) of them in one way or another. Too many to count, in fact. Kenny moreso than any of them. His curse of Resurrective Immortality would be slightly more tolerable if death didn't always seem to find him wherever he went. At one point, while Kenny and his family were eating dinner, a stray bullet from a gun that was (accidentally) fired miles away from his house strikes him straight through the head, killing him instantly.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Poor Princess Cadance. Any attempt to spend time with Twilight somehow leads to a crisis, often times involving the fate of Equestria. Heck, her debut episode had her wedding crashed by Changelings. It's gotten so bad that some of the ponies are starting to lampshade it.
      Rarity: The fate of Equestria has hung in the balance during most of your visits with her.
    • To a lesser (but much more frequent) extreme, Ponyville suffers more regular disasters than every other location combined. It is to the point that the Mane 6 fighting off a dangerous creature is an Unusually Uninteresting Sight for the rest of the town, since to them they deal with disasters on a regular basis. Fanfiction tends to exaggerate it, but only barely.
  • The Owl House: Luz Noceda seems to have some kind of gravitational pull for terrible events that negatively impact those that she loves. For starters, her father Manny passed away due to an illness early in her life, which caused her mother Camila as well as Luz herself to fall into a deep depression. When she ends up on the Boiling Isles, she is inadvertently responsible for her mentor Eda losing all of her magic and very nearly getting publicly executed. Later, she gets herself and her two best friends Willow and Gus expelled from Hexside by Amity's parents due to Amity's love for Luz. When Luz takes King to meet his father, she inadvertently puts him in danger of being sacrificed to a Mad God by a cult. Finally, she inadvertently helped Philip Wittebane rise to power as Emperor Belos and begin to enact his genocide, which in turn ultimately resulted in the Demon Realm falling into the hands of the Collector, and her friends and her girlfriend getting trapped in the Human Realm. This might be why she has a Guilt Complex in the series.
  • Rick and Morty: Even if Rick Sanchez likes you or at least tolerates you, being around him isn't easy. The longer you are around him, the more likely you are to die, be injured, endure psychological trauma, be used as bait to lure Rick to a trap, stuck in another dimension, or any other number of horrible fates. By Season 6, Morty has become seen as this in his school since every time he's in school some sort of disaster (typically involving Rick) is bound to happen.
  • Misery from Ruby Gloom seems to attract all sorts of misfortune around her, but is always completely passive about it since her whole lineage has experienced many disasters, one of them being the sinking of the Titanic.
  • Arcee in Transformers: Prime is worried about this, as her two previous partners have died and she fears the same might happen to Jack.
  • Young Justice: Green Arrow thinks that he's this, saying that it's a curse to have him as a mentor. His first sidekick got abducted and frozen for five years, his second was a Manchurian Agent, and he's led to believe that his third one died.

    Real Life